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Second Research Building to Formally Open Friday at UTB
 
BROWNSVILLE, TEXASSEPTEMBER 4, 2013 – The University of Texas at Brownsville will celebrate the grand opening of the Biomedical Research and Health Professions Building II with a ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6.
 
The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Roy G. Smith, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Metabolism and Aging at The Scripps Research Institute in Florida.
 
The $4.9 million, 4,299-square-foot building came from funding from the National Institutes of Health and the university.

The building was constructed to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certified Rating as required by NIH grant stipulations. The designation shows the university’s commitment to environmentally compatible construction, said Dr. Luis Colom, Vice President for Research.
 
The new structure has faculty offices, support space and six Biosafety Level 2 laboratories built to Center for Disease Control and Prevention standards, which include limited laboratory access and requirements for handling non-contaminated and contaminated items.
 
The new building will continue the university’s growing mission of biomedical research to find solutions to local and worldwide health problems. The building is secured with security cards and key card-only entrances and exits.
 
“In the Biomedical Research Building we have 11 labs,” said Colom. “Dr. (Emilio) Garrido uses two of those labs. You can see with these six new labs in the Biomedical Research and Health Professions Building II we are raising our biomedical research more than 50 percent.”
 
Professors from other academic departments whose research has ties to biomedical sciences were invited by the College of Biomedical Sciences to move into the new building.
 
“We have been flexible enough to people addressing biomedical and health issues to continue and expand their research,” said Colom.
 
Four labs will be used by Dr. Murat Karabulut, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance in the College of Education; Dr. Karen Martirosyan, an Associate Professor and Dr. Ahmed Touhami, an Assistant Professor, both in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science, Mathematics and Technology and Dr. Sue Ann Chew, a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedicine in the College of Biomedical Sciences.
 
The laboratory that Karabulut will use will have several apparatuses including a metabolic cart, a vibration platform, an EKG machine and a BodyPod. The equipment is used to study obesity and other biomedical issues.
 
“This is a well organized and beautiful lab,” said Karabulut as two of his graduate students set up equipment and unpacked. “You don’t have to look for any plugs because there are plenty. The students will do research in this lab.”
 
The remaining two labs will be used for students participating in molecular, behavioral and neuroscience research.
 
“The building symbolizes the ability to collaborate better and to give students real research experiences instead of placing them in individual labs,” said Dr. Michael Lehker, Chair of the Department of Biomedicine. “It’s a good outward sign that biomedical research is important for the region.”

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