Virginia Tech receives $50 million donation for cancer and health research expansion

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:37 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A nonprofit based in Richmond donated $50 million to Virginia Tech. That money will go to expand health science and cancer research.

The nonprofit, The Red Gate Foundation, gave Virginia Tech one of the largest monetary donations in the school’s history. $50 million will help fund cancer research projects, hiring 14 more cancer researchers and funding projects to get into the clinical trial stage.

“All those things have real costs associated with them,” Fralin Biomedical Institute executive director Michael Friedlander said. “When you can move things along more quickly, make the purchases, hire the people and get them on board, because you have the money in hand, you really can advance and catalyze progress in research.”

Friedlander explained these types of donations prevent competition and waiting for grant funding.

“Now with this big step up in cancer research, this enables us at the Fralin Biomedical Institute to really be on the world stage, be competitive and be innovating in that space,” Friedlander said.

Many of the funded projects will focus on brain disorders and cancer research. Friedlander explained these projects will help provide care throughout rural communities.

“It really puts the city on the map, not that Roanoke hasn’t been on the map it’s a wonderful place to live, but in the world of medical research, it really hasn’t been known as being a major player in that area,” Friedlander said. “Now they’ll look to Roanoke as one of those places.”