Karow family gift to MCG will support library and graduate student scholarships

AUGUSTA, GA – June 24, 2009 — The family of the late Dr. Armand M. Karow, founder of Xytex Cryo International, Ltd. and longtime faculty member of the Medical College of Georgia, has given $125,805 to support the university’s library and provide scholarships for graduate students studying pharmacology.

“My father loved MCG so much that it was really important for us to give something back,” says Christopher Karow, chief communications officer for Augusta-based Xytex.

The family of avid readers gave $25,402 to an endowment for the Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D., Library. “We know how important books are for education and how securing funds to support a library can be tough,” Mr. Karow says. “We’ve told them to use the money as needed.”

The remainder establishes an endowment to provide scholarships for graduate students studying his father’s chosen branch of science, pharmacology, the action of chemicals, including drugs, on living tissue. The gift comes at a time when the School of Graduate Studies is looking to expand the number of students in pharmacology. “My father had a goal of starting Xytex and was able to see it through,” Mr. Karow says. “We want to help students support their goals and dreams.”

Dr. Karow, an accomplished researcher who worked to improve the preservation of transplantable organs, tissue, sperm and eggs, died Feb. 6, 2007. Along with Dr. Roy Witherington, former MCG chief of urology, he helped establish at MCG the first clinical sperm bank in the Southeast. The sperm bank became the private Xytex Corporation, Inc., in 1975 and eventually grew to Xytex Cryo International under Dr. Karow’s leadership. Dr. Karow was a faculty member in the MCG Schools of Graduate Studies and Medicine from 1968 until his retirement in 1997, when he was named Professor Emeritus.

“Dr. Karow had a sincere affection for MCG and the pharmacology department,” says Dr. Robert W. Caldwell, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the MCG School of Medicine. “This is a fitting tribute.”

Dr. Karow, who earned a doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, preferred teaching graduate students in his laboratory to the more impersonal setting of a lecture hall, Dr. Caldwell says.

MCG has about 10 students enrolled in the four-to-five-year pharmacology graduate program and Dr. Caldwell wants to increase enrollment by at least one more student per year. During their first year, all graduate students take core courses that integrate basic science principles as well as those that build professional and leadership skills. They primarily spend their upper years under the mentorship of established scientists with a focus on learning about and advancing their specialized area of research.

State support, grants and contracts help cover the cost of their education but scholarships provide an additional edge in recruiting top students, particularly in these tough economic times, Dr. Caldwell says.

To contribute to the new scholarship endowment and increase the number of students who receive support, contact Dr. Caldwell at 706-721-3384.

The Karow family’s gift to the library will help fund ongoing refurbishing and technology upgrades.

“The Karow family has been a very generous supporter of the library,” says Dr. David King, interim director of libraries, noting Xytex’s previous gift of $10,000 in April 2007. “Perhaps even more so in this era of e-journals, e-books and endless information on the Internet, the library provides organized access to material critical to health sciences education, service and research. We very much appreciate the Karow family’s recognition of the library’s essential role in this university.”

The 70,000-square-foot library is open 98 hours per week, provides round-the-clock virtual access and is part of the University System of Georgia’s Galileo initiative, which makes available the informational resources of 2,000 public and private colleges and universities, K-12 schools, public libraries and more.

Media Contacts:

Director of Media Relations
Medical College of Georgia
706-721-4421 Phone
[email protected]

Christopher Karow
Chief Communications Officer
Xytex International
[email protected]