UGA’s new Complex Carbohydrate Research Center to open Feb. 11

ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s new Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC) will open officially with a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. The center is located at 315 Riverbend Road.

Scheduled speakers include UGA President Michael F. Adams; Tom Cousins, chairman of the board of Cousins Properties; Peter Albersheim and Alan Darvill, co-directors of the CCRC; James Atwood, CCRC graduate student; and Jo Ann Chitty, president of the UGA Real Estate Foundation. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be followed by tours of the facility and a reception.

Beginning at 3 p.m. in the CCRC auditorium, a colloquium will be delivered by center researchers. The colloquium speakers include J. Michael Pierce, Kelley W. Moremen, Lance Wells, Michael Tiemeyer and Russell Carlson. A wine and cheese reception immediately follows the colloquium.

The new three-story, 135,000-square-foot building provides 50 percent more space than the former building and was designed especially to house state-of-the-art equipment and to promote collaborative research among faculty.

The new building will greatly enhance UGA’s research in medical glycobiology – the study of the role of complex carbohydrates in medicine. CCRC glycobiology researchers are focused on investigating the complex carbohydrates found on the surfaces of cells. These surface carbohydrates play significant roles in human disease – roles that are not completely understood. Researchers have discovered that changes in a cell’s surface can correlate with cancerous states; understanding the role of surface carbohydrates in such changes could lead to advances in diagnostic techniques, vaccines and remedies.

Cancer will be one focus of the researchers’ work; additional research will also have implications for diabetes.