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NIH Record

NIEHS Celebrates 30 Years, Opens New Labs

Proud of its recent Nobel Prize, its discoveries of genes for prostate, breast and ovarian cancer, and its pioneering research on lead poisoning, infertility and other environment-related diseases, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences celebrates its 30th anniversary Oct. 29 -- by looking forward.

The birthday also marks the opening of a $48 million module, or wing, containing 57,500 square feet of new laboratory and office space.

North Carolina's business and government representatives have reasons to look happily back over the past 30 years. At the beginning of 1966, NIEHS' future home, Research Triangle Park, N.C., was just an expanse of rocky farmland between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill with lots of big dreams and few tenants.

But before the year was over, the park was set as the future home of both a major facility of IBM and the newly established NIEHS, then called the Division of Environmental Health Sciences. The division achieved institute status in 1969.

According to a local newspaper of the time, the announcements that NIEHS and IBM were coming changed the park from a big idea into a reality, setting it on the road to being the world-recognized and emulated research park still evolving and expanding today.

Research Triangle Foundation, the park's landlord, welcomed the fledgling NIEHS with a 509-acre campus of woodland, azaleas and a large lake that is residence to duck, geese, fish and beaver.

The opening of the new lab addition, NIEHS' fourth major laboratory module, a four-story unit called the F Module, will bring all NIEHS' lab space under one roof. And, with this new wing, the main building of NIEHS jumps from 175,000 square feet of labs and offices to 232,000.

NIEHS will celebrate its 30th birthday outdoors (under a tent, in case of rain) where staff and guests can view the new laboratory module with its elevated walkways connecting to the rest of Bldg. 101.

All are invited to the anniversary program and dedication of the F Module at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the main building at 111 T. W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park.

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