20 facts for 20 years
October 26, 2016
In honor of Van Andel Institute’s 20th anniversary, we’re sharing 20 facts about the Institute. We hope you learn something new!
- VAI is home to over 360 employees representing over 29 countries.
- Since Van Andel Institute broke ground in 1998, it has spurred a vital economic growth in Grand Rapids and more than $2 billion worth of research and heath care infrastructure along the city’s Medical Mile.
- Dale Chihuly’s sculpture, Life, was unveiled in 2005 and hangs in the Institute’s lobby. The sculpture was commissioned by Jay Van Andel in 2004 in memory of Betty Van Andel.
- Three of Van Andel Research Institute’s (VARI) principal investigators are fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy:
- The Institute’s Founding Research Director Dr. George Vande Woude and current Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Peter Jones are both members of the National Academy of Sciences.
- VARI is home to three fellows of the American Association for the Advancements of Science:
- Gerd Pfeifer
- Peter Jones
- George Vande Woude
- VARI’s Biorepository is accredited by the College of American Pathologists and provides biospecimen and biobanking services for several National Institutes of Health-funded projects.
- All five members of the Research Institute’s first Board of Scientific Advisors were esteemed scientists who were or became Nobel Laureates.
- VARI currently has 33 principal investigators.
- VARI scientists Drs. Peter Jones, Stephen Baylin and Stefan Jovinge played key roles in discoveries that were hailed as notable advances of 2015 by Nature Medicine.
- Since its founding, VARI investigators have published more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles.
- VARI is part of two large, international collaborations aimed at moving promising therapies into clinical trials—the Van Andel Research Institute-Stand Up To Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team and the VARI-Cure Parkinson’s Trust Linked Clinical Trials initiative.
- 100% of Van Andel Institute Graduate School graduates have gone into postdoctoral fellowships or industry positions, as of October 2016.
- Since 2001, the Institute has provided more than 300 students with summer internships. This year, VAI hosted 38 interns who represent 19 different educational institutions during the two summer sessions.
- Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) has worked with more than 3,600 students and 2,500 teachers since 1996.
- The Education Institute’s staff of 15 share their space with more 65 organisms such as bearded dragons, geckos, turtles and salamanders.
- From 2011 to 2016, VAEI has increased the number of teachers participating in face-to-face professional development by 2,240%, reaching more than 1,100 so far in 2016!
- This year, 750 students (and counting) have participated in a VAEI program, compared to 275 in 2011.
- The staff at VAEI has a combined total of 244 years of professional experience in the education industry.
- Purple Community hosts over 120 events per year ranging from individuals, schools, teams and organizations who raise over $300,000 annually for Van Andel Institute.