VBI received the Outstanding Achievement in Bioscience Award from Governor McAuliffe

This year, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute celebrates 15 years of exciting discovery. From the early years of plant pathology-based bioinformatics to our latest work with big data and biocomplexity, the institute has consistently stayed at the forefront of the bioinformatics revolution.Chris Barrett speaking in VBI Conference Center

This was apparent at THRIVE 2015, the Governor’s recent forum on Bio and Big Data/Analytics, sponsored by the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBio). Held in Chantilly, Virginia on April 23, this event featured bioscience leaders from across Virginia and beyond, and highlighted the ever-growing importance of bioinformatics and bioscience to the Commonwealth’s continued well-being.  

A central theme of the gathering was how Virginia can leverage its strengths in engineering to advance biotechnology within the Commonwealth. VBI is especially well-positioned to integrate the computational and experimental fields in service of VaBio’s mission of connecting entrepreneurs with funders, collaborators with partners, and push bioscience in the commonwealth into the 21st century.  

Recognizing our contributions in the field, Governor McAuliffe bestowed the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Bioscience on the institute.  “We were very honored to receive this award from the Governor,” said Dr. Chris Barrett, Executive Director of VBI. “This is a clear signal that all our hard work in the field has paid off.”

During the lightning round sessions, Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Director of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) and Founder of BioTherapeutics, discussed how computational modeling is used to guide pre-clinical and clinical research, thereby accelerating therapeutic development. This fed into a discussion of bioscience and economic development, and how we can continue to encourage the flowering of the biotechnology industry within the Commonwealth.

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute will continue to deliver excellence in bioscience via its exciting research program, from high-performance computing-based modeling and simulation to incorporating social research with big data analytics and the latest addition of the Mathematical Biocomplexity Laboratory.

All of our research offers new ways of seeing the world through the eyes of bioinformatics. The applications of our work are truly endless, from being able to thoroughly coordinate an emergency response to disease to building proteins that block disease before it starts. We look forward to the next 15 years and more outstanding achievements for VBI.

Published by Tiffany Trent, April 30, 2015