And Virginia Tech Form Biomedical Institute With Carilion Health
Nov. 22, 1999 -- Carilion Health System, in
partnership with Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, this
week announced what they believe will be a unique biomedical institute.
with an initial $20 million contribution from Carilion, the Carilion
Biomedical Institute (CBI) brings together two major public universities
with a private 12-hospital network. It is intended to be the catalyst
for the development and commercial application of health-related
products based on research at the two campuses.
institutes goals are to improve the health of individuals
worldwide, to create economic development opportunities in western
and central Virginia, and to accelerate research discoveries in
life sciences, biomedical science and engineering, said Carilion
president Thomas L. Robertson.
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. "We are dedicated to improving the
health of the communities we serve."
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.
institute has the potential to improve healthcare regionally and
globally," said U.Va. president John T. Casteen III. "It
is a place where we can advance scientific knowledge through interdisciplinary
initiatives and new collaborations not previously possible."
will work initially with two research centers, the Medical Automation
Research Center at the University of Virginia and the Optical Sciences
and Engineering Research Center at Virginia Tech. Applied research
centers in these same fields will be located at CBI headquarters
in Roanoke, which will include a business incubator and specialized
testing equipment. Construction will begin next year.
university research projects evolve, the institute will facilitate
prototype development, conduct testing, position products, and support
production and distribution through strategic partnerships.
Medical Automation Research Center 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.
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 center director Robin
Virginia Tech, CBIs research efforts are in the Optical Sciences
and Engineering Research Center, which will investigate advanced
laser surgery optics; bio-compatible materials for implants; and
diagnostic patches and other diagnostic and drug delivery tools,
such as to replace needles for monitoring glucose or administering
insulin for people with diabetes.
G. Fisher has been named president and CEO of the institute. Formerly
a Virginia Tech faculty member, he is best known as founder and
former director of the ITT Gallium Arsenide Technology Center, now
known as GaAsTek, in Roanoke.
Suzanne Morris, (804) 924-5679; Louise Dudley, (804) 924-1400