"The Life Sciences of Today and Tomorrow: 'Genes and Your Health'"

'Genes and Your Health Exhibit'
Gifting and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Science Central Museum
Fort Wayne, Indiana
June 25, 2008

Thank you for that introduction and let me add my welcome to all of you this afternoon.

It is my great pleasure to be here to celebrate the permanent installation of the “Genes and Your Health” exhibit here at Science Central.

The exhibit was first developed in 2005 as part of Indiana University’s celebration of the life sciences. It initially accompanied Pfizer’s “Genome: The Secret of How Life Works” at the Indiana State Museum. Since the close of that exhibition, “Genes and Your Health” has traveled throughout the state of Indiana educating children at places ranging from the Information Station in Lafayette to Kidscommons in Columbus, from the Mishawaka Public Library to the Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

We are delighted that the exhibit has found a permanent home here at Science Central in Fort Wayne.

In many ways, this exhibit represents the very best of Indiana University. Its journey throughout the state parallels IU’s own statewide presence on our eight campuses. We can also see that presence in programs such as Moveable Feast of the Arts. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, the Moveable Feast was launched 3 years ago and is designed to share IU’s cultural resources with Hoosiers across the state. These—and many other—endeavors illustrate the university’s strong, long-term commitment to partnership with communities throughout the state.

The exhibit also demonstrates Indiana University’s leadership in genomics research. Our medical researchers and clinicians are unlocking the secrets of the human genetic code in an effort to find cures for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and others. Our partnership with Clarian Health, the state’s largest health care system, brings medical breakthroughs at IU to the besides of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers across the state.

With a target audience as young as eight years old, this exhibit also highlights IU’s commitment to what has been termed STEM education. That includes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Even the youngest Hoosiers can learn how genes can affect our risk for certain diseases. Such education has the potential to inspire the next generation’s great research scientists.

On behalf of Indiana University, I am pleased to formally give this exhibit to Science Central Museum in Fort Wayne for their permanent collection. This exhibit strengthens the ties between IU and the city of Fort Wayne and demonstrates our continuing commitment to the life sciences of today . . . and tomorrow.

Thank you very much.