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2017 Annual Report

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Going Further, Together

Going Further, Together Building a culture of collaboration in Grand Rapids In the past 30 years, Grand Rapids has undergone a renaissance — one that has revitalized the city's economy and transformed a formerly sleepy hilltop into a thriving center of scientific discovery and innovation. Once known as a manufacturing hub, the city is becoming a leader in research aimed at improving human health, a reputation that grows each day thanks to a vibrant community of scientists, educators and health care professionals who call Grand Rapids home. Nowhere is this more evident than the city’s Medical Mile, a stretch of Michigan Avenue that includes Van Andel Institute (VAI), Spectrum Health, Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College and University of Michigan-Metro Health, and is close to collaborators such as Mercy Health and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. The impact of these organizations and of the community’s investment in their success is undeniable — since the groundbreaking of Breaking records As the economic impact of the Medical Mile continues to grow, so, too, does the amount of external funding earned by VARI scientists. Attaining federal funding is of special importance because it serves as a stamp of scientific validation, thanks in part to rigorous application and peer-review processes, and communicates to the world at large that third-party experts have found the work robust and valuable. the Institute in 1996, the Medical Mile has sparked more than billion in research, education and health care infrastructure and is now home to more than 65 scientists and their labs. “The spirit of teamwork is alive and well in Grand Rapids, and is propelling the city to international prominence,” said Dr. Peter Jones, the Institute’s chief scientific officer. “No single organization did this alone; instead, it was a collaborative effort bolstered by a dedicated, passionate community that achieved the success we have today.” In September 2017, the Medical Mile continued its trajectory with the opening of Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Research Center, just down the hill from VAI. The six-story, 162,800-square-foot facility will house 44 labs dedicated to a mission that parallels the Institute’s — to enhance health through cutting-edge biomedical research. VAI and MSU have long collaborated on an institutional and an individual level, thanks in part to the many MSU scientists whose labs resided at the Institute until the Another important metric used to measure the Institute’s scientific impact is the publication of discoveries in scientific journals. We’re pleased to report that in 2017, VARI scientists excelled on both fronts, earning more peer-reviewed federal grant funding and publishing more scientific papers than any other year in the Institute’s history. Grand Rapids Research Center opened in the fall and the close proximity of MSU College of Human Medicine’s Secchia Center, just across Michigan Avenue. With both organizations charting a course toward ambitious growth, which will at least double the number of world-class scientists in Grand Rapids, we plan to take our partnership to the next level. By sharing core scientific services, such as high-powered sequencing technology and analytical expertise, investigators at MSU and VAI will have an even more robust scientific support system bolstering their efforts. The goal is to further build a dynamic scientific environment, one in which investigators can focus on their life-changing research with easy access to the necessary resources. “We expect the results of our continued collaboration to be nothing short of transformative,” Jones said. “Together with all of our colleagues in Grand Rapids, we look forward to making our vision of a healthier, better tomorrow a reality.” In 2017, VARI scientists ... • Received 37 new awards totaling .7 million (life of award) • Of those, 18 awards, or .6 million, are federal grants (life of award) • Published 145 publications, 132 of which are peer-reviewed 18 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE ANNUAL REPORT 2017

RESEARCH VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE ANNUAL REPORT 2017 | 19

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