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Vol. LVIII, No. 10
May 19, 2006

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NIAID Has New Lab Complex
Bldg. 33 Dedicated to Congressman C.W. Bill Young

On the front page...

The C.W. Bill Young Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases was dedicated May 2 in honor of 18-term Congressman Young (R-FL), chair of the House appropriations subcommittee on defense. The brilliant spring afternoon found a crowd of friends, colleagues and admirers gathered beneath a canopy outside the new laboratory complex, built for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The 4-story, 84,000-net-square-foot integrated research facility was named for the man whom NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci called "one of the most important figures responsible for doubling the NIH budget."


Rep. C.W. Bill Young (l) accepts an etching of Bldg. 33 from NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni.  

Fauci was joined onstage by NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni as well as HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH), chair of the House appropriations subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education. Each praised Young's dynamism, foresight and generous support of NIH. Among the guests were Hon. Gianni Castellaneta, Italy's ambassador to the United States; Stewart Simonson, assistant secretary for public health emergency preparedness; Former Congressmen Paul Rogers and John Porter; Donald Arthur, surgeon general of the Navy; Brian Gragnolati, president and CEO of Suburban Hospital; and Capt. Robert Hartzman, director, C. W. Bill Young Marrow Donor Recruitment and Research Program, Bone Marrow Registry, Naval Medical Research Center.

The C.W. Bill Young Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases viewed from the northeast

A video introducing the center and narrated by Fauci opened the event. Making it musical were "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band Brass Quintet and the Washington Symphonic Brass.

Young, a staunch supporter of NIH, served on his committee's health appropriations subcommittee for over 20 years, and for 6 years as chair of the full House appropriations committee, overseeing the entire U.S. discretionary budget. He and his wife Beverly are tenacious advocates for an array of public health programs. In 1986, they founded the National Marrow Donor Program, with a current volunteer registry of over 5 million people.

Rep. Ralph Regula (l, R-OH) and Young (R-FL) receive a warm welcome from Zerhouni. Young is congratulated by NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. Young’s namesake facility will house about 250 research and support staff from NIAID.

Research conducted in the structure that bears his name will focus on naturally occurring microbes including influenza and avian influenza viruses, multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis and anthrax bacteria, and insect-borne viruses such as West Nile and dengue. Also under study will be pathogens that can be deliberately deployed as noxious agents. The research goal is to create new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines that will strengthen and sustain public health preparedness.

Young and wife Beverly stand beside the new lab complex that now bears his name.  
The Young Center includes labs, animal care areas, offices, conference rooms and a cyberlibrary, and will house 250-275 NIAID research and support staff. No labs have yet moved in. By the end of this summer, the plan is to transfer portions of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases, the Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases and the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, as well as the entire Laboratory of Bacterial Diseases.

The facility, which contains biosafety level 2 and level 3 labs, is set back from both internal NIH and public access roads, and is engineered for state-of-the-art high containment and resistance to blasts. Its flexible design anticipates and can accommodate changes in research priorities as they arise. The cost of the project, including a 1,250-car garage (MLP-10), is $182.6 million.

Thanking Young for his support, Zerhouni said, "I'm touched by the fact that he always connected health and defense. Bricks, glass and steel are not possible without the support of Congress. This project was built on time and on budget, thanks to many dedicated public servants."

  Young and Fauci enjoy a reception held on the plaza of Bldg. 33 after the dedication ceremony.
Zerhouni also lauded Young for recognizing that "a healthy civilian workforce is key to our defense. This building is a very small tribute.We wish we could do more for you, sir, and we are very honored to have you and Mrs. Young with us today."

"I have heard no complaints about money appropriated for NIH," Young responded warmly, after thanking all present. "Occasionally we'll be asked to throw money at some problem, but it doesn't always solve the problem. The money here is put to good use. It produces," he stressed. "Securing America's health is a major part of securing America."

In tribute, Zerhouni presented Young with former NIH'er Brent Jaquet's original etching of the building, as well as an American flag that had flown atop the Capitol.

From Fauci, Young also received a certificate commemorating his "unwavering support." Young's wife, his stalwart partner in public health advocacy, accepted a bouquet of yellow roses.

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