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University of Iowa Media Advisory

May 6, 2003

MEDIA ADVISORY: MERF Dedication, CBRB Groundbreaking Set For May 9

The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine has scheduled a building dedication and a groundbreaking during a dual ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, May 9. Both events will take place in the atrium on the first floor of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility.

The first part of the ceremony will dedicate the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Building (MERF). Scheduled speakers for the dedication of the four-story, 220,000 square-foot building include Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Board of Regents, State of Iowa President Owen Newlin and UI President David Skorton.

Immediately following the dedication ceremony, there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new 135,000-square-foot Carver Biomedical Research Building (CBRB). The five-story building, which is already under construction to the east of MERF, is slated to be finished in early 2006. Among those speaking at the groundbreaking event will be Jean E. Robillard, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine; Troy K. Ross, executive administrator of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine; and Robert P. Kelch, M.D., UI vice president for health affairs.

The dedication of MERF will include the unveiling of the building's Donor Wall, which includes the names of donors who made contributions of more than $5,000 to college's "Seeking Knowledge for Healing" campaign. There will be special recognition of three named areas of the building: the Sahai Medical Education Center, the Carver Molecular Science Research Center and the Roland and Ruby Holden Cancer Research Laboratories.

The bottom two floors in one wing of the four-story building are home the college's medical education activities. The remainder of the building consists of state-of-the-art biomedical research laboratories.

The $40 million Carver Biomedical Research Building will consist of seven levels, two of which will be underground. The building will expand greatly space for the college's research enterprise, which has grown immensely in the past decade.

Like MERF, the CBRB will be clad with copper and Anamosa limestone quarried in Stone City, Iowa.

As part of the ceremonies, a display will contain items that will be sealed in a time capsule in the building that will be opened in 100 years. Included in the display are letters from 34 fourth and fifth grade classes from elementary schools around Iowa to their counterparts in 2103.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: All of the speakers at the ceremonies will be available for interviews at approximately 2 p.m. Friday, May 9, immediately following the conclusion of the symbolic groundbreaking. There will be guided tours of the building for reporters immediately following the media availability. Images of both buildings are available for downloading at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5141 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Steve Maravetz, 319-335-8033,