The ceremony will be held at the site of the center, located between the Block Science and Health Education buildings.
Home to the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Frederic and Mary Wolfe Center is a $25 million LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility that includes laboratories, lecture halls and offices.
The dedication will honor the Wolfes for their $2.5 million donation in support of diabetes research at the University through the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, a collaboration between the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
UT’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research is the only comprehensive diabetes research center in the state. The death rate in Ohio related to diabetes and its complications is twice as high as the national average and four times higher for African Americans, and Hispanic and Native-American women. The latest research available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 10.1 percent incidence of diabetes among adults in Lucas County, which translates into more than $35 million in Medicaid expenditures. The cost to Ohio employers in lost productivity is even higher. Diabetes has a major impact on the local economy; more than one million Ohioans have diabetes, and 33,000 of them live in Toledo.
A major objective of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research is to establish a strong investigative base led by Dr. Sonia Najjar, director of the center and professor of physiology and pharmacology in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and Dr. Marcia McInerney, professor and chair of medicinal and biological chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Najjar and McInerney have shared grant funds several times and have focused their research on dietary and genetic risk factors in obesity and diabetes. Therapeutic strategies will include medicinal approaches at the College of Pharmacy and gene delivery programs at the College of Medicine.
“This relationship has placed The University of Toledo on the map as an institution that is committed to be an active participant in the discovery process that will lead to stemming the tide of the diabetic epidemic,” said Dr. Johnnie Early, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Najjar said the Wolfes’ gift will provide much-needed support to maintain the excellence of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, allowing for growing its reach by increasing capabilities and leveraging its existing resources to increase competitiveness in successfully applying for further federal and pharmaceutical funding.
“This generous gift is a recognition of the progress made in fostering local talents and attracting leading investigators nationwide to join our research program,” Najjar said. “The gift will enable us to maintain our national and international profile in diabetes research, prevention and treatment.”
UT President Lloyd Jacobs will join Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold and Early for a brief ceremony.
“Frederic Wolfe, an honorary degree recipient and longtime supporter of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has had a tremendous impact on health care in Ohio,” Early said, noting that Wolfe Hall on Main Campus is named in honor of Frederic and Mary Wolfe.
Early added The University of Toledo is pleased to have a long and fruitful relationship with the Wolfe family.
“The commitment the Wolfe family has shown to diabetes treatment and to pharmacy education is quite special. Our college is proud to reside in two buildings — on two different campuses — that bear the Wolfe name,” he said.
The free, public dedication ceremony will be followed by a reception and tours of the Wolfe Center.