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Science Complex Campaign Cabinet Named

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November 18, 2005

Source: University of Guelph:

Science Complex Campaign Cabinet Named

The University of Guelph today announced the formation of a cabinet of prominent scientists and business leaders to help the University raise private funds for the new science complex.

The cabinet is co-chaired by Robert Farquharson, vice-chair of AGF Management Limited, and Rainer Engelhardt, CEO of GangaGen Life Sciences Inc. Members are Wayne Gudbranson, president and CEO, Branham Group Inc.; Michael Hincks, vice-president, Bodycote International; Brenda Irwin, director, BDC Venture Capital; Jacques Messier, general manager, Semex Alliance; Bert Mitchell, former associate director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Centre for Veterinary Medicine; and Christopher Naese, country manager, Quest International.

"Our vision is to build the most significant and comprehensive research, teaching and public education science facility in Canada," said Douglas Derry, chair of the University’s Board of Governors. "The cabinet will create the campaign platform and help solicit private donations for the science complex, the University’s largest and most ambitious capital project in its history."

The $144-million science complex will add 390,000 square feet of space for some 2,600 faculty, students and staff. Unique in design, it includes open-concept state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories and an unparalleled centre for advanced analysis and diagnostic work.

Phase 1 of the science complex opened officially in December 2004. The next phase will open in 2006, and the project is to be completed in 2007.

"Our goal is to be at the forefront of science," said president Alastair Summerlee. "The new science complex will provide facilities that allow students and scientists to work side by side and at the most advanced state of worldwide knowledge. It will bring the physical and biological sciences together in one place, creating multidisciplinary synergies and unique opportunities for collaboration."

The science complex will serve as a catalyst for turning those opportunities into realization, he said. "It will allow Guelph to focus its increased capabilities on addressing global challenges such as the environment, human/animal health, disease prevention and food safety."

The complex will facilitate scientific advances and generate new technologies in critical areas that have a direct impact on health and well-being, he said. This includes the diagnosis and prevention of disease, the development of precisely targeted pharmaceuticals and functional foods, and the detection and identification of pathogens and toxins in the environment.

Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research), said research activities in the science complex "will build on the renowned strength in animal/plant/food science at the University to advance its contributions more broadly in advanced analysis, collaboration, teaching and research, all of which are essential in reducing the concerns of today and building a more bio-based economy for our future."

Summerlee added that Guelph is "fortunate to have knowledgeable, dedicated and active volunteers to spearhead our co-ordinated efforts and promote the University’s achievements."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.



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