The just-opened Conference Center at Harvard Medical (www.theconfcenter.hms.harvard.edu) will begin taking public bookings in January, filling a void in the heart of Boston's scientific and medical community. The center is in the Longwood Medical Area.

The facility has 8,500 square feet of meeting space, including a 480-seat amphitheater, seven meeting rooms to accommodate groups of 10 to 130, and (a nice feature) a rotunda for special events for up to 160 people. The café and dining area overlooks a Zen garden and waterfall, and an indoor courtyard adds another relaxing touch. Audio and visual capabilities include wireless Internet access throughout.

The center is targeting educational forums, corporate and board meetings, and annual meetings, along with research symposia and continuing education sessions.