The Natural Sciences Department gets a boost
Founder of California Gardens Fouad El-Abd to establish state-of-the-art nutrition lab at LAU.
The School of Arts and Sciences will soon boast a state-of-the-art nutrition lab that will allow for advanced research in the field.
Fouad El-Abd, the founder and president of leading canned food company California Gardens, has pledged a substantial gift to LAU. His contribution will go toward naming and establishing the Fouad El-Abd Nutrition Lab in the university’s science building located on the Byblos campus.
“I really hope that the gift will help students to grow and develop products, and to eventually create thriving businesses which help a lot of people in the process,” commented El-Abd, a member of LAU’s Board of International Advisors, during a signing ceremony held last week at LAU Beirut.
The nutrition lab will house leading-edge equipment with the intention of becoming a key asset to LAU, with its foreseen capacity to include food testing and providing experiential research opportunities for students preparing for a career in the industry.
“The nutrition lab complements our efforts to bring the best to our students on the teaching and research levels,” stated Hussein Hassan, assistant professor of Food Science and Technology at LAU. “And it will certainly get a lot of use since our region is witnessing an unprecedented prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, among others, which means that there will be continuous demand for this area of study at LAU,” he added.
At the signing ceremony, LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra highlighted the importance of industry connecting with universities to share knowledge and provide support where needed. “Mr. El-Abd is doing so much in the area of food and food sciences, and I know LAU is going to be a better institution because of his association with us,” he declared.
California Gardens was launched in 1980 to supply the Middle East and Far East with quality and affordable canned food products from California. Today, the company produces millions of cases of food products annually, making it an important partner for LAU’s growing Nutrition Department.
Commenting on his commitment to LAU and Lebanon, El-Abd said, “Lebanon is a wonderful country. We have so much talent, and education is the only way to go forward. The students are lucky to have this university and its leaders to learn from.”
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