Campus: San Diego -- March 1, 2006

San Diego State Dedicates BioScience Center
Scientists in $14.3 Million Facility Exploring Link Between Infectious and Heart Diseases

San Diego State University officially dedicated its $14.3 million BioScience Center, an innovative research facility that will further SDSU’s contributions to the investigation of how chronic infections contribute to major health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

More than 200 guests, including elected officials and representatives from San Diego’s biotechnology community, are expected to attend today’s dedication ceremony at SDSU’s Little Theatre. Event highlights include lectures starting at 4 p.m. by Dr. Robert Eckel, national president of the American Heart Association, and Stanley Maloy, SDSU biology professor and president of the American Society for Microbiology. There also will be remarks starting at 5 p.m. from campus leaders and Joe Panetta, president and CEO of BIOCOM.

The newest addition to SDSU’s life science research enterprise will house the SDSU Heart Institute, the Center for Microbial Sciences and other core programs and facilities. With more than 37,000 square feet of usable space, the SDSU BioScience Center will feature four floors of research laboratories, offices and a 100-seat auditorium.

SDSU biology professor Roger Davis will be the first researcher to move into the BioScience Center. His team’s ongoing research projects include using gene therapy to help fight atherosclerosis and identifying chemicals linked to both the promotion of atherosclerotic heart disease and salmonella infections. His new laboratory will be operational by late March.

“Our studies may provide new insights into why so many heart attacks occur in people who appear to have normal levels of cholesterol and fat in their blood,” Davis said. “Recent findings suggest that a similar family of natural products affect both the formation of atherosclerosis and the development of salmonella infections; identifying the structures is a major focus of our research.”

Other key SDSU researchers set to work with the SDSU BioScience Center include biology professor Chris Glembotski and Maloy. Glembotski is the director of the SDSU Heart Institute, whose fields of research include cell and molecular biology of heart disease, and the regulation of cardiac growth, apoptosis, and gene expression. Maloy, director of the Center for Microbial Sciences, focuses on using genetic, molecular, biochemical and genomic approaches to develop new antibiotics and microbial biotechnology.

The SDSU BioScience Center also aims to serve as an incubator for emerging technologies. Center researchers and administrators will also work closely with other scientists, entrepreneurs and SDSU’s College of Business to develop resources that start-up biotech companies need to succeed.

“The BioScience Center is a perfect illustration of what San Diego State University does so well – the blending of research and scholarship to seek solutions for critical human issues,” said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. “The research institutes in the BioScience Center will do groundbreaking work, not only for the San Diego region, but for the nation.”

The San Diego State University Research Foundation (a nonprofit auxiliary of the university that facilitates the grant application process for faculty members and administers grants and contracts for the university) supplied $8 million in financing for the SDSU BioScience Center. Grants and donations are providing the remaining funds necessary to complete the project.

Contact: Jason Foster, SDSU Marketing & Communications
(619) 594-2585 office; (619) 992-0772 cell, foster@mail.sdsu.edu


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