Fralin Research Institute Poised to Support Commonwealth’s Commitment to Biotechnology

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced that his upcoming biennial budget will include $27 million available for Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. The proposal, part of an overall $90 million investment, will fund a biotechnology, life sciences, and pharmaceutical manufacturing network among Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The institutions will partner with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority to collaborate on commercialization and startup support.

“Today’s investment announcement lays the groundwork for remarkable startup innovation and commercialization that interconnects Charlottesville, the greater Richmond area, Roanoke, and the New River Valley. Through this state commitment and private philanthropy, we are building Virginia’s research triangle and network, supporting our higher education institutions’ research endeavors, and expanding Virginia’s university research capacity that will enhance life-saving research development for generations to come,” Youngkin said on Dec. 11.

“We look forward to advancing the impact of the university’s health science and technology research through this growing partnership with the commonwealth, our sister institutions, and Carilion Clinic,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “The inclusion of this initiative in the governor’s budget is a significant step toward catalyzing the growth of medical and biotechnology research in Virginia, a key to fostering economic growth and improving the health of all Virginians.”

“The commonwealth will greatly benefit from the major collaborative initiative announced today by Governor Youngkin to advance biomedical research, innovation and translation at and between the state’s major academic health centers – the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech Carilion,” said Michael Friedlander, vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech and executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. “At this time in human history, the most impactful advances in medicine are emerging from multi- and transdisciplinary team science from groups with complementary expertise who can also work together across institutions without barriers.

“The governor’s proposed budget initiative would provide this opportunity for researchers at UVA, VCU, and VTC to accelerate these advances in molecular medicine, while also catalyzing the translation of breakthroughs for patients and growing Virginia’s bioscience commercialization ecosystem through enhanced partnerships between biotechnology companies and our academic medicine institutions,” Friedlander said.

Collectively called Virginia Tech Carilion, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Fralin Biomedical Research Institute leverages Virginia Tech’s world-class strength in basic sciences, bioinformatics, and engineering with Carilion Clinic’s highly experienced medical staff and rich history in medical education. Virginia Tech Carilion improves human health and quality of life by providing leadership in medical education and biomedical and clinical research.

Research conducted at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute creates a bridge between basic science research at Virginia Tech and clinical expertise at Carilion Clinic and increases translational research opportunities for both partners.

Tracy Vosburgh / Mark Owczarski

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