University News


Director named for Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC Cancer Research Center

An accomplished biomedical engineer who studies the biophysical setting of brain cancer has been named director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC’s Cancer Research Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Jennifer Munson will organize the institute’s Cancer Research Center in Roanoke, while closely collaborating with its Cancer Research Center in Washington, D.C., said Michael Friedlander, Virginia Tech’s vice


Mason receives $4.85 million gift to increase intimate partner violence detection and reporting

The funding will help develop new tools in imaging technology using a light source that is five times better than white light for identifying and visualizing bruising across all skin tones for use by forensic nurses, social service providers, and law enforcement. “This single largest gift to support research in the College of Public Health’s


VCU Health leads clinical trial for new treatment to help people with bowel control problems

A research team at VCU Health is leading a clinical trial to assess a novel treatment for fecal incontinence or sudden loss of control over bowel movements. The therapy involves implanting a bioengineered sphincter derived from the patient’s native cells to help them regain control of their bowels. The implantation surgery for the clinical trial


$90 Million Investment to Launch “Virginia’s Research Triangle” Network Among at UVA, VA Tech and VCU

Governor Youngkin has announced that Virginia will make a significant investment to launch a biotechnology, life sciences, and pharmaceutical manufacturing network to foster collaboration among three of the Commonwealth’s major existing university research institutions. In his upcoming biennial budget, scheduled to be released on December 20th, the Governor will include a total of $90 million


Jefferson Lab to Lead $300+ Million High Performance Data Facility Hub

The U.S. Department of Energy has just announced the selection of Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility as the lead for its new High Performance Data Facility Hub. Jefferson Lab will partner with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to form a joint project team led by Jefferson Lab. The HPDF will be a $300-500 million computing


Three Virginia Universities Land on Top Patents List

Three Virginia research universities have made the National Academy of Inventors’ new list ranking the nation’s universities that were granted the most patents in 2022. The University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and George Mason University each made the list released Aug. 30, ranking 43rd, 86th and 91st respectively. U.Va. had 52 patents issued in


VT Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Receives $50M Gift

A foundation established by the estate of Richmond philanthropist Bill Goodwin‘s late son, Hunter, has made a $50 million commitment to support cancer and neuroscience research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, Virginia Tech announced Tuesday. The gift is one of three record $50 million donations Virginia Tech has received, including the 2018


New Research on Probiotics Shows Promise for Fighting Obesity

According to a new study published by George Mason University  researchers Dr. Robin Couch and Dr. Allyson Dailey, in collaboration with researchers at the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), showed probiotics may play a pivotal role in preventive  medicine. High fat diets are a leading cause of obesity and can trigger the onset of metabolic


Eskandarian named dean of the VCU College of Engineering

Azim Eskandarian, D.Sc., has been named dean and William H. Goodwin Jr. Endowed Chair of the VCU College of Engineering, effective Aug. 1. Eskandarian currently serves as department head and Nicholas and Rebecca des Champs Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. “Azim Eskandarian has established himself as a highly


NSF Awards NOVA’s Biotechnology Program $550,000 for NOBLE Project

The NOVA Biotechnology and Leadership in Education (NOBLE) Project will be funded by the National Science Foundation with more than $550,000 over the next three years. The goal of the NOBLE Project is to revitalize and grow the biotechnology program. The NOBLE Project seeks to recruit students throughout the entire NOVA service area, particularly minorities


VWCC and Radford Announce Agreement for Biotechnology Students

Virginia Western Community College and Radford University will sign an articulation agreement during a signing ceremony on Monday, May 1, on Virginia Western Campus, that will result in a cost-effective transition for students focusing on the field of biotechnology. Virginia Western students completing the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Science with a specialization in


Mason engineers and partners receive $3M award to build new technology for personalized musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation to support troop readiness

Musculoskeletal injury (MSKI) is the most common form of medical injury experienced by Service members. Clinical interventions for MSKIs lack objective measures to determine their effectiveness, putting affected military personnel at risk of further damage if they return to duty  before fully recovering. George Mason University bioengineer Dr. Parag Chitnis, an associate professor in the


Mason leads planning study to position Northern Virginia as a premier location for the life science industry

During the past several years, industry demand for a skilled life science workforce has been surging. In Virginia, while there are currently shortages in almost all health-related professions, little is known about whether there is an adequate supply of life science workers to meet the needs of employers. Now George Mason University is working toward


ODU hires Associate VP for Innovation & Commercialization

Kevin Leslie will be Old Dominion University’s first associate vice president for innovation and commercialization, the Norfolk-based university announced Friday. Leslie will improve ODU’s technology transfer operation to better identify, develop and market faculty, staff and student intellectual property and startups. He also will lead federal and other grant applications related to innovation and ecosystem


Mason collaboration receives $3.2 million to help military personnel combat hemorrhagic diseases

Fairfax, VA –  Deployed military personnel frequently face numerous health and safety hazards as part of their daily activities in service to their nation. Among many dangers is the possibility of encountering hemorrhagic fever viruses (HFVs), a group of highly infectious pathogens such as the Ebola virus. Many of these diseases do not currently have


GMU gets $3.75M to grow Virginia’s nanotech industry

George Mason University will launch a new program to catalyze the growth of the nanotechnology industry in Northern Virginia, thanks to $3.75 million in grants. The Fairfax institution is receiving $2.5 million for the initiative through Go Virginia Region 7, the local chapter of the commonwealth-funded initiative led by the Virginia Department of Housing and


Virginia Tech names assistant vice president of advancement for health sciences and technology and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Virginia Tech’s Advancement Division recently added Martha Quinn to its team as assistant vice president of advancement for health sciences and technology and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. Quinn, who started on Sept. 20, previously served as executive director of development at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center. Prior to that, she was


How a VCU professor’s research could help provide Covid-19 therapies

Virginia Commonwealth University is working on the development of a potential treatment for Covid-19. Michael Peters, Ph.D., a professor in VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, is leading the research. Peters said he works everyday in response to the pandemic, which led him to the discovery of a possible lifesaving novel peptide therapeutic


Fralin Biomedical Research Institute spinoff Tiny Cargo Co. among Washington, DC Health Innovation QuickFire Challenge awardees

Tiny Cargo Co., a biotech startup founded by Rob Gourdie, professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, is among five companies to receive a Washington, DC Health Innovation QuickFire Challenge award. Spencer Marsh, a postdoctoral researcher in Gourdie’s laboratory, presented the pitch that awarded the company $50,000, the opportunity to reside at JLABS @ Washington, D.C. with


Virginia Bio to partner with Mason Enterprise to expand mentorship support for bio startups across the state

George Mason University’s Mason Enterprise is establishing a new network of life science business mentors to help startups across Virginia launch and scale their ventures. The new team of mentors will support a broad range of life science companies in bringing their innovations, including therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and software, to market. This network will


VCU College of Engineering Receives $1 million Bank of America Grant

Bank of America is making a $1 million anchor grant to Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) College of Engineering. The grant will support ongoing programs that expand access for students to pursue a technology education, engage thousands of K-12 students in engineering outreach experiences and increase teacher participation in professional development sessions. This grant is the


Study Upgrades of the Largest Databases of Neuronal Types

A study led by researchers from the Institute Cajal of Spanish Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain in collaboration with the Bioengineering Department of George Mason University in Virginia, U.S. has updated one of the world’s largest databases on neuronal types, The study, which is published in the journal PLOS Biology, represents the most


Student teams to compete for $40,000 at Global Case Challenge

Student teams and faculty from around the globe will compete, learn, collaborate, and network virtually at the 2021 Virginia Tech Global Case Challenge in August. Hosted by the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and Outreach and International Affairs, the Global Case Challenge offers student teams from around the globe the opportunity to present solutions to real-world industry problems. Teams of between


COVIDsmart Study Launched to Understand Pandemic’s Impact on Individuals and Communities Across VA

COVIDsmart, a digital health study designed to examine the many impacts of COVID-19 on individuals and their communities launched today, with an open call for participation. The study welcomes participants from all walks of life across Virginia to share information on how the pandemic has affected their lives, even if they have not had COVID-19.