Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations


ORNL raises $168,000 in Katrina Relief, helps displaced researcher

Xavier University microbiologist Shubha Ireland has received a research appointment in a molecular biology lab at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 4, 2005 — Oak Ridge National Laboratory has raised $168,000 for Hurricane Katrina victims and also helped provide a home and laboratory here for a researcher displaced by the storm.

ORNL staff contributions to the Katrina Relief fund through ORNL Federal Credit Union reached $117,647, which will go to the American Red Cross.

UT-Battelle added a matching contribution of $50,000. A group from Team UT-Battelle will provide a recommendation about how best to use the matching funds.

"The Katrina fund drive is all the more remarkable because it came in the midst of our highly successful United Way campaign," ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth said. "The selfless charity of the ORNL community continues to be a point of pride."

Wadsworth said the Katrina Relief fund marks the second time in a year that ORNL charity has topped six figures. Tsunami relief from ORNL employees and UT-Battelle reached nearly $200,000 in January. Lab employees also have launched campaigns to provide aid to ORNL staff who have suffered personal misfortunes.

ORNL also is providing a temporary home and support to a New Orleans researcher and her family who were displaced by the hurricane.

Xavier University microbiologist Shubha Ireland has received a research appointment in a molecular biology lab at ORNL. Also, a part-time administrative job has been secured for Ireland's husband Rick, an attorney.

Oak Ridge realtors have offered the Irelands use a brand new house for free in the River Run subdivision and a local rental company is donating furniture. Their first-grade son will go to Woodland Elementary in Oak Ridge. "The caring and support of the people in East Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been amazing," Ireland said. "This has been the bright side to an otherwise horrible disaster."

Ireland, who grew up in India, joined the Xavier faculty in 1994. A microbiologist who studies toxicology and effects of environmental pollutants in molecular biology, she will work in ORNL's Life Sciences Division.

Her five-month appointment is funded through the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

"It has been a real team effort to get all of the pieces put together," Lee Riedinger, who directs University Partnerships at ORNL and coordinated Ireland's appointment, said. "Hopefully, this will result in an ongoing partnership between ORNL's Life Sciences Division and Xavier."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.