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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.

2015 Renowned cancer

2015 Renowned cancer scientist Dr. Stephen B. Baylin joins VAI as director’s scholar To make the biggest breakthroughs, VAI brings together the brightest minds to spur innovation through collaboration at the Institute and beyond. That’s why, in 2015, VAI appointed Dr. Stephen B. Baylin as the Institute’s first director’s scholar, a position that fosters teamwork and engages leading scientists from other organizations in our mission. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS Baylin is a globally recognized expert in the field of cancer epigenetics, which explores the mechanisms that decide when and where the instructions in our genetic code will be carried out. Epigenetics has incredible potential to shed new light on cancer and inform powerful new treatments. Baylin also is a long-time collaborator of VAI Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Peter A. Jones. As Director’s Scholar, Baylin spends a quarter of his time at VAI, where he and Jones colead the Van Andel Institute–Stand Up To Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team. This multiinstitutional effort is designed to move promising combination therapies for cancer into clinical trials. At the same time, Baylin maintains his primary affiliation at Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he serves as co-head of Cancer Biology. On the basic research front, Baylin also collaborates with VAI scientists to explore cancer epigenetics and drug development. “Seven million to 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson's. That's 7 million to 10 million mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends. And that's 7 million to 10 million reasons to do this work." Dr. Patrik Brundin 2016 Terra Tarango appointed education director and chief education officer When Terra Tarango joined Van Andel Institute for Education as director and chief education officer, she was an accomplished executive in the education industry with more than 15 years of experience in educational publishing and services. She served as president of SDE, one of the largest providers of professional development for pre-K through 12th grade educators in the U.S. Prior to that, she developed an award-winning print and digital curriculum with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the largest educational publisher in the nation. 2016 The first international students enroll at the Graduate School TERRA TARANGO Tarango’s expertise in instructional climate and culture has been a tremendous asset to the Institute’s student and teacher programs. At VAI, Tarango oversees our efforts to improve science and inquirybased instruction in K–12 education across the country. She and her team provide innovative science programs for students and world-class professional development for educators. 2016 Van Andel Institute–Stand Up To Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team begins clinical trials on promising new therapies for cancer 38 2015 – 2016

DR. STEPHEN B. BAYLIN, DR. PETER A. JONES & DR. GEORGE VANDE WOUDE, 2015 2016 Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Peter A. Jones is elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Director’s Scholar Dr. Stephen B. Baylin was elected the next year in 2017. Founding Research Director Dr. George Vande Woude was elected to the Academy in 1993. 2017 Van Andel Institute for Education hosts then-U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, featuring student interactions and a teacher round-table discussion 2017 This year sees VAI’s first Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from the National Institutes of Health, followed by two successive Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Awards (F99/K00) from the National Cancer Institute in 2017 and 2018 2017 Van Andel Institute for Education launches popular, weeklong summer camps, as well as a variety of thought leadership webinars catered to teachers Summer camps keep the learning going after the school year ends and offer students a line-up of interactive investigations to feed their curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. DAVID VAN ANDEL ADVANCED CRYO-ELECTRON MICROSCOPY SUITE 2017 VAI zooms in on life’s building blocks with cryo-EM Imagine standing on the moon and having eyes so powerful that you can clearly watch a tennis match on Earth. Now imagine that same visual power packed into a high-tech microscope, and you have cryo-EM — a groundbreaking technology that allows scientists to study the smallest components of life in exquisite detail. In 2017, this revolutionary platform found a home in VAI’s David Van Andel Advanced Cryo-Electron Microscopy Suite, a state-of-the-art facility staffed by experts at the forefront of structural biology. Since then, VAI scientists have leveraged cryo-EM to visualize a host of critical molecules that may serve as treatment targets for cancer, neurological disorders, metabolic diseases, infectious diseases and more. They’ve revealed groundbreaking new insights into the most fundamental aspects of biology, from parsing the ways cells sense and respond to the environment to illuminating the intricacies of DNA replication. Cryo-EM also aids in the development of new medications by revealing how a drug molecule disables its target protein. The impact of VAI’s cryo-EM goes far beyond its ability to propel breakthroughs by providing detailed blueprints of life’s biological building blocks. This advanced technology has brought with it a wellspring of collaboration, catalyzing a gravitational pull that draws world-class scientists to VAI to work and pursue answers to some of life’s most fundamental questions. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS 2016 – 2017 39

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