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University of Iowa News Release

March 31, 2006

Carver Biomedical Research Building A Landmark For Scientific Discovery

University of Iowa officials, along with state government and education leaders, representatives from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and members of the family of the late Roy J. Carver Sr. today formally dedicated the Carver Biomedical Research Building (CBRB), the newest facility in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

The $43 million, 135,000-square-foot building, completed five months ahead of schedule in August 2005, features five floors of modern research laboratory suites, plus conference rooms and an enhanced nuclear magnetic resonance imaging facility.

The CBRB project was realized thanks to a $10 million gift commitment made in November 2001 by the Carver Trust of Muscatine, Iowa. That $10 million gift was part of the Carver Trust's $63 million gift commitment to the UI Foundation in 2002 that made the UI medical college the largest single recipient of Carver Trust philanthropy. The college was officially renamed the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine following Board of Regents, State of Iowa approval in March 2002.

To date, the Carver Trust and the Carver family have committed approximately $126 million to the UI, which includes more than $100 million to the UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics.

"We are deeply grateful to the Carver Trust and the Carver family, whose vision and generous support have so profoundly impacted the university and the state of Iowa," said UI President David Skorton. "This building that we dedicate today truly is a landmark facility for biomedical research. Without question, the discoveries made here will contribute greatly to our understanding of health and disease and help lead to prevention, diagnosis and treatments that improve the lives of Iowans and people around the world. This is a proud moment for the entire university community."

"We at the Carver Charitable Trust are keenly aware that the college needs not only the programmatic support available to researchers at various stages of their careers, but also modern, functional laboratory space and superior core facilities which collectively provide the appropriate atmosphere in which to flourish," said Troy K. Ross, Ph.D., executive administrator of the Carver Trust. "The Board of Trustees is confident that this distinctive structure will serve as a source of intellectual inspiration for many present and future academic investigators."

Construction on the CBRB began in March 2003, following the completion of the Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF), which sits adjacent and connects to the CBRB. Both buildings share architectural features and are striking in their appearance and proximity, each clad with massive copper and limestone panels.

Rohrbach Associates of Iowa City served as the architect of record for the CBRB project. Payette and Associates of Boston, Mass., along with Rohrbach Associates, designed the facility.

"This new building provides much-needed space for the college's research enterprise. The CBRB already has strengthened our ability to recruit and retain world-class scientists who will help change the world of medicine," said Jean Robillard, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. "The CBRB is a key piece in the college's long-term plan to make our medical campus a welcoming and engaging center for scientific discovery."

The CBRB laboratories provide space for a number of the UI Carver College of Medicine's most dynamic research programs:

-- First-floor researchers from the Department of Pediatrics will explore how environmental factors during early development influence conditions like hypertension or coronary artery disease. Michael Artman, M.D., UI professor and head of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Iowa, and colleagues also will develop research programs focusing on premature birth and the factors that influence or cause prematurity.

-- Second-floor laboratories are dedicated to cardiovascular research, led by Mark Anderson, M.D., the Potter-Lambert Chair in Cardiology and professor of internal medicine. Anderson and his colleagues study the biology of cardiac cells and how genetic changes lead to heart disease.

-- Third-floor research programs involve the immune system and the causes of autoimmune disorders. One such program is the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, led by David Elliot, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine. The third floor also is home to a bioinformatics program, developed with the UI College of Engineering, to integrate information technology and the human genome.

-- The fourth floor is home to the Iowa Center for Muscular Dystrophy Research, directed by Kevin Campbell, Ph.D., the Roy J. Carver Chair of Biomedical Research, professor and head of physiology and biophysics, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Campbell and his colleagues will focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of muscle cells and explore strategies for developing new muscular dystrophy treatments.

-- Fifth-floor laboratories make up the Center for Auditory Regeneration, directed by Bruce Gantz, M.D., the Brian F. McCabe Distinguished Chair and professor of otolaryngology, and Richard Smith, M.D., the Sterba Professor and vice-chair of otolaryngology. The center will explore new treatments for inner ear diseases and deafness, building upon UI expertise in cochlear implants, brain stem implants and short electrodes for high-frequency hearing loss.

-- A state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facility on the lower level of the CBRB is a resource for researchers across the university. The facility houses three spectrometers that allow scientists the ability to explore the makeup and function of molecules, proteins and other biological structures.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Steve Maravetz, 319-335-8033,

PHOTOS: Images of CBRB are available for downloading at