McGee Eye Institute plans expansion

January 10, 2007

Oklahoma City, OK-Officials from the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, home to the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Oklahoma (OU), have broken ground for a 78,000-square-foot expansion that will combine patient care and research space.

Oklahoma City, OK-Officials from the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, home to the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Oklahoma (OU), have broken ground for a 78,000-square-foot expansion that will combine patient care and research space.

The $38 million project will connect a new building with the institute’s current, 30-year-old building on the Oklahoma Health Center campus via an atrium. Construction is expected to be completed in January 2009.

The existing building was renovated in the 1990s, but due to space constraints, researchers work in two buildings two blocks apart, and the institute leases additional space for patient care in another nearby building.

In addition to enabling patient care and research to be located in the same complex, “the new facility will allow us to double our clinical and basic science research, thereby expanding access of patients who suffer severe retinal disease in Oklahoma to clinical trials,” Robert E. Leonard II, MD, clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology at OU’s College of Medicine, told The Oklahoman newspaper.

In fiscal year 2005, the most recent year for which data are available, the OU College of Medicine ranked 12th in ophthalmology-related grants from the National Institutes of Health. David W. Parke II, MD, the institute’s president and chief executive officer, told the newspaper that the expansion could help send the institute to the top five.