Many Roanokers enjoyed an open house and tours of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute last Saturday as part of the school’s Roanoke Campus Grand Opening at 2 Riverside Circle.
The day began with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. on the steps of the new building. Talks were given by two leaders in medical education and a renowned researcher in brain function in health and disease. Visitors then took a tour of the school and the research institute as they enjoyed refreshments. The event was free and open to the public.
“While the charter class students began their studies in August 2010, many in the community have not had the opportunity to come inside and see how we are changing medical education and making a difference in Southwest Virginia,” said Dr. Cynda Ann Johnson, founding dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “We have much to show and share as we celebrate the culmination of our collective hard work with the community.”
Since the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute opened in September 2010, founding Executive Director Michael Friedlander has recruited internationally recognized biomedical scientists in addiction, brain imaging and human cognition, childhood development, traumatic brain injury, cardiac development, and cancer. The research institute currently employs more than 60 people, including 25 doctoral-level scientists who have come to Roanoke from such leading institutions as Harvard Medical School, Brandeis University, Baylor College of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and Georgetown University. The faculty at the research institute have already been competitively awarded federal and private grants valued at more than $7 million per year to support their research.
“The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute will make transformative scientific advances in understanding and addressing the fundamental processes of human health and disease, contribute to training the next generation of leading biomedical scientists, facilitate discovery-based medical education, and sustain and strengthen the Virginia Tech-Carilion partnership,” said Friedlander. “We are developing what should become one of the nation’s premiere biomedical research environments here in Roanoke. I am delighted that the community will have this opportunity to meet the research institute’s outstanding faculty and tour the labs, such as the human neuroimaging laboratory, the heart of the Roanoke Brain Study.”