by Penny Patterson
Vice President of Communications, Promega

This week, Promega Corporation announced the opening of the Kornberg Center, a new three-story 280,000-square-foot (over 85,000 square meters) research and development facility at its Fitchburg campus. Kornberg Center will support core product and technology development in life science research, cellular and molecular biology, genetic identity, clinical diagnostic and scientific applications, and training.

Founded in 1978, Promega is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s 4000 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, drug discovery and human identification. This latest expansion continues a commitment to the advancement of science for improving life around the globe.

Kornberg Center features:

  • Labs designed and equipped to enable Promega scientists to invent and develop technologies at the leading edge of scientific discovery.
  • Sustainable best practices from around the world that reduce energy use to 65% below the required standard for building energy use intensity.
  • Energizing architectural design that bridges office, formal and informal meeting spaces with advanced laboratories to provide a flexible and comfortable work environment for scientists to interact, collaborate, and explore new ideas.

Promega scientists have the critical tools right at their benches to give them more flexibility in their exploration. The building itself inspires creative thinking to help teams imagine the unimagined. And the sustainable construction provides a place for future generations to continue the momentum of invention.

It’s in the Name

Kornberg Center is named for Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Arthur Kornberg, the first scientist to isolate DNA polymerase and synthesize DNA in a test tube. In 1992, Kornberg became a member of the Promega legal team in a patent case regarding Taq DNA Polymerase, which led a 13-year challenge defending the right for scientists to use the Taq enzyme. The outcome from that litigation preserved the right to access Taq DNA Polymerase and it allows scientists to continue using that critical enzyme in their DNA research and scientific applications. His work has inspired Promega team members and continues to be a pathway for discovery for the organization today.

The Time is Right

The Kornberg Center has been years in the making and it is part of the company’s long-term strategy. The process started many years ago in response to the company’s growth and the evolution of science.  The new labs include flexibility and room to grow within Kornberg Center. It was a natural next step for Promega to create a facility that would carry the work into the decades to come.

Impacting Biohealth and Wisconsin

Promega has been part of the Wisconsin biotech and biohealth cluster for over 40 years. It values its deep relationships with academic institutions, suppliers, and a community that values business practices in sustainability and wellness. Promega has a 1-billion-dollar positive impact on Wisconsin annually. Kornberg Center is designed to last for the next 200 years, which is a long-term commitment not only to this region but to the global scientific community Promega serves.

BioForward member Kraemer Brothers Construction was general contractor, continuing its long-standing relationship with Promega since 1988.