The Cancer Research Building (CRB, later known as the Medical Research and Education Building, or MREB) was the first building constructed on the University of Utah health sciences campus.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the newly named Cancer Research Building (CRB) was held in February 1950 with around $400,000 dedicated to its construction. During the work, the Atomic Energy Commission approached the university and added another $100,000 to build an annex for a radiobiology laboratory. A year later, in 1951, the Cancer Research Building and annex were completed.
The work conducted in the CRB was cutting edge for its day. In addition to the cancer research, the radiobiology lab worked with the Atomic Energy Commission to monitor the radiation released during the nuclear tests in Nevada in the 1950s. Instruments were even set up on the building’s roof to measure atmospheric radiation from the blasts.
The CRB was vital in helping the School of Medicine maintain its reputation as a medical program worthy of funding and staffing in the space of time until the construction of Building 521 in 1965 cemented the program’s status.
The Cancer Research Building, eventually renamed the Medical Research & Education Building, has served University of Utah Health well over the years, but the time came to turn the page on the ageing structure. Abatement on the 70-year-old building began November 2021, with demolition of the building completing in 2022.