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 Sept. 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 Sept. 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 Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, 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.”

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.”

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.

About the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech has a research platform centered on understanding the “disease triangle” of host–pathogen–environment interactions in plants, humans and other animals. By successfully channeling innovation into transdisciplinary approaches that combine information technology and biology, researchers at VBI are addressing some of today’s key challenges in the biomedical, environmental and agricultural sciences.

About Virginia Tech

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.

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