Dec. 3-9, 1999
Vol. 29, Issue 39
Inside UVA Online
the Newsletter for Faculty & Staff at the University of Virginia
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U.Va., Va. Tech form biomedical institute with Carilion Health System

Holiday leave
ITC search begins

Casteen announces administrative changes
Faculty/Staff Scholarship applications now available
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Grant will help Woodson Institute map new curricula focusing on race and ethnicity

Automation could revolutionize medical research
Technology taking history into the 21st century
Youth civic effort nets $1 million
Researchers' start-up companies move to West Main Street offices
Sad during the winter? Lighten up
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Student selected to be on 'Jeopardy!'
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"Lights of Love" ceremony set for Dec. 5
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U.Va., Va. Tech form biomedical institute with Carilion Health System

Robin Felder
Stephanie Gross
Biochemist Robin Felder, pictured here with a robotic device that handles scientific samples, directs U.Va.'s Medical Automation Research Center, which will be working with the new Carilion Biomedical Institute. For more on the center, see Automation could revolutionize medical research.

Staff Report

The University has joined with Virginia Tech and the Carilion Health System to establish a unique biomedical institute, officials announced Nov. 18.

Launched with an initial $20 million contribution from Carilion, a private 12-hospital network, the Carilion Biomedical Institute (CBI) is intended to be a catalyst for the development and commercial application of health-related products based on research at the two campuses.

The institute's goals are to accelerate research discoveries in life sciences, biomedical science and engineering and to create economic development opportunities in western and central Virginia, as well as to improve the health of individuals worldwide, said Carilion president Thomas L. Robertson.

"As a nonprofit organization long committed to the citizens of our region, Carilion is making this investment as part of our centennial year observance," he said.

In this collaboration, "two public research universities [are] joining forces with a major health care system to provide a seamless pipeline from university basic research, to applied research and development of medical devices, to clinical testing and ultimately to production," said U.Va. President John T. Casteen III.

CBI will work initially with two research centers, U.Va.'s Medical Automation Research Center (see story, this page) and the Optical Sciences and Engineering Research Center at Virginia Tech. Applied research centers will be located at CBI headquarters in Roanoke until a new facility is built next year, that will include a business incubator and specialized testing equipment.

As university research projects evolve, the institute will facilitate prototype development, conduct testing, position products and support production and distribution through strategic partnerships.

Dennis G. Fisher, a former Virginia Tech faculty member, has been named president and CEO of the institute. He is best known as founder and former director of ITT Gallium Arsenide Technology Center, called GaAsTek, and worked on improving night-vision goggles for the U.S. Army.

U.Va.'s Medical Automation Research Center (MARC) is believed to be the only such university-based group in the world. Its aim is to improve the efficiency and quality of patient care by creating technologies such as Pic & Place, an automatic robot delivery system, and by developing tools to speed the discovery of new drugs and to improve the understanding and treatment of genetic diseases.

"For nearly a decade, patented innovations from the center have been improving the efficiency of treating critically ill patients in hospitals across the United States," said MARC director Robin Felder.

At Virginia Tech, CBI's research efforts in the Optical Sciences and Engineering Research Center will investigate advanced laser surgery optics; bio-compatible materials for implants; and diagnostic patches and other diagnostic and drug-delivery tools that might replace needles for monitoring glucose or administering insulin for people with diabetes.

The universities and Carilion have agreed to raise an additional $10 million for the institute from outside sources within seven years, as the institute moves toward self-sufficiency.

Casteen announces administrative changes

Staff Report

As part of the University's ongoing long-range planning program, U.Va. President John T. Casteen III announced Nov. 19 that responsibilities of two vice presidents will change and a new unit for institutional planning and assessment will be created.

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Leonard W. Sandridge has become executive vice president and chief operating officer. He remains chief financial officer. Sandridge's expanded activities will include financial and managerial oversight of the Health System's clinical enterprises, including the University Hospital. Two senior officers will be added to Sandridge's immediate staff over the next six months to handle financial and administrative duties, Casteen said. Full story.

© Copyright 1999 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

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