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Leaders celebrate biology addition

West Campus building receives $22.2M in upgrades

October 24, 2008

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Kansas University celebrated two achievements Thursday in its bioscience programs.

Local political and university leaders gathered in the atrium of a new addition to the Structural Biology Center on West Campus to mark the opening of two new phases of that building.

Also, Chancellor Robert Hemenway announced that researcher Jeff Aube, a professor of medicinal chemistry, had secured a $9.5 million renewal of a grant from the National Institute of Health first awarded in 2003.

The building's two new areas, at a total cost of $22.2 million, are both built, equipped and furnished. The first of the two areas opened in June with 35,500 square feet of space, and the second, 8,300 square feet, is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of November.

"You've been given a great new tool for bioscience research," Hemenway told the assembled gathering of KU faculty and staff, many of whom work at the Structural Biology Center.

The grant awarded to Aube and his team supported the Center of Excellence in Chemical Methodologies and Library Development, a program housed in the building, in addition to several other bioscience labs.

The center conducts biomedical research and would potentially benefit patients with cancer and other diseases, in addition to serving as a teaching opportunity.

In September, KU announced that Aube will lead a KU team that will create a Specialized Chemistry Center funded by a separate, five-year $20.2 million grant that was the largest federal research award made in Kansas.

Attending the ceremony Thursday were Hemenway, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Lariviere, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, and U.S. Reps. Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore.

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