Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Duffy's Keep On Giving, Bravo

Tim says "There are not many people as fine as Joan and Regis"
UPEI bioscience/health research centre named in honour of Regis, Joan Duffy
JIM DAY The Guardian

Regis and Joan Duffy stand in front of the research building now bearing their names. A special ceremony was held Monday to highlight the fact that the state-of-the-art bioscience and health research centre at UPEI has been named in honour of the well-known Island couple. Guardian photo by Jim Day For decades, Regis Duffy has been a respected, familiar and influential figure to the University of Prince Edward Island.Now his name literally holds a lofty place on the campus, along with his wife, Joan.The couple’s names adorn the state-of-the-art bioscience and health research centre at UPEI high up on the outside of the impressive building.True to character, Regis is humbled to see the building named the Regis and Joan Duffy Research Centre.“Well, we’re delighted because this is a very important building in this community,’’ he said of the centre, where researchers from UPEI, the National Research Council Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (NRC-INH), and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada collaborate on health-related research projects and contribute to the Island’s growing bioscience cluster.“It’s a product of a lot of work by a lot of people and I wouldn’t want to take too much credit for it,’’ added Regis, seemingly intent on deflecting praise.“I’m part of the process here but the university has done a great job of putting this institution here.’’Regis was the only person downplaying his massive footprint on bioscience research in P.E.I. and his sizable impact on the university as a whole.President Wade MacLauchlan was joined by Dr. Roman Szumski of NRC and Dr. Michael Mayne, deputy minister of the Office of Biosciences and Economic Innovation, to laud the significant contributions of Regis and Joan Duffy.“This research centre could not have a better name,’’ MacLauchlan said Monday during a special naming ceremony.Regis Duffy’s association with UPEI, and its predecessor St. Dunstan’s University, goes back almost 60 years. A native of Kinkora, Regis earned a bachelor of arts degree from St. Dunstan’s University in 1953, and his PhD in chemistry from Fordham University in 1962. He returned to P.E.I. where he taught chemistry at St. Dunstan’s and then at UPEI where he became the new university’s first dean of science.In 1970, Regis created Diagnostic Chemicals Ltd. (DCL Ltd.), a company that makes fine research chemicals, enzymes and blood analysis systems. In 2001, DCL Ltd. opened a new division called Bio Vectra dcl.Duffy, who recently sold DCL and shared the proceeds with employees and charities, says UPEI provided a bridge to the bioscience business world.Regis and Joan Duffy have contributed $2 million to UPEI for scholarships and health research.After serving as chair of the UPEI board of governors from 1996 to 2006, Regis was named board chair emeritus in 2007 for his contributions as a board member and chair, and for his many years of service to UPEI.Joan Duffy is a retired teacher and respected volunteer in community and cultural activities. She has been active in the family’s business enterprises from the beginning.Duffy says he still remains close to his remaining business operation. He will also be turned to as a member of the NRC advisory committee for guidance on the research centre that now bears his name — and that of his wife.“It gives me a chance to have my say,’’ he said.

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