WMU News

WMU joins Michigan's Core Technology Alliance

Sept. 30, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University has become the newest member of a consortium working to enhance life sciences research and product development across Michigan.

The Core Technology Alliance officially welcomed WMU into its ranks Sept. 22, after encouraging the University to apply for membership. WMU's membership in the CTA means its Biological Imaging Center and Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center will be added to the allliance's roster of core technology facilities.

By providing access to such advanced technologies, the CTA is serving as a catalyst for the development of life sciences and biotechnology research. It makes its technology facilities available to Michigan researchers affiliated with universities, private research institutes and biotechnology or pharmaceutical firms.

With the support of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the CTA was founded in 1999 by four members of the Michigan's Tri-Technology Corridor: Michigan's three other research universities--Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University--and the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids.

WMU President Judith I. Bailey notes that being invited to join the CTA is another example of the University's growing stature as one of Michigan's four research universities.

"We were approached to join," Bailey says. "The invitation is recognition of our unique strengths as a research university and a valued partner in the research fabric of Michigan. We're honored to be a member."

Bailey also notes that CTA membership will be a boon to WMU scientists.

"Each member brings a series of different core technologies forward," she says. "Membership will grow our research portfolio by offering opportunities for our research faculty to access these specialized technologies. And we'll be partners with the CTA for new equipment renewal funding for our core technology facilities."

WMU is one of three entities in the CTA to have more than one core technology represented in the alliance.

The Biological Imaging Center, which is housed in the Department of Biological Sciences, provides several high-tech functions. In addition to being a resource for scientists across campus who need electron microscope and image analysis, it also conducts research and medical analysis for industry around the nation as well as local hospitals.

The Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center, a commercially focused and science-driven translational research center, already is a major player in Michigan's economic development. It is successfully using its pharmaceutical expertise and resources to commercialize promising life sciences discoveries and to expand Michigan's life sciences business sector.

The CTA's other core technology facilities are: the Michigan Center for Biological Information and the Michigan Proteome Consortium at U of M; the Michigan High Throughput Screening Center at Kalamazoo Valley Community College; the Michigan Center for Structural Biology at MSU; the Michigan Animal Models Consortium at the Van Andel Institute; the Michigan Center for Genomic Technologies at WSU; and the Michigan Antibody Technology Core, which has facilities as both U of M and the Van Andel Institute.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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