George Mason University

George Mason University is ready to tackle the most pressing health and medical challenges facing society today.

Equipped with its new Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research that opened earlier this year, George Mason now has its new home for biomedical innovation. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera were at the facility’s opening and launch event earlier this year, and both echoed high hopes for the facility.

Biomedical research and biotechnology play a vital role in improving the lives of our citizens and create opportunities that are vital for the new Virginia economy, said Governor McAuliffe.

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The $40 million, 75,000 sf Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research will focus solely on research of biomedical innovation that could lead to new businesses and health solutions.

The institute will also partner with community hospitals, regional medical centers and other major research universities to help build focused efforts on biomedical research and development. As the George Mason University press release for the facility noted, “Researchers from across the university’s colleges will work together under one roof to find advanced diagnostics and treatment for cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.”

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Current research efforts at the Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research span personalized medicine, proteomics, cancer treatments, infectious diseases and other current health issues.

Some of the specific highlights include:

  • George Mason University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, which has pioneered applications of proteomics to treatments for patients with metastatic breast cancer, who previously had few options for care.
  • Technology created by Mason’s proteomics team is helping other biomedical fields develop faster diagnostic tools and discover new insights into disease. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and American Association for Cancer Research have awarded a member of the team $1 million in grant money to research pancreatic cancer.
  • Last year, George Mason University partnered with the Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (Tgen) in a first-of-its-kind alliance. The university’s proteomics works complements Tgen’s leading role in genomics, or DNA, research. Combined, proteomics and genomics delve into the underlying causes of disease and can pinpoint the best treatment for each patient.
  • A $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding HIV research that shows promise in finding a cure within the next few years.
  • Researchers are also looking for answers in the natural world, from reptile blood to cranberries. Research led by Dr. Barney Bishop supported by a $7.5 million Defense Threat Reduction Agency Grant are studying sophisticated germ-fighters in alligator blood that could help wounded soldiers in the field fend off infection.