Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Health Form Joint Venture to Create Center for Molecular Medicine
News Mar 16, 2007
Spectrum Health and Van Andel Institute (VAI) have announced a $6 million joint venture that will offer 21st century molecular technologies for investigation of complex diseases like cancer, heart disease, mental illness and other conditions at the DNA, RNA and protein levels.
Daniel H. Farkas, Ph.D., a nationally respected leader in the field of molecular diagnostics, has been named Executive Director of the CMM.
The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) will provide West Michigan with a laboratory that will aid in early diagnoses and enhance personalized medicine. The Center will also attract new opportunities for diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies to conduct trials in a medical and clinical research environment.
Located in the GVSU Cook-DeVos Center for Health Studies in downtown Grand Rapids, the CMM is a complementary element to West Michigan’s commitment to health care and the life sciences.
The Center combines Spectrum Health’s clinical, laboratory and research resources, and VAI’s research expertise and intellectual property with the latest in molecular biological technology.
“To fulfill the mission of the Institute, we must move our findings from the research laboratory to the clinical laboratory. The Center for Molecular Medicine will allow us to do this in an accelerated fashion and positively impact human health,” said David Van Andel, Chairman & CEO of Van Andel Institute.
“We have the research expertise and Spectrum Health has a large patient population which allows us to apply what we’re learning directly into the clinical setting,” said Andel.
“The Center for Molecular Medicine is an investment in the future of health care,” said Richard C. Breon, President & CEO, Spectrum Health.
“It accelerates the drive toward personalized medicine – the tailoring of treatment based on molecular make-up. We are very fortunate to have an individual of Dan Farkas’ caliber on board as we work to offer physicians and their patients the most advanced diagnostic treatment options available – options typically offered only at the nation’s largest academic medical research centers.”
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) look at large populations to find genes that contribute to common, multi-gene traits like height or obesity. These comprehensive studies frequently turn up large numbers of tiny genetic variations that occur more often in people who are tall, obese, etc. So which genes should scientists investigate further?READ MORE
In recent years, numerous studies have shown that people who don't get enough sleep are at greater risk of stroke and heart attack. A study found that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night have lower blood levels of three physiological regulators, or microRNAs, which influence gene expression and play a key role in maintaining vascular health.