Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic today announced a major financial contribution that will be used to fund the construction of a new research facility in downtown Rochester.

The $32 million gift from the New York-based Ana-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation will enable Mayo to begin construction of a four-story, 64,000-square-foot building in the Destination Medical Center Discovery Square District next year. A news release says the new facility, which will be located just north of the Mayo Clinic’s Opus building at the corner of 4th Street and 4th Avenue Southwest, is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in 2022.

"We cannot overstate our gratitude to the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic's president and CEO. "Research is critical to infusing new knowledge into patient care. It paves the way to solve serious or complex medical challenges for our patients at Mayo as well as patients around the world. This remarkable gift will allow us to meet a critical need for research space on our Rochester campus."

The Mayo Clinic says the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation has been a significant contributor for many years. Michael Kellen is the foundation president and Marina Kellen French serves as vice president. Their parents were the late Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen, who were longtime Mayo Clinic patients. Stephen Kellen was the CEO and president of an international investment firm is now known as First Eagle Investment Management.

"Our family's history with Mayo Clinic spans more than four decades, and the physicians and staff at Mayo have become like family to us," says Marina Kellen French. "We are thrilled to be able to support Mayo and be part of advancing medical research that will help patients for decades to come."

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