SRI International has completed the expansion of its 40,000-sq.-ft. R&D facility in Harrisonburg, VA. SRI invested $2.8 million to build-out and enhance its bioscience research capabilities at SRI's Shenandoah Valley (SRI SV) Center for Advanced Drug Research.
The new biomedical facilities include more than 2,500-sq.-ft. of lab and storage areas for preclinical research, drug discovery, and drug development programs. SRI SV focuses on basic research, including infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, and proteomics for the discovery and development of vaccines and biologics, and personalized medicine, such as companion diagnostics and biomarkers.
In addition, the company has expanded its biosciences team at SRI SV with the appointment of Thomas Voss, Ph.D., as director of Virology in the Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Tianyi "Tony" Wang, Ph.D., as senior scientist, Virology, and Lynn Chellarajan, as laboratory supervisor.
Dr. Voss will continue his research on new models for developing treatments for influenza and other infectious diseases. He joins the company from the faculty of Tulane School of Medicine's Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
Dr. Wang’s current research includes characterizing the role of the occludin protein in HCV entry and how HCV infection alters the physiology of the areas between cells where membranes join together. Prior to joining SRI, Mr. Wang was a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.
Ms. Chellarajan will serve as the operational manager of SRI's new SRI SV preclinical labs and will oversee the daily operation of a broad range of toxicology and pharmacology studies. Prior to joining SRI, she spent more than a decade working in the pharmaceutical industry at PharmaMar USA, Millennium, and Eisai.
"In 2007, a small number of SRI colleagues and I first began working in a laboratory on the campus of James Madison University, which marked the founding of our Center for Advanced Drug Research in Shenandoah Valley. Since then, due in large part to the support of the Commonwealth of Virginia and other regional partners, we have grown and established a state-of-the-art facility tackling the challenges of drug discovery and development for critical and emerging diseases," said Krishna Kodukula, Ph.D., executive director, strategic development and site head of SRI Shenandoah Valley. "Tom Voss, Tony Wang, and Lynn Chellarajan, the most recent staff members to join our team from around the world, are valuable assets in SRI's expanded research capabilities."