Virginia Tech Unveils Ambitious Strategy to Boost Cancer Research and Raise University’s Global Profile | Virginia Tech News

Reducing the hardships caused by cancer requires the coordination of many skilled people.

Virginia Tech’s talent is precise and accurate.

The university is focusing its scientists and engineers on a new strategy to help families struggling with a disease that affects nearly 2 million people and kills more than 600,000 in the United States each year. In addition, the incidence and mortality of cancer in dogs is similar to that of humans. Cancer will cost the world $25 trillion over the next 30 years, according to research in the journal Nature.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors was briefed Monday on faculty, university leaders and strategic planning to elevate the university into the world of cancer research and become a top 100 global research university.

Ultimately, the goal is to slow the spread of cancer to the people of Virginia and around the world.

“We are defining an opportunity for Virginia Tech to have a significant global impact,” said Michael Friedlander, vice president. health sciences and technology. “Most importantly, the university will make its contribution by building on several areas of cancer research strength from a number of established, long-standing cancer research programs.”

According to Dan Sui, senior vice president, it will not only accelerate innovative prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various cancers, but also help to focus more attention on cancer research. Office of Research and Innovation.

“As we continue to improve public health, it is imperative to recognize the potential for growth in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and to enhance the impact of faculty research through publication in high-impact journals,” said Sui. “These investments can also drive innovation and ensure our university remains at the forefront of medical advances, impacting lives on a global scale.”

When it comes to cancer research, Friedlander said Virginia Tech has differences that combine to set it apart from other universities — the Virginia Tech difference.

  • Virginia Tech has a wealth of engineering expertise that can be applied to cancer research in a variety of fields, including biomedicine, chemistry, computers, materials, and mechanical engineering. This experience uniquely positions the university to contribute to the development of new devices, technologies and treatment systems to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevent unwanted side effects such as radiation therapy injuries and chemotherapy-related complications.
  • The university boasts a strong veterinary medicine program with a state-of-the-art animal cancer care and research center on the Health Sciences and Technology campus in Roanoke. This successful and rare veterinary venue, combined with human biomedical research, creates fertile ground for research into the health interactions between humans and companion animals.
  • The university has a strong background in behavioral science research, with an increasing focus on health behavior research, focusing on cancer prevention and cancer relapse prevention in patients who have already been treated.

Created by Virginia Tech Alliance for Cancer Research to assess existing cancer research strengths across campus and encourage collaboration between scientists and engineers from all colleges, as well as with several universities and health centers such as the Carilion Clinic, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Wake Forest University.

What’s next?

To move to the next level, Friedlander said Virginia Tech needs to recruit additional cancer-focused researchers and continue to develop an organizational structure that highlights and places cancer at the center of health science research.

Further definition of areas of opportunity is necessary.

“Virginia Tech will undoubtedly stand out among established cancer research universities and programs that honorably serve the health of tomorrow’s humanity and our animal companions,” said Friedlander, who is also executive director of VTC’s Fralin Institute for Biomedical Research. . “Together with our internal and external partners, we will pursue our unique path to excellence in providing improved and affordable health care and freedom from cancer for all.”

Godfrey Kemp

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