By Laura Otto
While studying at the University of Oxford, Douglas F. Nixon, a professor in George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, found that the English custom of conversing over a cup of tea could lead to any number of things—including scientific advances.
“If you can get people out of their office and into a space with a welcoming atmosphere, then you create an opportunity to brainstorm and form new ideas,” said Dr. Nixon, Ross Professor of Basic Science Research and chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Nixon will put this philosophy into practice as he leads two new labs in Walter G. Ross Hall: the Research Center for Neglected Diseases of Poverty and the Center for Basic Research for the Cure and Prevention of HIV/AIDS.
The nearly 35,000-square-foot lab space, which occupies the fifth and sixth floors of Ross Hall, features two “interaction” areas, 104 individual work stations, a microscope room and a tropical life cycle where parasites can be cultured. These spaces were created to encourage discussion, collaboration and innovative research.
The C06 project in Ross Hall has been awarded LEED GOLD certification.