BLACKSBURG, Va., Jul. 12, 2004 - Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) recognized Minnis E. Ridenour, Tracy D. Wilkins, and David E. Sebring for their service and dedication to VBI at the institute’s annual picnic/birthday celebration on July 1, 2004. The three special guests at the event were instrumental in the development of the institute and continue to support VBI as valued advisors.

Ridenour helped plan and develop the institute, and then served as an ex-officio member of the VBI Policy Advisory Board beginning in July 2000. During his tenure as ex-officio member, Ridenour served as a valued counselor and advisor to the VBI Policy Advisory Board. In addition, Ridenour was instrumental in the development of the initial proposal to the Executive Branch of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which led to legislative authorization of VBI. The institute presented Ridenour with a resolution from the VBI Policy Advisory Board for his contributions, leadership, support, and visions for VBI.

Wilkins also helped plan and develop the institute, as he served as Interim Director from February to June 2000. During this time, Wilkins guided the hiring of the first faculty members and the permanent director of VBI. His service as Interim Director provided the faculty base to support future research initiatives. Wilkins also contributed his time and talents to supervise the design of Bioinformatics Facilities I and II, as well as the initial construction phases of Bioinformatics Facility I. VBI presented Wilkins with a resolution from the VBI Policy Advisory Board for his years of association with VBI, leadership, and ongoing commitment to the institute.

Sebring has faithfully served, and continues to serve, VBI for four years beginning in July 2000 as the Associate Director, Corporate and Government Relations. Sebring has served as a senior staff representative, counselor, and advisor to the VBI Policy Advisory Board. Like Ridenour, Sebring played a key role in VBI’s establishment, as he helped develop the initial proposal to the Executive Branch of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the institute. The institute presented Sebring with a resolution from the VBI Policy Board for his enthusiastic and unflagging representation of VBI to corporate constituents and federal and state legislators and agencies.

Again, VBI extends their thanks to Ridenour, Wilkins, and Sebring for their service and support of the institute.

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Published by Public Relations, July 11, 2004