BLACKSBURG, Va. – Thanks to a $50 million donation, Virginia Tech will be able to advance health sciences research that could help save millions of lives worldwide.
The funding was received from the Red Gates Foundation, an organization based in Richmond that strives to bolster innovative programs and community-driven initiatives. According to school officials, the gift is one of the largest ever made in the university’s history.
A majority of the donation will go toward recruiting 14 researchers who specialize largely in cancer studies as well as neuroengineering and computational neuroscience.
In addition, a third of the gift will support the immediate launch of six major research projects that will focus on cancer and brain disorders in adults and children.
According to the university, each of the six projects will be led by a senior Fralin Biomedical Research Institute faculty member based in Roanoke.
Jeff Galanti, the foundation’s executive director, said he is certain that the world-renowned research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC will significantly benefit society.
“The Red Gates Foundation is committed to funding innovative research that has the potential to make a real difference in the world,” said Galanti. “The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute is a world-renowned research institution that pushes the boundaries of what is possible. We are confident that their nimble approach to research, which is focused on the intersections of science, medicine, engineering, and data analytics, will help them make significant breakthroughs that benefit humanity in the years to come.”
Virginia Tech President Tim Sands expressed his gratitude for the gift, highlighting how it will propel the institute’s translational brain, heart and cancer research.
“We are grateful for this extraordinary gift from the Red Gates Foundation supporting Virginia Tech’s commitment to health and biomedical sciences,” said university President Tim Sands. “As we work to significantly increase the impact of our biomedical research, this gift will accelerate our timeline and help recruit world-leading researchers to join us in fighting diseases that impact millions of people worldwide.”
Added Sands, ”It is a powerful endorsement of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s rapid rise as one of the nation’s most innovative and productive enterprises in translational brain and heart research, and its emerging focus on similar innovation in cancer research under the leadership of founding Executive Director Michael Friedlander.”