Penn State research facility named for Eva J. Pell

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –The Penn State Board of Trustees on Friday (Sept. 9) approved the naming of a new lab building as the “Eva J. Pell Laboratory for Advance Biological Research” after Penn State's former senior vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. Pell worked for Penn State for 36 years before leaving to work as the under secretary of science for the Smithsonian Institution.

A recipient of grants totaling more than $7 million and the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and 65 abstracts, Pell is recognized internationally for her research in the field of plant pathology.

In 1999 when Pell took over the research office, research expenditures were $393 million. In the decade that Pell served as vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, the University’s expenditures nearly doubled: in the 2008-2009 academic year research expenditures reached $765 million. This garnered the University a ninth-place ranking nationally among all public and private universities in research and development expenditures in science and engineering, according to the National Science Foundation.

“Her hard work took a great national research university and gave it a boost,” Penn State President Graham Spanier said about Pell in 2009, before she left for the Smithsonian Institution. “Through her leadership we are in a strong position to remain a key center of research for the 21st century.”

Pell also continued to emphasize the institution's commitment to technology transfer. Industrially sponsored research expenditures in 2008 exceeded $100 million, ranking Penn State third among the nation's universities conducting research sponsored by companies. She worked closely with the State Department of Community and Economic Development at Penn State to ensure that the work of the faculty was accessible to the citizenry of Pennsylvania to assist existing companies and start-up companies, and to support workforce development.

The “Eva J. Pell Laboratory for Advance Biological Research” will aid in Penn State’s continued success in research. The 20,000-square-foot building is designed to support immunology and infectious disease research. It also will allow Penn State to broaden its research and attract and retain prominent faculty in these fields. The completion of the facility is slated for summer 2012.

Last Updated September 09, 2011