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TGen, Van Andel Partner on Disease Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The Van Andel Research Institute has formed a collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute aimed at advancing both organizations' disease research goals.

Van Andel said today that its research institute will combine VARI's basic research knowledge with TGen's translational genomics and analysis capabilities to further studies of diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes, and infectious diseases.

Under the alliance, TGen President and Scientific Director Jeffrey Trent will replace George Vande Woude as VARI's director, although he will retain his role at TGen.

The alliance will involve combining "many of the scientific, educational, financial, and business potentials of TGen and VARI," and will "enhance the economic development of both Arizona and Western Michigan," Trent said in a statement.

VARI, which is located in Grand Rapids, Mich., also said that it plans to open a 240,000 square-foot building expansion this fall, which will expand its neurological disorders and chronic illness research.

VARI has primarily focused on basic research, including seeking causes of disease in individual cells, and using that information to identify biomarkers to identify diseases and in drug development.

The alliance and affiliation agreement will become effective this July.