Purdue Makes Big Life Sciences Play

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Suresh Garimella says the initiative will capitalize on Purdue's strengths. Suresh Garimella says the initiative will capitalize on Purdue's strengths.
WEST LAFAYETTE -

Purdue University's executive vice president for research and partnerships says the $60 million Pillars of Excellence in the Life Sciences Initiative will help add a "third leg" to existing footholds in engineering and agriculture. Suresh Garimella says the effort will bring together system-wide disciplines related to life sciences and establish the Center for Integrative Neurosciences and the Institute for Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. The centers will be housed at Discovery Park in West Lafayette. The focus of the initiative was narrowed down from 17 national and in-house proposals.

The university says the initiative will help add "high-profile, leading" faculty, advanced instrumentation, new and upgraded facilities and technical staff.

Garimella says the effort is also spurring other areas of investment, including precision medicine and pharmacophenomics, biological big data science and toxicological sciences and engineering.

The Center for Integrative Neurosciences will be headed up by Biological Sciences Professor Donna Fekete and the Institute for Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases will be led up by Department of Biological Sciences head Richard Kuhn.

The program is part of Purdue's recently-announced $2 billion "Ever True" long-term fundraising campaign.

President Mitch Daniels says "the life sciences are a critical part of our considerable research portfolio at Purdue and enhancing our impact and reputation in this area is of great significance to Purdue’s future."

Purdue University Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships Suresh Garimella tells Inside INdiana Business the Life Sciences Initiative will boost economic development beyond the confines of the university.
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