Ribbon cutting of new USM toxicology building
The University of Southern Mississippi cut the ribbon on a building that will make USM the leader in eco-toxicology. The new state of the art facility will help Southern Miss conduct innovative research and more.
Rainy weather did not stop the USM leaders from cutting the ribbon and opening the doors for the new toxicology building. The building is located at the Gulf Coast Research Lab’s Cedar Point campus in Ocean Springs. Leading Research Scientist Dr. Joe Griffitt said, “This is a new building that lets us answer questions that we weren’t able to answer before. What we do is really, really technically complex and it’s hard to answer and hard to handle, marine environment is very complex.”
Toxicology is the study of nature and the effects that occur to living organisms due to chemicals. School of Ocean Science and Technology Director Monty Graham said, “This lets us handle all the different variables, temperature, soil, and oxygen that vary in the ocean and look at how those affect responses to different contaminants like oil spills.”
This building will change the way that researches look at the things like the Gulf Coast oil spill in 2010. “If you think back on the oil spill and the amount of oil and dispersement that was used, we had to learn basically on the fly about the role of those chemicals in the environment and what role they may have played in mortality and illnesses of organisms so this building will provide scientists the ability to control that,” said Graham.
University leaders say this new nearly $5 million, 11,000 square foot facility is one of the top tier research facilities of its kind in America. “It’s very unique in the nation, if not the world. People are already coming to us and asking for us to be able to provide them space and access and collaborations. So it has taken an outstanding toxicology program and really elevated it on the map,” said Graham.