June 7, 2018

Purdue University expands partnership with Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University and the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) have entered into a strategic alliance agreement that allows for seamless research interactions among researchers at both institutions.

The governance and principles of the alliance enable a long-lasting, productive and successful partnership between Purdue and the IBRI. Terms of the agreement address internal and external funding, intellectual property rights, facilities and staff resource sharing.

“Purdue has been a strong supporter and partner of the IBRI since its inception” said Suresh Garimella, the university’s executive vice president for research and partnerships and the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “We applaud the public-private approach to promoting fundamental research in Indiana with a goal of applying that research to strengthen our life sciences industries.”

Purdue launched its first joint research project with the IBRI under the newly executed agreement, and more are in the planning stages. The strengths of the two institutions are complementary, yet both share an underlying culture of rapidly translating basic discoveries to commercial application.

“We look forward to the innovation and advanced technologies our partnership will create,” Garimella said.

As another sign of the strengthening relations between Purdue and the IBRI, Rainer Fischer, chief executive officer and chief scientific and innovation officer for IBRI, has been appointed as a Presidential Fellow in the life sciences at Purdue and as a research professor in the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry.

Fischer’s research program will be housed within the Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease (PI4D), located in newly renovated laboratories in Discovery Park’s Hall for Discovery Learning Research. Fischer’s research interests, combined with the research activities in PI4D, serves as a foundation for future collaborative projects between Purdue and IBRI in disease detection, treatment and prevention.

Fischer’s strong industry connections and his extensive track record in translational research build on a rich collaborative network with IBRI researchers and Purdue faculty, and enables research to more quickly advance from the laboratory to the public.

“We are delighted that we can benefit from Dr. Fischer’s scientific expertise and proximity to Purdue University,” said Richard Kuhn, the Krenicki Family Director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease and the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences. “His strong interest and track record in biotechnology complements our efforts to promote the life sciences and enable innovative research in the immunological and disease sciences.”

Fischer has extensive experience building and leading the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology in Germany and its subsidiaries, as well as the Fraunhofer Life Sciences Alliance.

Fischer also served as department head of the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University (one of the few Excellence Universities in Germany), where he was awarded a distinguished professorship in 2015. He created the department, co-establishing both undergraduate and graduate programs that have matriculated more than 500 students including 130 graduated Ph.D. students. He is a prolific presenter and has published more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including 53 book chapters and one book. His publications have been cited almost 18,000 times. In addition to his academic and leadership experience, he co-founded five biotechnology startups, holds over 50 issued patents and has more than 120 patent applications pending.

Fischer also holds a second Professorship at Maastricht University, Netherlands, where he co-founded the Aachen-Maastricht-Institute-of-Biobased-Materials) in 2015.

“I am honored to accept this appointment from Purdue, one of our key academic partners, to help it expand its world-class research and innovation capabilities on its campus,” said Fischer. “We are grateful for Purdue’s current and past support of IBRI as it aspires to be the leading independent applied research institute in Indiana and the world.”  

About Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is an independent, nonprofit discovery science and applied research institute currently focused on innovation targeting cardio-metabolic diseases, diabetes and poor nutrition. Inspired by the state and Indiana’s leading life sciences companies, research universities and philanthropic community, the IBRI is building a world-class organization of researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs that will catalyze scientific discovery and its application, resulting in improved health outcomes for patients. For more information about the IBRI and donation or collaboration opportunities, please visit www.indianabiosciences.org.

About Purdue University

Purdue University, a top public research institution, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the University has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels. Purdue has about 40,000 students at its West Lafayette campus and is ranked 21st for public universities by U.S. News and World Report. With 24 alumni who became astronauts, including the first and last person on the moon, Purdue is called the “Cradle of Astronauts.” Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward.

About Discovery Park

Discovery Park is an open laboratory for interdisciplinary collaboration focused on global challenges. Our mission is to accelerate world-changing interdisciplinary research, enrich transformative education and advance the translation of innovation to commercialization activities of faculty, students and staff. 

Writer:  Pamela Burroff-Murr, burroff@purdue.edu 

Sources: Richard Kuhn, 765-494-1164, kuhnr@purdue.edu

Suresh Garimella, 765-494-6209, sureshg@purdue.edu

Marietta Harrison, 765-494-4231, harrisonm@purdue.edu 

Rainer Fischer, IBRI

Indiana Biosciences Research Institute contact: Mark E. Craft, 317-983-3313, email: mcraft@indianabiosciences.org

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