Van Andel Research Institute launches interdisciplinary fellowship program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2015)— As part of its commitment to develop the next generation of talented investigators, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) has launched the Van Andel Fellows program, a new concept for interdisciplinary postdoctoral training aimed the very best early career scientists.

Those selected as Van Andel Fellows will conduct postdoctoral research on an interdisciplinary project under the mentorship of two of more VARI principal investigators and will receive their own research budget. VARI’s faculty includes leaders in epigenetics, cancer biology, neurodegenerative diseases, structural biology, and cardioregenerative medicine.

“Supporting early career scientists is vital to maintaining a strong and vibrant research community,” said Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., VARI’s research director. “Likewise, supporting research projects that focus on areas at the crossroads of different fields and throughout several VARI laboratories allows us to truly leverage the outstanding potential and resources at our Institute.”

VARI supports an exceptional and growing group of postdoctoral fellows and is a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association. VARI postdoctoral fellows make significant contributions to the Institute’s research during the course of their training and have gone on to pursue successful careers in research, academia and in industry.

“The addition of the Van Andel Fellows will augment VARI’s existing strong postdoctoral fellowship program,” Jones said. “We are pleased to offer additional opportunities for early career scientists looking for the next step on their road to an independent career.”

Launching the Van Andel Fellows program is a major component of VARI’s ambitious growth strategy, which also includes the recruitment of five new faculty members in epigenetics, neuroepigenetics, skeletal disease and translational Parkinson’s disease research. This will lead to the establishment of five new laboratories at VARI, which will significantly grow the Institute’s research portfolio.

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