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Virginia Tech to launch cancer research initiative

Virginia Tech plans to launch a cancer research initiative to promote collaboration among engineers, veterinarians, biomedical researchers and other scientists.

“We are going to create a sense of intellectual community of common interest for people. That takes money, resources and creating things they are interested in,” said Michael Friedlander, Tech’s vice president of health sciences and technology. “We are going to make available instrumentation and facilities for cancer researchers to use from all over the campus, some of which will be here, some of which will be new things we haven’t gotten yet. And we’re going to survey people: What do you need that you don’t have at Virginia Tech for leading-edge research?”

Friedlander said the initiative will create a way for researchers across Tech’s campuses, colleges and institutes to let others know about their cancer projects. The initiative will provide small grants to promote collaborations that could lead to joint projects that go after larger grants from foundations and agencies.

The initiative will be centered on building collaborations within the university while also building on relationships with Carilion Clinic and Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., to advance patient care.

“It’s a great thing, and brings together different ways of thinking,” said Nick Dervisis, an oncologist at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinarian Medicine, who said he’s already benefited from working with engineers.

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