Skip to main content

Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center Opens Its Doors

Made possible by private philanthropy, the building will usher in a new era of scientific discovery at Northwestern.

This story was published in the September 2019 issue of The Philanthropist, a newsletter for supporters and friends of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Foundation. Read the whole issue here.

On June 17, Northwestern University leadership, trustees, faculty and benefactors joined former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and local politicians to officially unveil the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center.

With striking curved-glass exteriors and light-filled laboratories designed for scientific collaboration, the new building on the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine campus provides much-needed biomedical research space to continue Northwestern’s growth. The medical school is home to expert scientists in cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurosciences, epigenetics, nanotechnology and biomedicine, epithelial biology, infectious diseases and more, and some of those programs are moving to the new building.

Check out photos of the new building

Together Under One Roof

The Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will occupy four floors of the new building, allowing investigators in pediatrics to share the same research space as Northwestern scientists for the first time. The Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center brings physicians and scientists from the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering together with top-ranked clinical affiliates Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Lurie Children’s and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab — all in one academic medical district.

“This is the largest project in the history of our great university,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “The transformative research that we do at Northwestern will be accelerated within this unbelievable facility, thanks to the incredible generosity and support of Lou and Kimberly and many others.”

The building is named in honor of Northwestern Trustees Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey in recognition of their monumental support to advance Northwestern’s academic excellence and scientific discovery, including a leadership gift to fund biomedical research programs at Feinberg.

“Our goal, quite simply, is to accelerate the pace of medical science, fuel the local economy and — surrounded by world-class clinical partners in a global city — create an environment unrivaled for biomedical translation and entrepreneurship,” said Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of Feinberg, during the dedication. “Nothing remarkable like this happens without purposeful philanthropy. Lou and Kimberly made transformational gifts to the medical school that will change it forever.”

Ms. Querrey and Mr. Simpson each spoke at the dedication after receiving a standing ovation.

Named Spaces in the New Building

Simpson Querrey Auditorium
Potocsnak Family Atrium
John Potocsnak Family Laboratories
The Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg Gallery
Senyei Conference Center
Kabiller Student Lounge
Trienens Conference Room
Carlins Conference Room
Krantz Conference Room

“The Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center is more than a beautiful building,” remarked Drew Senyei, ’79 MD, who visited his named conference center during the building's unveiling. “It is an embodiment of Northwestern’s persistent pursuit of world-class excellence in medical research. It will be the home of many exceptional researchers and scholars whose discoveries will profoundly impact the lives of many for generations to come. As an alum of the medical school and a university trustee, I applaud the vision of those who helped create it.”

“Thank you for being here as part of the grand opening of Northwestern’s biomedical research building, which we hope will become the epicenter of innovation and research for the Midwest,” Ms. Querrey told the audience. “While the building is impressive, the work that will be conducted here is mind boggling.”

“Kimberly and I are proud to be associated with the discoveries and the research that will come as a result of this building,” added Mr. Simpson.

President Schapiro and Dean Neilson also acknowledged other generous donors with named spaces in the building, including John and Laura Potocsnak, who made a gift that was recognized with the naming of the lobby atrium and a floor of research labs.

“Sixteen years ago, I started coming to Northwestern hospitals. I’ve had children born here, children taken care of and back surgeries. And I am just in awe of all of you who work here,” John Potocsnak shared. “I hope someday amazing things come out of [this building] because we’re counting on you.”

For more information on the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center, please contact Alan Krensky at 312.503.1720 or

Pictured above, top row, from left: Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Northwestern University Board of Trustees Chair Lanny Martin; Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro; Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker; Northwestern University Trustees Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Vice President for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean Eric G. Neilson, MD; Northwestern University Provost Jonathan Holloway; and supporters John and Laura Potocsnak. Bottom row, from left: Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd Ward; Northwestern Memorial HealthCare President and CEO Dean Harrison; benefactor Stanley Manne; President and CEO of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Patrick M. Magoon; Illinois State Senator Robert Peters; and Illinois Congressman Danny Davis.