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Van Andel Institute Cuts Ribbon on $178 Million Expansion
Date:12/7/2009

g emerging life sciences sectors."

"At Van Andel Institute, our goal is ambitious but clear. By recruiting the very best minds and the most motivated scientists to this facility, and working unceasingly, we hope to spare this and future generations the ravages of debilitating disease, and to end the pain and suffering that too often touches our lives," added Van Andel.

"The research and recruitment ability the Phase II expansion provides will have a dramatic impact toward understanding disease and improving patient care," said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, VARI President and Research Director. "Our increased research capacity coupled with our local, national, and international collaborations in basic, translational, and clinical research greatly increases the likelihood of discovering new ways to treat patients."

The new facility also reflects VAI's dual mission of biomedical research carried out by Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and science education undertaken by Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI). Phase II labs will be utilized by students of VAI Graduate School, a graduate program designed to prepare Ph.D. scholars in cell and molecular genetics relevant to human disease, which matriculated its first students in 2007. Laboratory space will also be utilized by faculty of the MSU College of Human Medicine, which will include five research clusters: cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and neurobiology. The presence of the College of Human Medicine encourages collaboration with VARI researchers and provides a large boost to the region's development as a center of biomedical research and technology.

"Van Andel Institute's Phase II expansion enhances an already impressive research program and adds to West Michigan's significant investment in life sciences infrastructure," said Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. "Through the collaborative efforts of VAI, the MSU College of Human Medicine and ot
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