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Millennium Science Complex

Millennium Science Complex

Home to the converging frontiers of engineering, materials research, and the life sciences at Penn State
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The Millennium Science Complex is a state-of-the-art, 297,000-square-foot facility housing two of the University’s premier research organizations – the Materials Research Institute and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

More than just a collection of laboratories and instruments, the Millennium Science Complex represents a new style of research in which experts from many disciplines coordinate their technologies and knowledge in ways that produce exponential advances.

By providing the research space and the opportunity for intellectual exchanges, both formal and informal, the Millennium Science Complex is expected to generate large returns on the university’s investment in the institutes and this new infrastructure.

Designed by internationally renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, the Millennium Science Complex is one of a small handful of buildings specifically constructed to support the integration of the physical and life sciences.

Interdisciplinary approach

Shared meeting and common areas are designed to encourage discussion and the free exchange of ideas.

Instruments for the nano- and micro-scale characterization of organic and inorganic materials will be co-located in an underground vibration-free quiet space, while in the shared labs and computational centers located on the above-ground levels, materials researchers, engineers and life scientists will collaborate in solving problems of complex size and scale by bringing elements together from across their respective fields in novel interdisciplinary approaches.

The next great field of transformative research lies at the boundaries of the life sciences and physical science and engineering, and the state-of-the-art multidisciplinary facilities within the Millennium Science Complex represent a vision of advancing the convergence of these fields by facilitating a culture of collaboration that will contribute to revolutionary advances in human health and well-being.

Industrial relations

The Millennium Science Complex' user facilities are open to industry researchers, and technical staff are available to offer advice, assistance and training.

In addition to providing hands-on training to the next generation of scientists, the Millennium Science Complex is designed to support industry and provide economic and technological benefits to the commonwealth and nation.


Undergraduate and graduate education is central to the mission of both the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and the Materials Research Institute.

The Millennium Science Complex is designed to be a vibrant facility for hands-on student learning in an interdisciplinary laboratory setting, and will be a place for students and faculty from across campus to share laboratories, state-of-the-art instrumentation and an atmosphere of collaboration.

A new suite of tools in the Millennium Science Complex is helping scientists experience data like never before. Health researchers build bridges with Penn State’s new visualization wall - Full article
Two teams – one of them led by Huck Institutes researcher Manuel Llinás – have independently discovered that a single regulatory protein acts as the master genetic switch that triggers the development of male and female sexual forms (termed gametocytes) of the malaria parasite, solving a long-standing mystery in parasite biology with important implications for human health. A key regulatory protein is discovered to be essential for malaria parasite transmission to mosquitos - Full article
A new study by Huck Institutes faculty researcher Moriah Szpara and an international team of scientific collaborators begins the process of quantifying variation between the genomes of all known strains of herpes simplex virus (HSV) – a crucial step toward developing an effective vaccine. Quantifying the genomic variation of herpes viruses is a crucial step toward a vaccine - Full article