Construction begins on Columbia’s brain institute

January 28, 2013 09:00AM

Construction crews at Columbia University’s 17-acre expansion project are working on a 450,000-square-foot research institute endowed by Boston Properties CEO Mort Zuckerman that will be dedicated to understanding the human brain, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, slated to open in 2016, will explore several areas of neuroscience, including  human behavior and diseases of the brain. It is the first of 15 buildings in Columbia’s new $6.8 billion Manhattanville campus. The first phase of the project will also create a new home with a gallery and performance space for the Lenfest Center for the Arts, while a later phase will construct a new space for the Columbia Business School.

The brain institute is a project that the university trustees envisioned for many years, hoping to bring together fields such as mathematics, psychology, and the arts under one roof. In December, Zuckerman’s $200 million pledge to endow the institute became the biggest donation by a New York real estate player in 2012, as The Real Deal previously reported. [WSJ] —Hiten Samtani