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University of Minnesota Christens Microbial and Plant Genomics Center

NEW YORK, May 5 - In a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for this afternoon, the University of Minnesota will open the Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics, a $20 million, 64,000-square-foot facility that the university said is the first building dedicated to microbial and plant genomics research at a public research university.

 

The building, funded by an unrestricted $10 million donation by the Cargill Foundation in 1999 and an additional $10 million from the state of Minnesota, will house more than 15 groups of scientists working on a variety of projects, such as the study of pathogenic microbes that cause livestock and plant diseases; the study of beneficial microbes that help plants grow or that can be used to clean up the environment; and the development of new technology for identifying useful biological agents or for analyzing genomic data.

 

The building is the first new construction in a planned "biotechnology precinct" on the university campus in St. Paul that will eventually host research projects in biocatalysis, bioenergy, biomaterials, and biosensors.

 

Claire Fraser, director of the Institute for Genomics Research, is scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate from the university as part of the opening celebrations.

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