Suresh and Gerry

Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships, discusses the Lilly partnership on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick.


Eli Lilly and Company and Purdue University have announced a strategic collaboration to conduct life science research. The five-year agreement, in which Lilly will provide up to $52 million, marks Purdue’s largest strategic collaboration with a single company.

“Purdue has enjoyed a long history of engagement with Lilly. Now Lilly and Purdue University are entering into a new level of collaboration that will move us forward in areas core to both institutions,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “Our investment on campus in the life sciences announced in 2016 is leading to just the types of impact we hoped to effect.”

“The biomedical revolution is upon us, but harnessing its full potential will require strong collaboration between academic research centers and industry partners,” said David Ricks, Lilly’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to expanding our relationship with Purdue as we work together to discover breakthrough solutions for patients.”

Initial research focus areas include:

  • Developing improved delivery of injectable medicines with the goals of reducing pain, decreasing the number of injections, and enabling better patient compliance and overall health.
  • Developing predictive models for clinical success that reduce risks associated with investing in drug development and more effectively predict the outcome of new therapies in humans.

The collaboration envisions expansion to other areas to further utilize the range of expertise at the two institutions.

Purdue researchers from the natural and physical sciences, engineering and veterinary medicine will contribute to the interdisciplinary collaboration with Lilly researchers.

“This strategic agreement links our two organizations in a commitment to scientific research supporting the global needs of patients,” said Andrew Dahlem, Ph.D., vice president, chief operating officer, Lilly Research Laboratories. “In addition, our collaboration strengthens our shared commitment to attract and retain the top engineering and technology talent in Indiana.”

“Purdue University’s investment in the life sciences last year has undoubtedly increased opportunities for engagement with industry partners,” said Suresh Garimella, Purdue’s executive vice president for research and partnerships and Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “This agreement with one of the most prominent companies headquartered in the state of Indiana is a particular point of pride. The collaboration was structured from the inception to be coordinated by the leadership at Lilly and Purdue to ensure relevance and unprecedented collaboration among teams of university and company researchers.”

News release: