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Virginia Tech is partnering with Children’s National Hospital on a biomedical research facility

The Blacksburg, Virginia-based university will manage a 12,000-square-foot facility as part of the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus coming to the District.

A view of the future Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus. (Photo via Virginia Tech's website)

Virginia Tech is partnering with Children’s National Hospital to bring a biomedical research facility to the hospital’s new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus in the District.

Children’s National takes up a 12-acre portion of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The formal partnership between Virginia Tech and Children’s National includes a 12,000-square-foot facility within the research and innovation campus that’s an expansion of the hospital. The new campus is set to open its first 158,000-square-foot phase in December 2020. Its work will focus on pediatric research.

“Our clinical expertise combined with Virginia Tech’s leadership in engineering and technology, and its growing emphasis on biomedical research, will be a significant advance in developing much needed treatment and cures to save children’s lives,” said Children’s National President and CEO Kurt Newman in a statement.

Faculty from the Children’s National Research Institute and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will continue to collaborate to develop “new drugs, medical devices, software applications, and other novel treatments for cancer, rare diseases and other disorders,” according to a press release. The pair will jointly lead the facility, including choosing faculty, leading research projects and training students.

Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said that the new facility also offers opportunities for collaboration with the university’s upcoming Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia.

“The new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus will exemplify why D.C. is the capital of inclusive innovation — because we are a city committed to building the public and private partnerships necessary to drive discoveries, create jobs, promote economic growth, and keep D.C. at the forefront of innovation and change,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in a statement.

This collaboration with Virginia Tech comes after Children’s National announced a partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC to launch JLABS @ Washington, DC earlier this year. The health tech incubator will also be a part of the Research & Innovation Campus, where it will welcome health tech companies to work on advancing their medical products and services. JLABS will work with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority “to establish a specialized innovation zone to develop responses to health security threats.”

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