Sen. Byrd dedicates new WVU Biomedical Research Center

Building is named in honor of the late Erma Byrd

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The new West Virginia University Erma Byrd Biomedical Research Center was officially named and dedicated today, with a keynote address from U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.  The building is named for the senator’s late wife, Erma Ora James Byrd, who died in 2006.

The building on the campus of the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center is 118,000 square feet on four levels.  It will house research laboratories for the WVU Sensory Neurosciences Research Center, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Cardiovascular Sciences, and for the School of Pharmacy.  It’s also the future location for the Multiple Sclerosis and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Center.

“Senator Byrd’s support has been essential to the growth and development of the Health Sciences Center over the last 50 years,” Fred Butcher, Ph.D., interim vice president for WVU Health Sciences, said.  “Without him, this building and many others would not be here.  But it's more than the bricks and mortar – this ultimately leads to better education, research, patient care and service to the state of West Virginia."

Sen. Robert C. Byrd

Sen. Byrd was instrumental in securing $19.6 million in federal funds for the Biomedical Research Center. Another $22.3 million in funding came from a West Virginia Economic Development Authority loan ($9 million), a West Virginia Water Development Authority Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council loan ($9.4 million), and a West Virginia Housing Development Authority loan ($3.9 million).

The Health Sciences Learning Center, which opened last year, also was dedicated today. Sen. Byrd had helped to secure funding for the learning center also, which provides a library, classrooms, computer labs and study space for WVU students.

“While we have more to accomplish, today I am so very proud to add the Erma Byrd Biomedical Research Center and the Health Sciences Learning Center to that list of facilities that will help transform the unthinkable into realities that will improve the lives of the people of West Virginia and advance modern medicine,” Sen. Byrd said.

Interim WVU President C. Peter Magrath, Ph.D., and U.S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan also spoke at this afternoon’s dedication ceremonies for the new centers.

For more information about medical research at West Virginia University, visit http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/research.asp.



For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087

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