GRAND RAPIDS – Ferris State University’s new Molecular Diagnostics Lab will officially be introduced to the public in a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Thursday, April 11 at 5:30 p.m. on 151 Fountain Street NE, Room 124. A reception will precede at 4:30 p.m.
Ceremony participants will include George Heartwell, city of Grand Rapids mayor, and Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce members. As part of the event, the chamber will provide the official ribbon-cutting scissors and ribbon. The event also is listed on the official Chamber of Commerce website at www.grandrapids.org/ribbon-cuttings.
Matthew Adeyanju, dean of the College of Health Professions, will welcome visitors to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He will introduce key individuals who have helped make the vision of the Molecular Diagnostics Lab a reality, including: Donald Green, vice president of Extended and International Operations; Tracy Powers, assistant dean in EIO; Jonathan Karnes, a faculty member and program coordinator for Molecular Diagnostics; Joe Wang, a faculty member and clinical coordinator for Molecular Diagnostics; and Grand Rapids Community College officials.
Green will discuss the genesis of the Molecular Diagnostics program, including the growth of molecular medicine, the need for qualified clinical molecular scientists to sustain this growth, and Ferris’ commitment to providing the cutting-edge resources needed to educate the next generation of molecular scientists.
Heartwell will speak about partnerships between Ferris and Grand Rapids, the growth of the biotechnology industry, the importance of biotechnology and medical research to the economies of Grand Rapids, West Michigan and the state, and more.
Karnes will touch on a variety of topics, including: collaborations with biotech companies, the possibility of joint research projects, lab tours for K-12 students, interaction with the Grand Rapids Public Schools School of Health Science, a molecular diagnostics summer DNA camp and more.
Karnes noted that the field of laboratory medicine is advancing toward the use of molecular techniques and molecular diagnostics for the detection of genetic disorders, pre-transplantation screening, infection diseases and cancer. The introduction of personalized medicine is expected to spur an increase in genetic testing. Molecular diagnostics is expected to aid in the decision for therapy used in genetic disorders.
The Molecular Diagnostics lab is housed in the Applied Technology Center at GRCC. The location is in the heart of the city’s Medical Mile, which includes the Spectrum Health complex and Van Andel Research Institute. In addition to this focused location of biomedical research, the greater Grand Rapids area is also home to a number of biotechnology companies.