BLACKSBURG, Va., September 07, 2006 – The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech today announced that it will officially open a new office complex in the National Capital Region on September 28, 2006.

The new facility, which is located in Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region offices on King Street, Alexandria, Va., is the first step in a strategic move to build a larger presence in the greater Washington area. The offices and resources expand the research, development and outreach activities of the institute. The official opening ceremony will take place on September 28 at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region Operations in the presence of invited speakers from the scientific community.*

Bruno Sobral, executive and scientific director of VBI, commented: “The opening of our new offices in the greater Washington area represents a key milestone in the development of our institute. Through this initiative, we will not only be able to forge closer links with federal agencies, researchers, foundations and business development partners, but also provide space and resources for present and future faculty and staff to work in the DC area.”

Dr. Sobral added: “In just over six years, we have grown into a transdisciplinary research institute with over 200 employees supporting research efforts in biomedicine, agriculture, bioinformatics and synthetic, systems and computational biology. This forward-looking move in the National Capital Region is the next phase in our exciting plans for the expansion of VBI and opens up further opportunities for research, commercializing innovative discoveries and networking with partners.”

Dr. Charles Steger, President of Virginia Tech, remarked: “For over 30 years, Virginia Tech has witnessed steady growth in its offerings for instruction, research and outreach in the Washington DC area. In this time, we have been able to strengthen relationships with public and private sector partners that support our diverse research and education programs.” He added: “The development and planned expansion of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute in the greater Washington area confirm the commitment of the university to promote our growing scientific and technical know-how with interested parties in the greater Washington area and beyond.”

The initial facility comprises nine offices for executive staff and faculty. It includes a state-of-the-art executive meeting space and an access node grid to enable group-to-group communications. This powerful suite of multimedia facilities is suitable for large-scale distributed meetings, collaborative workstations, seminars, lectures, tutorials and training. It will also ensure close integration between the northern Virginia and Blacksburg resources of VBI.

* For media: About the opening event.

The official opening of the new facility will take place on September 28 at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region Operations, 1101 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The program will feature remarks from: Bruno Sobral, Executive and Scientific Director of VBI; Maria Giovanni, Assistant Director Microbial Genomics and Related Technology Development, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; George W. Korch Jr, Commander of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; Karl A. Western, Senior International Scientific Advisor, National Institutes of Health and other speakers to be announced. The opening addresses will be followed by refreshments and a tour of the new offices where a display will show some of the science underway at the institute. Please note that attendance is by invitation only. If you are a journalist interested in attending the event, please contact Barry Whyte, Research Communications Officer of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.


Barry Whyte
(540) 231-1767;

Published by Barry Whyte, September 06, 2006