Virginia Tech® home

Landmark $50 million gift to dramatically expand health sciences research at Virginia Tech

Loading player for
Category: research Video duration: Landmark $50 million gift to dramatically expand health sciences research at Virginia Tech
The Richmond, Virginia-based Red Gates Foundation recently committed $50 million to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC to accelerate health sciences research at Virginia Tech. The gift is among the largest ever made to the university.
The Red Gates Foundation gift will support the recruitment of multiple new research teams to the Freeland Biomedical Research Institute. In addition, the gift will support six major new research projects led by senior research leaders at the institute. Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of cancer. A little under a half 1 million Americans die every year from the consequences of smoking among individuals who have served the military. The prevalence of smoking and the difficulty of quitting been dramatic. When we get people to value the future more, they reduce how much they smoke, and now we're ready to bring it to the real world and try to impact people's lives. Fluid flow can actually contribute to tumor cells invading away from the primary site and really getting to those invading cells can be near impossible and leads to recurrence in patients. So here we have a way where we can actually map fluid flow and actually use that fluid flow to identify where we think those invading cells will be. We believe that if we can get these tumor cells targeted dead removed, we may be able to increase the lifespan of these patients. The Gata is very sensitive to radiation and so we're looking to reduce the side effects of radiation and cancer patients. We call our therapeutic lacta. It's basically exosomes from cow milk that have been combined with a potent radio protective peptide. Mitochondria is the power plant of cells. If the mitochondria is in trouble, it's almost like the power plant is in trouble. So the city will suffer from that. This work will allow us to develop a drug that is more effective with less side effect by targeting mitochondrial health. What we're really interested in trying to do specifically in this project is to ask whether or not what we know about the rules for putting particular neural circuits together that are important for the behaviors that are disrupted in Parkinson's disease, actually give us some insight into how the circuits begin to fall apart and the dysfunction childhood seizures, like any other seizure, are uncontrolled neural activity in the brain. One of the ways that neural activity in the brain gets controlled is through the influence of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine projections. But we haven't been able to study the way in which they control brain stayed. So we're going to provide the first insights into that in seizure patients. We're going to take the technologies we spent ten years developing and we're going to upgrade the questions that we asked. We're going to go from basic science implementation to clinical setting implementation. That's not something you can just go after by writing an NIH grant. That's really pushing the envelope of implementation and therapy. By building on these strengths and growing the cancer research community here at Virginia Tech and at the Freeland Biomedical Research Institute, we are going to be strongly positioned to be on the leading edge of new treatments, diagnostics, and cures.