University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 4/1996
Biotechnology laboratory honors poultry industry pioneer

     The new, $8 million, state-of-the-art research laboratory at
the College of Agricultural Sciences is expected to be completed
during the winter of 1997.
     Now under construction on the University farm in Newark, the
new building will be named the Charles C. Allen Jr. Biotechnology
Laboratory, in honor of the 1940 alumnus who is a pioneer in the
development of the poultry industry in the state and a generous
benefactor to the University.
     Allen, his two brothers, his son Charles C. (Chick) Allen
III, Delaware '71, and two nephews operate three agricultural
businesses with a combined total of 2,300 employees. These
businesses include Allen's Hatchery Inc., Allen Milling Co.,
which manufactures poultry feed, and Allen Family Foods, which
processes and transports  chickens to market.
     Allen, who recalls his mother's first incubator hatching 250
chicks in 1919, now is part of a family concern that produces 2.2
million to 2.5 million birds a week.
     An active supporter of the University, Allen has provided $1
million over the next several years for the new laboratory. He
also established in 1994 a Life Income Trust that will result in
agricultural scholarships for undergraduate students after his
     The Charles C. Allen Jr. Biotechnology Laboratory is located
east of Townsend Hall, with the entrance facing the Fischer
Greenhouse Laboratory. The 16,635-square-foot building will
contain the first two biosafety level 3
(BSL-3) laboratories on campus, allowing for research on
infectious poultry viruses.
     Major research at the center will be on poultry diseases
that affect the Delmarva Peninsula's billion-dollar poultry
industry. Emergency diagnostic efforts on poultry samples from
the field can be accommodated in a special necropsy room.
     Researchers from across campus will be encouraged to use the
facility, as well, especially under the University's recently
funded gene sequencing initiative dedicated to agriculturally
important plants, animals and organisms.