Ribbon cut at Fralin Biomedical Research Institute on VTC’s campus

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 7:19 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As Virginia Tech, community leaders, and government officials cut a ribbon signifying completion, they’re reminded of the day almost four years ago that marked the building’s beginning.

“What it means to our region, what it means to my grandchildren, to my grandchildren’s grandchildren, is a healthy economy, but more than that, healthy lives,” said Nancy Agree, president and CEO of Carilion Clinic.

A picture of health can be seen in just about every corner of the 139,000-square-foot facility.

Inside there are labs dedicated to cancer research in humans and animals, a metabolic kitchen, a 3D printing lab and CT imaging, which are just some of the benefits that will now be in Roanoke.

“We have a lot of people who go back and forth from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to this research facility, and to this campus, and we’re gonna see a lot more of that,” said Virginia Tech’s President Tim Sands.

While COVID-19 delayed the grand opening by over a year, researchers have been hard at work. The third floor of the facility is home to a molecular diagnostics lab for COVID-19 testing.

By 2026, the facility is expected to produce an annual economic impact of $450 million.

“Here we are finally being able to celebrate together, it’s a big deal, it’s time,” said Sands.

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