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Lynch, Lena | Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Mrs Lena Lynch, FMP
Lena Lynch, FMP
Research Facilities Manager

My name is Lena Lynch and I have been the Research Facilities Manager for the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital since 2017. I manage the research buildings at NCH and all that that entails, which often times feels like herding cats. We have ~850,000 square feet of dedicated research space that is home to ~1,850 research employees, encompassed in four research buildings, one off-site freezer farm, and includes two vivarium facilities and three cleanrooms. I manage an annual operating budget of ~$14M and a capital budget this year of ~$25M. I have a team of 9 outstanding team members who support the groundbreaking science in the buildings. We work very closely with a number of supporting departments, including engineering operations, design and construction, environmental services, biomedical engineering, safety, and a host of vendors and contractors who provide excellent service for NCH. We are currently working on a multi-phase renovation and wet lab move project to update and re-occupy Research Building 2 – phase 1 of construction and move will be completed in April 2024, with the last phase of move-in projected for Q1 2025. This will empty the oldest Research building, which will undergo a full renovation in the next 1-2 years. This project includes renovating a portion of lower level vivarium space which will be converted into wet lab space for research core services. Shelled space in our Behavioral Health Pavilion will be fit out to expand and grow our Center for Suicide Prevention Research and newly established Institute for Mental and Behavioral Health Research. We will be using this year to set the stage to initiate build out of the currently shelled 6th floor of Research Building 4 and anticipated design and build of Research Building 5 (projected completion by 2030). We will also be opening a new off-site facility summer of this year to consolidate our Biopathology Center/Biobanking operations into one facility – the new facility is ~50,000 square feet and will house 200+ ultra-low temperature and liquid nitrogen freezers, and all biobanking laboratory operations. Our newest building, Research Building 4, opened May of 2023 and added ~300,000 square feet of dedicated wet lab and vivarium research space. This building created new space for four centers to move in and expanded the existing vivarium to provide additional large animal housing and procedure capabilities. We completed subsequent renovation of neighboring lab space in Research Building 3 to incorporate all clinical and research laboratory operations into congruent space for our Institute for Genomic Medicine. My experience includes a previous life working as a researcher and laboratorian before moving to the dark side of research facilities management: Laboratory Scientist in the Mycobacteriology/Tuberculosis Lab at the Ohio Department of Health (2004-2008), Research Associate at Battelle Memorial Institute (2008-2012), and BSL3 Program Operations Manager/Assistant Director at The Ohio State University (2012-2017). I received my Facility Management Professional certification from IFMA in 2023, Sigma Six Yellow Belt Certification in 2022, and a graduate of the Journey to Leadership Excellence Program at NCH in 2023. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Capital University (2003) where I played varsity volleyball.