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Research Newsletter-Fall/Winter 2009


Scott Palmer
LPI Director of Development

What a Great Day!

It was a glorious fall day in Corvallis—a warm, sun-drenched afternoon, with just a hint of a breeze underneath a beautiful blue sky with a handful of puffy white clouds along the top of the Coast Range to the West. But then, given the magnitude of the event that unfolded before us, how could the weather have been anything other than perfect?

On Friday, September 25th, we celebrated the construction launch of the Linus Pauling Science Center on the campus of Oregon State University. With a crowd of several hundred people at the construction site, Dr. Balz Frei began the formal program, which included comments from OSU President Edward J. Ray, OSU Foundation President Michael Goodwin, Campaign for OSU Co-Chair Patricia J. Reser, Oregon State Speaker of the House Dave Hunt, Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner, OSU student Kelsie E. Warner, and College of Science Dean Sherman Bloomer.

The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation of Oakland, California, and the Reser family of Beaverton, Oregon, were especially thanked for their incredibly generous gifts that provided the majority of private funds needed to secure matching funds from the State of Oregon. But the real star of the day was the big hole in the ground right in front of us; a hole from which huge upright beams of structural steel are already sprouting—solid confirmation that the dream of a state-of-the art research center to house the Linus Pauling Institute is but just two years away.

The impact of this facility on our ability to conduct innovative research will be enormous. Once completed, the Linus Pauling Science Center will fundamentally change the way we operate. For LPI, collaboration has always been critical, and we have achieved much even with scientists and labs spread across the OSU campus. Bringing all of our researchers together will create a scientific critical mass that will greatly enhance the interaction and collaborations that are such an important part of the creative process. But the building is only the beginning. To take full advantage of the opportunities and changes ahead of us, we need your help.

Recent advances in epigenetics, immunosenescence, and other fields suggest tantalizing new research paradigms that have the potential to greatly expand our knowledge about the mechanisms of aging, heart disease, and cancer. Achieving that potential will require an innovative, multi-disciplinary approach. The Linus Pauling Institute scientists have the capacity to conduct astoundingly innovative research, but that research costs money. That's where you come in.

The unfortunate reality is that highly innovative research projects rarely get funded by the traditional funding entities. The competition for research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other major funding entities is fierce. With fewer dollars available to support research, there is a natural tendency to support more conservative research that has a high potential for success. The gifts we receive from our friends and donors provide the scientists at LPI with a significant amount of leverage to conduct initial pilot research projects that can lead to much larger grants in the future. Your support allows us to ask the question, "What if?", and then try to answer that question.

Every gift, regardless of size, is important and much appreciated. With the start of construction of our new building, there is increasing interest in the opportunity to name a room or a lab within the Linus Pauling Science Center. Naming opportunities start at $25,000 and go up to $500,000. For more information, please contact Kevin Heaney at (541) 737-5495 or email Kevin Heaney.

Another change, which is much less significant than this great project, is that the time has come for me to leave the Linus Pauling Institute and Oregon State University Foundation. Being associated with the Institute has been a wonderful experience for me. I will greatly miss working with Balz Frei and the other scientists and staff of the Institute. But most of all, I will miss spending time with the hundreds of donors and supporters, like you, whose loyalty and generosity has been so crucial to the success of the Linus Pauling Institute. It truly has been an honor to be a part of this amazing adventure.

LPI is grateful for the bequests we have received from the following friends this past year:
Sylvia Rosh Harry J. Greulich
Nancy Anne Finke Bower Martha Harrill

Last updated November 2009