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Stephen Howell, Plant Sciences Institute, (515) 294-5267
Tom Mitchell, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-4607
Troy Ross, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, (563) 263-4010
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- The groundbreaking for the Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory, the first building for Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute, will be at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, north of the Communications Building.

The new $12.75 million facility is named for the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, which gave the lead gift of $3 million.

When completed in the spring of 2003, the Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory will house up-to-date laboratories where university and visiting scientists will conduct research in the fundamental plant sciences. The building also will include small laboratories for business incubators.

"The Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory embodies a new concept of partnering academia and industry plant scientists to generate ideas and products useful to agriculture and business," said Stephen Howell, director of the Plant Sciences Institute. "We are especially grateful to the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for making this visionary facility possible. It will help propel Iowa State to the forefront of plant science research institutions."

The Carver Trust's support of the Plant Sciences Institute is consistent with Roy Carver's passion for science, said Troy Ross, executive administrator of the trust. "The co-laboratory's focus on combining education, research and technological development accurately reflects Mr. Carver's commitment to the advancement of scientific knowledge. For this reason, we are pleased that this facility will bear Mr. Carver's name and will house the endeavors that will assist in furthering his vision."

The three-story, 45,000-square-foot structure will include laboratory suites, seed analysis facilities and plant growth chambers associated with the Center for Plant Genomics; a computer laboratory; a seminar room and administrative offices for the Plant Sciences Institute.

The building will house a new Pioneer Hi-Bred Genomics Laboratory, where scientists will develop and use genomic technologies to study the organization of crop genetic material and identify the genes that control plant growth and development.

The Carver Trust is the largest private foundation in Iowa. With more than $12 million in gifts and grants to Iowa State, it is one of the largest donors in the university's history, funding many of Iowa State's most innovative programs.

"The generosity of the Carver Trust will help Iowa State University have a significant and lasting impact on our state, our nation and even our world in terms of food production and quality," said Tom Mitchell, Iowa State University Foundation president and CEO. "We are deeply grateful for the Trust's support of this important effort."

Created in 1999, the Plant Sciences Institute is the largest initiative ever undertaken by Iowa State. It is dedicated to becoming one of the world's leading institutes for plant science research, education and unbiased research-based information. Researchers in nine centers of the institute seek fundamental knowledge about the functioning of plants. They are developing ways to help feed the growing world population, strengthen human health and nutrition, improve crop quality and yield, foster environmental sustainability and expand the uses of plants for biobased products and bioenergy. The institute is supported through public and private funding.


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Published by: University Relations,
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