Buff Briefs | Week of March 11



IBS building topped off

The University of Colorado will host a topping-out ceremony on Friday, March 12, at 10 a.m. to celebrate the placement of the final beam on the Institute of Behavioral Science building. The building, located on the corner of Grandview Avenue and 15th Street, will house the entire institute, which is currently split among several locations. The institute has conducted research on adolescent problem behaviors, among other issues. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall. The ceremony will begin with remarks from Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Provost Stein Sture, and will take place outside on 15th Street, just north of the Continuing Education building.

INVST program celebrates 20 years

The INVST Community Leadership Program at CU-Boulder will celebrate its 20-year anniversary with a reunion weekend March 12-14. The reunion will include a fundraising gala at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 13, at the Hotel Boulderado, with a keynote address by Hunter Lovins, founder and president of Natural Capitalism Solutions. Since 1990, the program has combined community service with courses and skills training to help offer a positive professional path to young people interested in social justice. Each year the program accepts up to 16 CU students. Participants serve at least six hours of community service each week during the first year, and then design and implement a community leadership project the second year. Students also participate in summer learning experiences. For more information, visit www.colorado.edu/communitystudies.

$1 million for biotech building

CU-Boulder alumna Jane Butcher has pledged $1 million toward the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building that is under construction on the university’s East Campus. She and her late husband Charlie Butcher have played a key role in supporting CU’s biotech research efforts. The gift will honor her husband, who passed away in 2004 and was associated with the university’s scientific startup companies for more than 30 years. The couple also founded the university’s biennial Butcher Symposia of Genomics and Biotechnology. In collaboration with the Butcher gift, Larry Gold, a CU biology professor and CEO of a biotech firm, will direct a previously undesignated gift toward the biotechnology building, in honor of Charlie Butcher. The building’s auditorium and adjacent foyer will be named in honor of the Butchers. The first phase of the 257,000-square-foot building is slated for completion in late 2011. It will house the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology (CIMB), as well as the chemical and biological engineering departments.

CU studies inflammatory disease

A study done at CU-Boulder shows that mice infected with the bacteria salmonella develop clinical signs consistent with human inflammatory disease, a deadly condition that has been poorly understood. The finding may lead to new therapies for the disease, which kills between 50 percent and 90 percent of its victims, according to Diane Brown, lead author of the study. Salmonella, a well-known food contaminant, causes fever, enlarged spleens, anemia, reduced numbers of platelets and neurological signs — all syndromes comparable to human inflammatory disease. A paper on the subject, published on Feb. 26, was written by authors from CU-Boulder’s molecular, cellular and developmental biology department. The research is expected to provide a means to test new therapies for the disease, as well as advance understanding of immune mechanisms related to the disorder. For more information, visit http://mcdb. colorado.edu.

Study: Antioxidants help birds mate

A new CU-Boulder study shows that North American barn swallows outperform their peers in reproduction when they maintain a balance of antioxidants. The study is the first to track concentrations of carotenoids, naturally occurring plant pigments, in wild birds or animal species over the course of the breeding season. Carotenoids offer benefits associated with over-the-counter nutritional supplements that protect cells. According to Assistant Professor Rebecca Safran, the study contradicts prevailing scientific views regarding the physiological costs of reproduction in birds, since evolutionary theory says birds that spend the most time in parental care do so at the cost of selfpreservation. A paper on the subject appears in the Feb. 25 issue of PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.