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2007 Annual Report

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A Letter from David Van

A Letter from David Van Andel Van Andel Institute Chairman & CEO The year 2007 was literally a groundbreaking one at Van Andel Institute (VAI). On April 12, despite the incursions of an unusual spring snowstorm, we broke ground on Phase II, a 0 million, 240,000 square-foot, eightstory building expansion that will significantly increase the Institute’s capacity to impact human health through basic and translational research. The constant activity of cranes and the significant community investment in the life sciences on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile have not gone unnoticed by the national media. In July, the New York Times published a front-page story in its business section entitled “Grand Rapids Lays Foundations for a Health Mecca,” which highlighted the region’s philanthropic efforts and detailed the private investment that has spurred the development of the life sciences in West Michigan. We are proud to be recognized for our crucial role as the anchor of the life sciences industry in West Michigan. Both Van Andel Institute and West Michigan are attracting national and international attention for their expanded role in the Our Mission: Through biomedical research and science education, Van Andel Institute is committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of generations to come. Van Andel Institute

life sciences, and this is also evidenced by our growing number of collaborative efforts with business, academia, clinical partners and other researchers throughout the world. In January, we signed an agreement with the National Cancer Centre of Singapore forming the NCCS-VARI Translational Research Program in Singapore. The three-year, .2 million program is funded by the government of Singapore, and operates under the direction of VARI Distinguished Investigator Bin Tean Teh, M.D., Ph.D. The program focuses on the biology behind varying drug responses in Asian versus non-Asian patients with specific types of cancers. In March, we announced the creation of the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) in partnership with Spectrum Health. The million joint venture offers molecular technologies for investigation of complex diseases like cancer and heart disease at the DNA, RNA and protein levels. The CMM combines Spectrum Health’s clinical, laboratory and research resources, and VAI’s research expertise with the latest in molecular biological technology. Keeping ever in mind our dual mission as both a research and education institute, 2007 was also a watershed year for Van Andel Education Institute, which saw the culmination of several years’ work in some significant milestones and achievements, most notably as the Van Andel Institute Graduate School welcomed its first three Ph.D. candidates in cell and molecular biology in a convocation held on August 20, 2007. The NCCS-VARI program ribbon cutting in Singapore (l to r): David Van Andel, George Vande Woude, Bin Tean Teh, and Khee Chee Soo Underlying all of our efforts on both the research and education side is the quest to fulfill our mission to improve the health and enhance the lives of generations to come. Perhaps no other achievement of the past year fulfills the definition of that mission quite as well as the success of the Institute’s Compassionate Care Protocol. A groundbreaking study in personalized molecular medicine undertaken with several clinical partners, this protocol utilizes a highly advanced database and set of analytical tools developed in Van Andel Research Institute’s labs to profile a patient’s tumor and integrate that information with the individual’s genetic profile to develop the therapy most likely to be effective. The study continues in 2008 with the hope of enrolling up to 200 local cancer patients. We are excited by the possibilities of the coming year. We are a relatively young facility, but we’ve made remarkable progress in the eight short years since we opened our doors. 2007 was a year of significant achievement and we look ahead with the expectation that our growing number of partnerships, international recognition, an expanded facility and the hard work and passion of our researchers, educators and staff will allow us to continue to make those lifechanging discoveries. David Van Andel Chairman and CEO, Van Andel Institute VAI Chairman and CEO www.vai.org 03

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