Gov. McAuliffe Joins GMU to Launch Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research

| April 23, 2015 | 0 Comments | Education
Governor McAuliffe, along with George Mason representatives and local officials cut the ribbon at the new Technology & Biomedical Research Center.

Governor McAuliffe, along with George Mason representatives and local officials cut the ribbon at the new Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research in Manassas. (Credit: Prince William Chamber of Commerce)

Article by Michele McDonald of George Mason University

MANASSAS – Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera Thursday to launch the university’s Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research, a multidisciplinary center that will pursue some of the toughest medical questions facing society.

The institute, in partnership with community hospitals, regional medical centers and other major research universities, will be a focal point for biomedical research and development. Researchers from across the university’s colleges will work together under one roof to find advanced diagnostics and treatments for cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.

“Biomedical research and biotechnology play a vital role in improving the lives of our citizens and create opportunities that are vital for the new Virginia economy,” Gov. McAuliffe said. “The institute will create jobs and drive economic growth. But more importantly, the work taking place at this institute will improve lives, cure disease and benefit us all.”

Mason is Virginia’s largest public research university and is dedicated to conducting research of consequence that can improve lives and drive economic prosperity. To highlight the university’s commitment, Mason is renaming its campus in Prince William County the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus.

“The public mission of this university is central to everything we do,” Cabrera said. “Along with educating students and pursuing research of great societal importance, we see ourselves as an economic and cultural engine in our region, and we are committed to creating partnerships that generate jobs, drive innovation and fuel economic growth.”

The nearly $40 million, 75,000-squre-foot research facility is dedicated solely to research of biomedical innovation that could lead to new businesses. It is designed to facilitate collaboration between research disciplines and to help translate research into clinical applications that have direct impact on patients. Current research at Mason’s Science and Technology Campus includes personalized medicine, proteomics, cancer treatments, Lyme disease, nanotechnology-based diagnostics, and infectious diseases. Researchers from Mason’s science, engineering, health, and education colleges will collaborate at the new institute.

Located outside the city of Manassas, George Mason Science and Technology Campus is the university anchor of Innovation Park, a 1,600-acre research and development public-private venture housing innovative companies in life sciences, information technology and other research-intensive sectors. The campus is 20 miles from Dulles International Airport and within 40 miles of the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration and numerous world-class hospitals.

Some research highlights at the Science and Technology Campus include:

  • Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine has pioneered applications of proteomics to treatments for patients with metastatic breast cancer who otherwise had few options.
  • Technology created by Mason’s proteomics experts, Professors Lance Liotta and Emanual “Chip” Petricoin, is helping other biomedical fields develop faster diagnostic tools and discover new insights into disease.
  • Last year, Mason partnered with Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in a first-of-its-kind alliance. Mason’s proteomics work complements TGen’s leading role in genomics, or DNA, research. Combined, proteomics and genomics delve into the underlying causes of disease and can pinpoint the best treatment for each patient.
  • Mason researchers are leading the way in finding cures. A $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding HIV research that shows promise in finding a cure within the next few years.
  • Researchers also are looking for answers in the natural world, from reptile blood to cranberries. Research supported by a $7.5 million Defense Threat Reduction Agency grant found sophisticated germ-fighters in alligator blood that could help wounded soldiers in the field fend off infection.
Governor Terry McAuliffe speaks at George Mason University's opening of the Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research.

Governor Terry McAuliffe speaks at George Mason University’s opening of the Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research. (Credit: Prince William Chamber of Commerce)

These are the remarks prepared for Gov. Terry McAuliffe for the April 23 the announcement of George Mason University’s Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research:

I am so excited to be here today for this exciting occasion as we launch George Mason University’s Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research.

This is a milestone in the history of Virginia’s largest public research university. To mark this milestone, GMU is renaming its Prince William campus the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus.

I applaud your decision to put your name behind this important mission: to be the top university in the top state for bioscience research.

Of course, George Mason is a name that is already well-respected for its outstanding achievements in science and technology. This new institute ensures that George Mason will continue to be a powerhouse driving Virginia’s innovation economy.

This 75,000-square-foot research facility is dedicated solely to research of biomedical innovation that could lead to new businesses.

Current research includes personalized medicine, cancer treatments, and infectious diseases. This institute is designed to promote collaboration among its 100 researchers.

Previously, Barney Bishop’s chemistry lab was in three different buildings. Chip Petricoin and Lance Liotta’s labs were in two different buildings. Now their teams will be under one roof so they can more efficiently turn research into health care innovations that will have a direct impact on countless individuals, giving them the gift of healthier lives.

I want to thank President Cabrera and all of the leaders at GMU for your foresight in developing this outstanding science and technology campus.

Today is an important day in bioscience. I’m heading from here to the Governor’s Forum on Bioscience and Big Data/Analytics. I know that many of you will be there as well, and I look forward to a full day of brainstorming on how we can work together to capitalize on exciting opportunities happening right now in bioscience.

And I look forward to coming back to the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus to celebrate the many life-saving and life-enhancing discoveries that the research here will produce.

Here at GMU, you are moving forward and seizing opportunities in the important and exciting field of bioscience. You are revolutionizing the field of health care.

Thank you again for inviting me to be here.

About George Mason University

George Mason is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 34,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.

Write to Michele McDonald at mmcdon15@gmu.edu

© 2015, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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