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New research institute could help create jobs, improve health for Hoosiers

By By James Fillmore (jfillmore@wsbt.com)
Published On: Jun 11 2013 12:07:03 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 11 2013 04:36:35 PM CDT
New research institute could help create jobs, improve health for Hoosiers

SOUTH BEND-- The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is the first of its kind in the country and it could one day lead to research breakthroughs in cancer, heart disease and other diseases.  

The institute is a collaborative effort between the state, companies and universities like Notre Dame that aims to improve the lives of Hoosiers through research.

The state of Indiana gave 25 million to cover start up costs.

The hope is that another 25 million can be raised through corporate and private donations.   

They're investments that many hope will pay off in the long run.

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute could produce innovations in pharmaceuticals and medical technology while making advancements in the fight against ailments like cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

The Vice President for Research at the University of Notre Dame Robert Bernhard says, "We'd expect that there might be improved diagnostic processes so that imaging and identifying diseases would be improved by methods that would be developed through the I.B.R.I.    

10 research fellows along with other staff would work at the institute.   

Notre Dame would appoint several of the fellows as adjunct faculty members.

Bernhard says, "We think this will help us to give our students a better experience. We think it will help us to recruit faculty who are interested in having their discoveries find their way to practice."       

He says innovations in research could convince companies to stay in the state, promote commercialization locally and create high paying jobs.

Bernhard says, "Longer term we believe that the life sciences sector will grow in the state at all levels. The big companies and small start-up companies."    

Joe Waddington is a post doctoral research associate in education at Notre Dame.   

He believes the institute will help Notre Dame secure its spot as a world class research university.

Waddington says, "I think it's a great opportunity for Notre Dame life sciences research and biological sciences research to kind of expand and grow but also to kind of give back and collaborate more within the state."

The institute is a non-profit and it will be based in Indianapolis.

Eli Lily and Company and Dow Agrosicences are some of the other industries involved. Purdue and Indiana Universities are also affiliated with the institute.