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25th Anniversary Highlights of Hope

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This is the 25th anniversary edition of Highlights of Hope, published in Fall 2021.

1999 Life Sciences

1999 Life Sciences Corridor and Medical Mile created On July 19, 1999, Gov. John Engler signed legislation to direct billion over 20 years to the Life Sciences Corridor, a collaborative biotechnology research effort between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Van Andel Institute and Wayne State University. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS 1999 Dr. George Vande Woude joins VAI as founding research director Dr. George Vande Woude was a titan of cancer research when he joined the fledgling Van Andel Institute as founding research director in 1999. With nearly three decades of experience building successful research programs from scratch at the National Cancer Institute, Vande Woude immediately set to work giving shape and substance to the young institute’s research programs. One of Vande Woude’s most lauded breakthroughs was the 1984 discovery of the human MET oncogene, which is a major driver of cancer and a target for personalized cancer therapies. Throughout his prolific career, Vande Woude authored more than 300 published, peerreviewed scientific papers — a reflection of his vast contributions to science and our understanding of cancer. Though Vande Woude passed away in 2021, his scientific legacy will continue to power discoveries in cancer research now and far into the future. That same year, VAI began research in temporary lab space at Butterworth Hospital. Thus began the creation of Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile, a health sciences and medical corridor that serves as a source for innovative biomedical research, cutting-edge clinical care and economic growth in West Michigan. The Medical Mile saw explosive growth after VAI’s groundbreaking in 1998 and inclusion in the Life Sciences Corridor, which now comprises the following: 2000 Grand Rapids Community College Calkins Science Center 2003 Grand Valley State University Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences 2004 Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center 2008 Spectrum Health Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion 2008 Grand Rapids Women’s Health 2009 Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center 2010 Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Secchia Center 2011 Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital 2017–present Michigan State University Grand Rapids Innovation Park (CLOCKWISE, STARTING AT TOP LEFT) DR. GEORGE VANDE WOUDE; GOV. JOHN ENGLER SIGNS LIFE SCIENCES CORRIDOR LEGISLATION IN THE PRESENCE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS; AERIAL SHOT OF VAI (CENTER) IN ITS PLACE ON THE MEDICAL MILE, 2014; AERIAL VIEW OF GRAND RAPIDS PRIOR TO THE EXISTENCE OF VAI 10 1999

VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS 1999 – 2000 11

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