College of
Human
Medicine

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January 2008

Regional leaders in health care and education today announced the creation of a state-of-the-art laboratory, to be housed in Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, that will bring new cutting-edge women’s health research to downtown Grand Rapids. 

The lab is a joint effort of Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, the West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative (WMSTI) and Spectrum Health. Work is expected to commence by mid February. 

Leading one of MSU’s first Grand Rapids-based research endeavors will be Richard E. Leach, MD, MSU College of Human Medicine department chair for obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology. Dr. Leach is nationally recognized for research in the field of women’s health and reproductive biology, and his studies include conditions and diseases that affect women and fertility, such as endometriosis and miscarriage. 

Dr. Leach is leading the MSU/Spectrum Health recruitment of a team of scientists and physicians who will address a broad range of research issues in women’s health in the new lab. 

"This partnership between Grand Valley, WMSTI, MSU and Spectrum Health provides an extraordinary environment for recruiting accomplished researchers in women's health," Leach said. 

The MSU College of Human Medicine lab will be housed on the fifth floor of the Cook-DeVos Center - which is also home to the WMSTI. MSU researchers will have their own dedicated wet lab space, along with access to existing Grand Valley space on the fifth floor that includes 100 key pieces of laboratory equipment. 

“We're pleased to be able to facilitate this exciting opportunity which underscores another example of the incredible collaborative infrastructure under way in this community,” said Linda Chamberlain, executive director of WMSTI.

The announcement builds on the January 2007 agreement between the three institutions to collaborate on future research and academic projects by sharing resources and talent. The agreements were signed by Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spectrum Health President and CEO Richard C. Breon. 

"This is exactly the kind of collaboration that President Simon and I envisioned in our mission to respect, enhance and complement each other’s programming strengths," said Haas. 

Simon echoed those sentiments, adding: “President Haas, Mr. Breon and I agree that sharing resources and leveraging our collective strengths in health science is an effective way to expand research opportunities in West Michigan for all of our institutions.”

“This is an excellent example of how our partnership can improve research,” said Breon. “The majority of Spectrum Health’s research efforts are focused in other areas. However, this arrangement helps us expand our work in women’s health by sharing resources and staff.”

Today’s announcement marks another milestone for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine expansion to Grand Rapids. In October, the college unveiled architectural renderings for the new Secchia Center, made possible by the generous support of Spectrum Health and the Grand Rapids community. Construction will begin this spring. The Secchia Center will open fall 2010 with a new class of 100 students. In the meantime, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is completing renovation of a temporary site at 234 Division Avenue and will welcome 50 second-year students this fall.

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