STEM and Healthcare Education at the Bioscience Innovation Building: The New Campus Hub at Purdue University Northwest

Punit Jain, AIA, LEED Fellow, CannonDesign

As STEM and healthcare career pipelines keep growing, facilities housing interdisciplinary areas of study not only foster opportunities post-graduation, but also serve as hubs of collaboration and engagement on campus. These STEM and healthcare education buildings are becoming the new "place to be" on campus, regardless of students' focus areas of study. So, how can designers adapt to this new demand and infuse sustainable design throughout the learning spaces and teaching labs?

Recently opened in 2020, Purdue University Northwest's new 68,000 GSF Bioscience Innovation Building is a multi-disciplinary inter-professional education/learning building that brings together the disciplines of biology and nursing near each other. This unique approach brings two disciplines together under one roof where students from different age groups, interests and skill sets will collaborate and interact. The nursing students will work with the biology students in the anatomy labs while the biology students will pursue a career in nursing.

Despite opening during the pandemic, both students and faculty alike have succeeded in adapting the teaching environments to meet everyone's needs. Additionally, building users have enjoyed the more open teaching spaces and simulation labs, while social distancing and enhanced technology has supported better collaboration between disciplines.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the evolving program of STEM and healthcare education buildings and identify opportunities to create cross-collaboration;
  • Learn about team-based learning environments including in the laboratory;
  • Learn how to work with the faculty to design an open and collaborative office/work environment versus individual private offices; and
  • Learn how to design a flexible building that supports team-based learning while solving the challenges faced during the pandemic.


A leader in the science, technology and sustainability practices, Punit Jain, AIA, LEED Fellow, brings extensive experience in the integration of systems, spaces and experiences for his clients. He is responsible for generating innovative solutions in regenerative and net-zero designs for complex scientific facilities at all scales.


Note: Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s) with the exception of minor edits for style, grammar consistency, and length.