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2006 Scientific Report

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Van Andel Research

Van Andel Research Institute | Scientific Report Future directions The VAI Graduate School is coming closer to matriculating its first class of students, and its existence is more tangible now that we have a Dean. Steven Triezenberg, Ph.D., has been named Graduate Dean of the school and will start at VAI in May 2006. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University and Associate Director of the graduate program in Cell and Molecular Biology. In addition to leading the Graduate School, he will continue his research on gene expression and transcription using herpes simplex virus as an investigational model. We look forward to watching the Graduate School progress under his leadership. We are establishing a joint venture with Spectrum Health to set up a Center for Molecular Medicine in West Michigan. This will be a valuable opportunity to develop the clinical benefits of molecular diagnostics growing from our cutting-edge research in areas such as microarrays and gene sequencing, and it will build on Spectrum’s existing facilities and experience in molecular diagnostic services. We look forward to building this opportunity into a world-class diagnostics service, providing biomedical and health benefits for the population of West Michigan and beyond. The move of the College of Human Medicine from Michigan State University to the Grand Rapids area has taken form over the past year. In April the MSU Board of Trustees passed a resolution approving the move. Within the coming months, the detailed structure of the School—involving MSU, VAI, Spectrum Health, Grand Valley State University, St. Mary’s, and others—will be defined and established. This will be a major addition to the biomedical community here in Grand Rapids, and VAI will have a large and mutually beneficial role to play in the school’s founding and development in the coming years. 4 Truly, the Institute finds itself in the midst of a large-scale initiative to develop a regional biomedical center (U.S.A. Today, April 25, 2006). We are proud to be a major and early stimulus for this initiative.

VARI | 2006 Laboratory Reports 5

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