Jerome L. Greene Science Center

Designed for Discovery

An innovative space for exploring the complexities of mind, brain and behavior.

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center was conceived as a place for human connection, intellectual excellence and pioneering research that cuts across traditional academic boundaries. Home to Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, it will be a thriving hub that brings together faculty and students from across Columbia University, scholars from around the world and members of the local community. The building was made possible by a gift from the late Dawn M. Greene '80HON and the Jerome L. Greene Foundation in memory of Jerome L. Greene '26CC,'28LAW. The Zuckerman Institute was established through a gift from New York philanthropist and business leader Mortimer B. Zuckerman.

neuroscience researchers

At the Forefront of Understanding Mind, Brain, Behavior

At the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, hundreds of the world’s leading researchers will tackle the most exciting scientific challenge of our time: understanding how the brain works and gives rise to mind and behavior. The Zuckerman Institute, led by Nobel laureates, brings together a constellation of neuroscientists, engineers, statisticians, psychologists and other scholars from across Columbia University who will collaborate on research, teaching and public programming. A deeper understanding of the brain promises to transform human health and society. From effective treatments for disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, depression and autism, to advances in fields as fundamental as computer science, economics, law, the arts and social policy, the potential impact for humanity is enormous. 

architect Renzo Piano’s designs

Nurturing Connections

The nine-story, 450,000-square-foot structure is the largest that Columbia has ever built and the biggest academic science building in New York City. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop with Davis Brody Bond, LLP, as executive architect and Body Lawson Associates, a Harlem-based certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), as associate architect, the Greene Science Center creates innovative spaces that fuel a collision of ideas. Inviting social spaces will bring faculty, scholars and students together to share ideas, hear new perspectives and generate fresh insights. Stairways that pair floors, common spaces with communal facilities and a quadrant system per floor that groups the labs of scientists with similar areas of inquiry will all foster idea-sharing and problem-solving among fellow researchers.

Find an in-depth description (PDF) of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center's architecture and of the design and construction teams.

Break Room and Education Center in Jerome L. Greene Science Building

Engaging the Community

Architect Renzo Piano planned the Greene Science Center’s ground floor to ensure that the “ritual of learning, teaching, exploring and the ritual of everyday life come together.” With lively retail and restaurant options serving both the campus and local community, the building's ground floor corridor will also be the site of public events and interactive installations that engage people of all ages in the wonders of brain science and mysteries of the mind. It will also house a community wellness center providing blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and raising awareness about stroke and mental health. An education lab will host a variety of programs that give students from the West Harlem community and Upper Manhattan hands-on experience in science, including a one-of-a-kind immersive laboratory apprenticeship for high schoolers.

Built for Sustainability

Through the building’s design, Columbia University sought to ensure that the Jerome L. Greene Science Center would be a model of sustainable urban design. Unique elements of the Greene Science Center’s design will set a new standard for sustainable technology.

Logo for Jerome L. Greene Science Center

Meet a Zuckerman Institute Investigator

Sarah M.N. Woolley, PhD

Sarah Wooley with songbirds

Woolley has helped decode how the brain interprets vocalizations — and what happens during development when those sounds are disrupted. Her research could shed important light on developmental disorders associated with speech and communication.

Learn More.

Christina McInerney, President and CEO of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation
Columbia's plans reflect Jerry's devotion to continually improving our city and to expanding educational and research opportunities through the institutions he cared most about.Dawn M. Greene, the late philanthropist, on the gift honoring her husband, Jerome L. Greene

'Treasures of New York' Features the Jerome L. Greene Science Center

WNET’s "Treasures of New York" aired on Sunday, June 15, an episode that explores the first building to open on Columbia’s new Manhattanville campus, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center.

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High-reflective “cool roof” materials protect against the urban heat island effect and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar sensors on the roof work continuously to raise or lower perimeter shades for maximum heating or cooling efficiency.

Intuitive lighting controls regulate internal brightness to maximize natural light flow in the workspace and conserve energy.

A double-skin aluminum and glass façade system creates a high-performance envelope that acts as an insulation blanket to help keep the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Maximizing select products from local and regional manufacturers within 500 miles of the project site and using recycled building materials reduced waste and minimized the University’s carbon footprint.