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|Discovery Park researchers Jiri Adamec, left, and Maria Sepulveda analyze molecule samples taken using gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometer at a laboratory in Discovery Park's Bindley Bioscience Center. Adamec, a faculty researcher in metabolomics and proteomics, and Sepulveda, an assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, are examining the development of biomarkers in fish that have been exposed to chemicals and contaminants such as herbicides. The research has applications in how humans might adversely react to the same chemicals. Public tours beginning Oct. 1 at Discovery Park will include the Bindley Bioscience and Birck Nanotechnology centers as well as Mann Hall and the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. (Purdue News Service photo/ David Umberger)|
Discovery Park will begin offering formal public tours this fall at Purdue University's research facilities in the Birck Nanotechnology Center, Bindley Bioscience Center, Gerald D. and Edna E. Mann Hall, and the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.
Discovery Park's four current buildings on the southwest edge of campus have been available for tours by officials in academia, industry, government and other groups since the first building at the research complex, the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, opened in 2004.
With four buildings and a fifth in the planning stages now, Discovery Park officials want the public to see how the $350 million interdisciplinary research complex is helping Purdue and the nation find solutions to challenges in areas such as energy, cancer, health care, homeland security, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing.
"We are inviting the community to see up close what incredible facilities, instruments and laboratories we have for Discovery Park faculty, researchers and students that are helping benefit our state and nation's overall economy," said Candiss Vibbert, associate vice provost for engagement at Purdue and associate director for engagement in Discovery Park.
"The community also will continue to be an important partner as we expand Discovery Park and the types of research we tackle in its state-of-the-art facilities on campus."
The public tours, which must be scheduled in advance, will run from 30 minutes to an hour. They will start at the Burton D. Morgan Center and provide information on the health care, cancer, advanced manufacturing and homeland security activities housed in Mann Hall. From there, visitors will see the life sciences activities in the Bindley Bioscience Center and the nanotechnology research under way at the Birck Nanotechnology Center.
The Discovery Park public tours program begins Oct. 1. For tour information, to schedule a tour or to find out more information about facilities at Discovery Park, contact Valerie Lawless, Discovery Park's engagement operations manager, at (765) 494-3662,
"We have been providing tours for visitors from national and international research and industry officials as well as schools and civic groups. The response has been overwhelming," Lawless said. "So we are creating a formal program to allow more visitors to schedule tours to see Discovery Park. We also plan to offer open houses and other activities surrounding seasonal campuswide events such as Homecoming and Spring Fest."
Facilities that will be a part of the tour include the:
* $12.4 million Mann Hall, which opened in May 2007 to provide offices for Center for Advanced Manufacturing, e-Enterprise Center, Oncological Sciences Center, the Purdue Homeland Security Institute and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering.
* $58 million Birck Nanotechnology Center, which was dedicated in October 2005.
* $15 million Bindley Bioscience Center, which also was dedicated in October 2005.
* $7 million Burton Morgan Center, which was the park's first building to open in 2004.
A $25 million home for the Discovery Learning Center, which will be located on the southeast edge of Discovery Park, will include Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development, which was created from a $100 million endowment to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies developed at Purdue.
Staff and researchers of the Discovery Learning Center have offices in the Burton Morgan Center. Before the new building is completed in 2009, Alfred Mann Institute administrators and staff will be located in Mann Hall.
Other Discovery Park centers with laboratories and administrative offices elsewhere on campus are the Center for Environment, Cyber Center and the Energy Center.
Located on 40 acres on State Street, Discovery Park has grown into an engine for economic development and attracted millions of dollars in sponsored research and donations for new facilities. Discovery Park currently provides 102,000 square feet of research lab space and 59,000 square feet of office space for Purdue faculty, staff and students.
Since its launch, Discovery Park has generated $200 million worth of sponsored research, $150 million in new facilities, $20 million in new lab and research equipment, and $3.5 million for seed grants to support early-stage interdisciplinary research.
More than 1,000 faculty members are actively engaged in the park. Nearly 3,000 students work on projects; another 250 graduate students have offices there.
Discovery Park also has formed strategic agreements with 20 corporate partners and facilitated 20 new start-up companies in cooperation with the Purdue Research Park. Past tours of Discovery Park often have connected with the Purdue Research Park to identify how they are working together to move Purdue research more quickly to the marketplace.
About Purdue University
Founded in 1869 and named after benefactor John Purdue, Purdue University began its journey with six instructors, 39 students and a mission to provide agriculture and mechanic arts education.
Main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana (126 miles southeast of Chicago, 65 miles north of Indianapolis). Statewide university system includes five campuses and numerous teaching and research sites.
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