UGa Carbohydrate Facility Promotes Social Science

Article excerpt

ATHENS, Ga. -- It's not scientific, but here's the theory: If you force scientists to interact, new discoveries will result.

The treehouse feel of the new Complex Carbohydrate Research Center is designed to stimulate the creativity of researchers. University of Georgia scientists helped create a blueprint that would, literally, force them to bump into each other.

"Scientists tend to be somewhat isolationist, I guess that is the word," said Carl Bergmann, an associate research scientist at UGa who helped design the building. "The goal of this is to get people from different disciplines who all have an interest in carbohydrates and force them to interact. . . . When we thought about whose labs would go where, we thought about whose path they would have to cross to get there."

The new center, slated to be completed in October, is 130,000 square feet -- twice as big as the current one, which opened in 1985. UGa officials have not yet decided what they will do with the old building. With two new faculty members already hired to join the center's 13 professors and their teams of researchers and student workers, UGa officials are hoping that the new center will spawn scientific breakthroughs.

Cancer is one major focus of research at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. …