In a bold move signaling
NC States commitment to broadening its partnerships in biomedical
research, the Board of Trustees has approved a master plan for development
of a university biopark surrounding
Oscar Fletcher is enthusiastic about what the CBC will mean to the college.
This new biomedical campus will provide tremendous opportunities for
the veterinary faculty to develop strong partnerships with private biomedical
companies, research groups, and diagnostic laboratories, he says.
The College of Veterinary Medicine is no stranger to partnerships with industry and government in developing and testing protocols such as drugs, vaccines, implants, surgical techniques and gene therapy for both animals and humans. The college is making a major entrepreneurial thrust toward partnerships and leveraging resources with industry, explains research dean Dr. Neil Olson, particularly in the areas of gene therapy, DNA vaccine development, development of molecular diagnostic tests, food safety, cancer immunotherapy and genetic manipulation of livestock and pet animals to prevent inherited and acquired diseases.
The closer the partnership, the more productive we will both be, says Dr. Brian Huber, vice president for biology, metabolic, musculoskeletal, and viral diseases at GlaxoSmithKline. Were both facing the challenge to be more productive, effective and efficient. We can provide equipment and other resources to the academic sector that they would never have, and we need access to certain university expertise and skills that complement what we have in industry. Our good relationships with the veterinary college will be strengthened by closer proximity. Bayer research scientist Kyle Landskroner reflects on the success of the companys current location on the Centennial Campus, saying "Because we are neighbors, it allows us to set up scientific collaborations and interact very easily. Being closer to the vet school would provide an even greater advantage.
CVM researchers are seeking to boost support from biomedical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The $19 million annual research budget for the college includes $8 million from sources outside the university, including companies like Bayer, Pfizer, and Merck/Merial. GlaxoSmith- Kline has recently signed an agreement to provide up to one million dollars each year over the next five years for collaborative research, its first such agreement with a veterinary college.
In the next five years, the college predicts it will double its $5.5 million in research support from the National Institutes of Health, which only funds research for human health benefit. Using animals as models, researchers are working on cures for human diseases such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, degenerative myelopathy, AIDS, asthma, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Olson maintains that putting more emphasis on human health research will benefit animal health as well.
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