Fralin, Friedlander Nationally Recognized for Biomedical Research Advocacy

Dr. Michael J. Friedlander and Heywood Fralin

Heywood Fralin, philanthropist, and Michael Friedlander, PhD, founding Executive Director of Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC (FBRI) and Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology at Virginia Tech, are being recognized by Research!America for their leadership in medical and health research.

Fralin and Friedlander collaborated to establish FBRI, recruit world-class biomedically-focused research teams, and build partnership with leading institutions to expand research opportunities and investment across the state.

Heywood Fralin, is a lifelong resident of Roanoke, Virginia and visionary philanthropist. He has served on numerous boards including the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, Virginia Business Council, and the Virginia State Council of Higher Education. Currently, Fralin serves as Vice Chair on the Board of the Taubman Museum of Art and serves on the Virginia Western Community College Foundation Board of Directors among other leadership positions. He passionately supports and advocates for the advancement of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion.

Dr. Michael J. Friedlander, leads a dynamic network that connects and enhances health science-related work across Virginia Tech. His work strengthens partnerships with Carilion Clinic and promotes collaboration between Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and other colleges and research institutes. It also connects the biomedical hub in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region to the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, which is expected to provide resources in computation as well as data, electronic health record, and social science analytics.

Together, they are being honored with the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award which honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to increasing the level of advocacy for medical, public health or other health-related research in their communities or on a state or national level.

“Mr. Fralin and Dr. Friedlander have led the way in developing a biotechnology hub in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. Our innovation ecosystem owes so much to their vison and leadership. They have certainly earned this recognition and RBTC warmly congratulates them on this well-deserved award,” said Erin Burcham, President of Verge and RBTC Executive Director.

Research!America is a non-profit medical and health research advocacy alliance organized to achieve funding, advocate for policies, inform the public, and promote engagement with medical and health research. The 2023 Advocacy Awards will take place March 15 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.

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