The 2011 Minnesota Legislative Session is rapidly heading toward its adjournment date (midnight Monday, May 23), but it's still possible there will be a bonding package included in a "final agreement" between the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton. Therefore, it is important for you to contact your Minnesota legislators NOW. Support from out-of-state alumni and friends is also important to show the wide reach of this research facility.
As the regular Minnesota Legislative Session nears completion, the fate of the University's proposed Experimental Physics and Nanotechnology Building is still undecided. Despite no decision on if there will even be a bonding bill, bipartisan groups of legislators introduced two bills earlier this session (Senate File 562 and House File 857) to provide general obligation bonding for the project.
The University of Minnesota is requesting $51.3 million for a new Experimental Physics and Nanotechnology Building. When constructed, this new state-of-the-art building will make a significant impact in advancing research and educating the next generation of high-tech workers in the state.
There's still time to contact your legislators to show your support for this important University initiative.
The University of Minnesota recently released new exterior architectural drawings of the proposed Experimental Physics and Nanotechnology Building. These new drawings represent the design development phase, the third phase of the design process. Last year, the Minnesota Legislature approved $4 million in planning money for the building.
If the 2011 Minnesota Legislature approves full funding for the building, construction could begin as early as fall 2011.
For many, the word "nanotechnology" evokes ideas of computers and other electronic devices. However, at the University of Minnesota, the search for nano applications also extends into medicine.
Department of Chemistry associate professor Andrew Taton and a cross-disciplinary team have set a highly ambitious research goal: to create a cancer vaccine that uses nanoparticles coated with proteins that will essentially fool T cells, one of the body's main lines of immunoresponse to antigens, into thinking the particles are cancer cells.
"We want to create nanoparticles that will trigger an immune response to cancer cells," Taton said.
The following is an excerpt of a letter submitted by the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering Advisory Board to Minnesota legislative leaders.
We recognize prioritization and alignment of finite financial resources is your priority during this legislative session. While it's presently unclear whether or not there will be an appetite for a capital investment funding bill, we are writing today to encourage your strongest support for the proposed experimental physics and nanotechnology advancement building at the University of Minnesota.
As members of the College of Science and Engineering Dean's Advisory Board, we see the building as an important tool in this state's ability to compete long-term in science and technology-focused job creation and growth, as the University of Minnesota's environment for interdisciplinary research will be dramatically enhanced when the building is complete.