Wednesday, October 15, 2014
PBDB Courtyard

This is a momentous day for the University of Iowa, and I am very pleased to be celebrating it with you. I would first like to extend our thanks to John and Mary Pappajohn once again for their generosity and vision that has resulted in this remarkable facility. We also thank them for the many, many other ways that they have demonstrated their support for the UI over the years. They have made a major impact on many areas of the university and have been among our most loyal and most generous friends.

There are many reasons that the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building is special.  One of them is that this building was world-renowned architect Charles Gwathmey’s final project. Mr. Gwathmey was well-known for such high-profile projects as the renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York City. I am confident that he would have been very proud to see this beautiful building come to fruition, not just for its physical impressiveness but also for the life-changing work that is already taking place here.

Another reason that the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building is special is that it contributes to our campus’s sustainability, and it does so in a new, unique way. One important plank of the university’s sustainability plan is to have all of our new construction and renovation meet LEED sustainable principles. This facility was built with LEED certification as a major priority, and one unique feature that will contribute to its sustainable character is the University of Iowa’s first rooftop garden. The colorful plants and foliage save on energy costs by keeping the building warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer; lengthen the lifespan of the roof by reinforcing the roof membranes; mitigate runoff from rainfall that would otherwise go into the watershed; and add character to the building, providing a visual change of pace for pedestrians and employees to enjoy.

Most importantly, the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building will change lives both here in the state of Iowa and well beyond. Biomedical discovery has the goal of breaking new scientific ground by pushing and crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries. This facility supports a new investigative model that allows interdisciplinary research teams to focus on specific research problems. The institute and building emphasize greater collaboration, exploration of high-risk and high-yield questions, and making the bench-to-bedside nature of research even quicker and more effective than ever before. By enhancing clinical translation, we realize better treatments and outcomes for patients, and better lives for Iowans and people everywhere. The Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building keeps the University of Iowa at the national forefront of biomedical research.

I again thank the Pappajohns and everyone else involved in the realization of this amazing project, which will light the path for biomedical discovery at Iowa for many years to come.