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Drawing of the future new WHNRC laboratory and office building: Link to larger image
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Groundbreaking Today for ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center

By Marcia Wood
August 22, 2002

Groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled today for a new laboratory and office building for the Agricultural Research Service's Western Human Nutrition Research Center at Davis, Calif. The two-story structure will total approximately 49,000 square feet and will cost about $25 million to build. Construction at the two-acre site on the University of California, Davis campus is expected to be completed by summer 2005, according to Nutrition Center Director Janet C. King.

The center's scientists conduct leading-edge research into ways that vitamins, minerals, and other active components of food can improve the health of the cardiovascular and immune systems and reduce the risk of chronic disease. In addition, other studies focus on obesity--America's number one nutrition problem; and the effects of self-imposed dieting on bone strength, brain function, and additional health factors.

What's more, the researchers are pioneering investigations into how newly emerging findings about our genes can be used to discover each individual's unique, gene-based nutrient needs. The scientists have won major national and international awards for their research.

The ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center was established at the Presidio of San Francisco in 1980, and was relocated to Davis in 1999. The center's staff of about 60 includes chemists, physiologists and other scientists, administrative specialists and others. Currently, they work in nine different buildings throughout the campus. The university is located in northern California, southwest of Sacramento.

The center is part of a nationwide network of Human Nutrition Research Centers operated by ARS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

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