Family of Roanoke lawyer, philanthropist William Lemon contributes $1 million to support Fralin Biomedical Research Institute
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the type of research this gift is expected to support.
The William Jacob and Barbara Boyle Lemon family has made a $1 million gift to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. The gift will help researchers develop new ways to treat conditions that impact millions of people.
“If the institute achieves what we think it’s going to, it will continue to grow its impact and visibility as a recognized example for changing medical discovery worldwide. It’s going to have the potential to make medical breakthroughs that will benefit the world population,” said William J. Lemon, a Roanoke lawyer, army veteran, and philanthropist. “We have a strong foundation at VTC, but need to continue to attract and retain top researchers.”
The gift will help the rapidly expanding research institute continue to recruit and retain world-class researchers in the institute's core focus areas, such as cancer, cardiovascular science, and neuroscience. The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute research portfolio is anticipated to double in size with the expansion of a 140,000-square-foot building, slated to open next fall, where roughly 400 additional scientists and staff will be working by 2027.
“We are extremely grateful for the Lemon family's generous gift to the research institute,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech.
Recruitment for the new building's research teams began earlier this summer.
"The Lemon family's gift will help us competitively recruit and retain the very best people to advance the pace and impact of discovery and the translation of those discoveries to practice in the key health areas that we have targeted,” said Friedlander.
This generous gift to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute was contributed by the Lemon family, which along with William Lemon and his late wife, Barbara, includes their children Sarah Ludwig, Tucker Lemon, and Stephen Lemon.