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Clemson University dedicates new Life Sciences Facility

A $50 million, 100,000-square-foot life sciences facility is now open on the Clemson University campus. It has been designed for a new era of collaborative, interdisciplinary research and education for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

Officials will conduct a public dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. Feb. 8. In addition to remarks from the provost and college dean, students will present an 8-by-8 foot plasmid sculpture representing the elements of a small DNA molecule through which guests will enter the new facility.

The facility has 25 laboratories organized by research clusters that focus on emerging pathogens, cancer prevention and cure, microbiology and food safety. An advanced imaging suite with state-of-the-art Leica microscopy equipment will be used by more than 60 scientists for research and will be available to private corporations.

Three microbiology teaching laboratories will expose students to the latest research methods in an environment that will propel their imaginations and creativity.

Doris R. Helms, vice president for academic affairs and provost, said, “When you look at our 2020 plan, there are four areas of focus: enhancing the ability to give our students a quality education, attracting and retaining top faculty, engaging our students in areas of research and building to compete. This facility fits all four parts of our 2020 plan.”

Scientific discoveries in the life sciences impact our lives every day. The results of life sciences research are in the food we eat and the medicines we take to prevent and cure disease. Life sciences research helps keep our food supply safe and environment clean and protected.

The biotech industry is a fast-growing sector of the knowledge/innovation economy in South Carolina, nationwide and globally. Biotechnology and biomedicine are academic emphasis areas for Clemson. The new Life Sciences Facility puts Clemson at the forefront of life science research, education and discovery in South Carolina.

“The goal of the College of Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences is to become a new model for a life-based, interdisciplinary college for the 21st century,” said Tom Scott, dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

“The new Life Sciences facility will be a model platform to demonstrate how this can happen. The new facility is not only a new Clemson landmark — it is a symbol of Clemson’s commitment to 21st century scientific progress and discovery,” he said.

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