Knight Cancer Institute Research Building, Oregon, United States of America

OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute began construction on new research building

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)'s Knight Cancer Institute commenced construction of a new research building at South Waterfront district in south-west Portland, Oregon.

The facility will accommodate up to 600 scientists, physicians and administrators focusing on early cancer detection, computational biology, and immuno-oncology.

Construction having commenced in June 2016 with an estimated investment of $160m, the facility is expected to be ready for occupation in July 2018. Oregon's State Legislature passed a bill to fund $200m for the project in 2014 as part of the $1bn Knight Cancer Challenge initiated by Phil Knight.

Knight Cancer Institute and Immunovia announced collaboration in October 2015 to confirm, validate, and commercialise blood tests for the early diagnosis of cancer. The institute also reached a collaboration agreement with Cancer Research UK in December 2015 to accelerate research in early detection of cancer.

Knight Cancer Institute research building design features

The building's design was aimed at bringing collaboration and interaction. It will feature shared spaces and laboratories, including small-group, informal work spaces to allow researchers to undertake reflective and privately-focused work. The laboratories are designed to receive day lighting and solar control.

The design will also create social opportunities, with a central kitchen, a lounge, and a casual seating area. The exterior balconies and roof top terrace will provide views of the Willamette River and the Cascade Mountains. The building will also include administrative offices and a car parking area.

Knight Cancer Institute's research facility details

The seven-storey research facility will have a total floor space of 320,000ft², situated to the north of the collaborative life sciences building on the OHSU campus.

Research and wet lab spaces will be featured from floors two to five, while the ground floor will contain a 200-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, and a conference centre. It will also include spaces for street-level retail, a café, and other amenities.

Two floors of the building will be used to house the Early Cancer Detection Centre. This will provide multi-disciplinary research teams a collaborative environment to perform early detection research under the guidance of nanotechnology expert Sadik Esener.


A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Knight Cancer Institute's research building was attended by Oregon State Governor Kate Brown, doctors, and cancer survivors in June 2016.

The construction crew are using interactive 3D building information modelling (BIM).

Contractors involved with Knight Cancer Institute's research facility

The designs for the Knight Cancer Institute research building were provided by architect SRG Partnership.

The joint venture of McCarthy Building Companies and Andersen Construction (McCarthy/Andersen) was awarded a $160m-worth contract for construction of the building.