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UT's $25M pharmacy building to be dedicated Friday on health campus

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Dr. Meenakshi Kaw, right, student Stephanie Dallas, left, and Sonia Najjar, director of diabetes and endocrine research, discuss a project.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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The $25 million home of the University of Toledo's College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences -- including a diabetes research center -- will be dedicated Friday on the Health Science Campus, the former Medical College of Ohio.

The 54,000-square-foot pharmacy building is named after Frederic and Mary Wolfe of Perrysburg, who have long given support to UT, Bowling Green State University, the Toledo Museum of Art, and elsewhere.

They donated $2.5 million in support of diabetes research at the Health Science Campus building, which is named the Frederic and Mary Wolfe Center and also houses laboratories, lecture halls, and offices.

"It's a very nice building," said Mr. Wolfe, a businessman who helped found such firms as what is now Toledo's Health Care REIT. "I'm interested in giving money to universities and to colleges."

The Frederic and Mary Wolfe Center will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Friday. The energy-efficient building, which is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified, is located between the Paul J. Block, Jr., Health Science Building and the Health Education Building.

Ground was broken for the building in September, 2009, and it was opened to the pharmacy college's 1,500 students last September. Most of the pharmacy college now is based on the Health Science Campus, although some aspects are still housed on the main campus in Wolfe Hall, which opened in 1998.

The Wolfes previously donated $1.5 million for Wolfe Hall, so they have a building on both the main and Health Science campuses named in their honor.

"That's really unique, on two different campuses like that in the same university," said Johnnie Early, dean of the pharmacy college.

The most recent Wolfe donation will be used to support the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, a collaboration between UT's medical and pharmacy colleges. The collaboration, led by Sonia Najjar, center director and medical school professor of physiology and pharmacology, and Marcia McInerney, pharmacy college professor and chair of medicinal and biological chemistry, was formed when the medical school still was the Medical College of Ohio.

Ms. Najjar and Ms. McInerney have received various government grants and shared funding several times. They are focusing research on dietary and genetic risk factors in obesity and diabetes.

Collaboration is key to solving large problems, and having the pharmacy college on the Health Science Campus will foster more, Mr. Early said.

"I expect a lot of great things to happen," he said.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at: jmckinnon@theblade.com or 419-724-6087.

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