UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester has opened a new research and education tower that administrators say will strengthen the school’s standing as a leader in developing cutting edge treatments.

The $350 million glass-paneled building will be a hub for neurology and gene therapy for illnesses like ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. Across nine floors, it includes labs and other facilities that will allow researchers to conduct clinical trials and other experiments.

“This building reflects the ambitions and capabilities of a university committed to discovery, learning and healing,” UMass Chan Chancellor Michael Collins said during an unveiling ceremony Friday. “We are inspired every day to remember that biomedical research brings hope to the human condition.”

The opening of the center continues the explosive growth of Massachusetts’ only public medical school, which founded in the 1960s.

In 2021, the school received a $175 million donation that more than doubled its endowment. Two years later, administrators said UMass Chan secured more than $320 million in federal and private research grants, making it one of the fastest growing research institutions in the country. And earlier this month, the school graduated its largest class in its history.

Administrators said UMass Chan was fortunate to finish construction of the new research building on time and on budget. The school launched the project in 2020 just as pandemic-linked supply chain challenges stalled other construction plans nationwide. If the school started the project today, Collins said inflation would have more than doubled the cost and derailed the plans.

In addition to serving as a research hub, officials noted the building — which relies on renewable energy for heat and air conditioning — will also help Worcester’s economy. The school met its workforce diversity goals during construction with nearly $50 million in contracting money going to companies owned by women or people of color.

Going forward, officials say the new center will add to Worcester’s identity as a burgeoning biotech and life sciences hotspot.

“We are driven by a hunger for innovation, a hunger for growth and a hunger to meet and exceed our friends to the east,” said state Sen. Robyn Kennedy, who represents the Worcester area.