VSU announces the Center for Biotechnology, Genomics, & Bioinformatics
VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY, VA—Virginia State University (VSU) is excited to announce the establishment of the VSU Center for Biotechnology, Genomics, and Bioinformatics (VSU CeBiGeBi). The VSU CeBiGeBi, believed to be unique among HBCUs nationwide, will be a hub for interdisciplinary education and research on the VSU campus.
The VSU CeBiGeBi will also provide VSU students with state-of-the-art and interdisciplinary training in biotechnology, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and bioinformatics by integrating biology, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and other related disciplines. Such knowledge and skills are also essential in biomedical sciences, agriculture, forensics, paternity/maternity testing, ancestry studies, environmental protection, and fundamental biological research.
“We are excited to provide extensive training in these high-in-demand fields. We look forward to preparing VSU graduates for a variety of high-quality career opportunities and opportunities to become leaders in fields with the potential to have a global impact,” said Dr. Xianfa Xie, Associate Professor in the VSU Department of Biology and the Founding Director of the VSU CeBiGeBi.
As an interdisciplinary education and research center, the VSU CeBiGeBi will develop B.S. degree programs in Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences; certificate programs in Genomics and Bioinformatics; accelerated M.S. Programs in Health Informatics, Public Health Data Science, and Bioinformatics. It will also facilitate the creation of a new cross-college and interdepartmental doctoral program and help VSU students enroll in doctoral/professional programs in related areas or find job opportunities. Furthermore, the VSU CeBiGeBi endeavors to synergize research collaborations among faculty from different disciplines, enhance research productivity, and attract external programmatic and research funding:
“Similar to our participation in the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (APM) Cluster, initiatives like VSU CeBiGeBi continue to expand the impact of VSU on the region’s economic development. We plan to continue providing opportunities for our students and faculty to contribute to high-growth fields and the development of key industries in the region.” Dr. M. Omar Faison, Associate Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development and Interim Dean of the VSU College of Graduate Studies.
“These programs, through a combination of hands-on experiential learning, research, and career services, will not only provide extensive training in some of the highest-in-demand fields in which people from minority groups or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds have been severely underrepresented but also prepare VSU graduates for a variety of high-quality career opportunities and become leaders in the related technologies and business fields that will benefit their families, communities, VSU, and the world.” Dr. Derrick Scott, Dean of the VSU College of Natural and Health Sciences.
The Center will have an immediate impact by providing well-trained VSU graduates to the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (APM) Cluster in central Virginia, which has recently been funded through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge, of which VSU is a partner. Dr. Dawit Haile, Dean of the VSU College of Engineering and Technology
The VSU Center for Biotechnology, Genomics, and Bioinformatics (VSU CeBiGeBi) supports the 2022-2025 VSU Strategic Plan Priority 2 to strategically establish and enhance academic programs to deliver distinctive, responsive, and innovative offerings that effectively prepare leaders and scholars to meet the demands of a global society and workforce. It further supports the VSU goal to prepare our students to be competitive in the growing fields of computer science, cyber security, engineering, food science, military science, and health care.