Letter from the Director

Letter from the Director

Translational research–that bench-to-bedside work that directly impacts human health–enlists the talents of doctors and designers, programmers and scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. Their collaborations require state-of-the-art research, lab, and meeting space that can break down traditional scientific research silos and enable pioneering approaches to investigation and implementation.

The North Campus Research Complex has the capacity to support this kind of leading-edge, trans-disciplinary innovation at the University of Michigan. In the past seven years NCRC has created more than 350 new jobs, hosted over 1,000 events, and more than 30 partnerships have co-located here. Meanwhile, we have kept our operating expenses under budget every year.

I wrote in last year’s letter that I looked forward to announcing new groups moving into the NCRC–it gives me great pleasure now to share with you that the U-M Health System’s clinical pathology activities will begin renovating four buildings at NCRC with relocation starting in 2018.

The pathology project will add hundreds more occupants to NCRC, bringing our total to around 3,200 within the next four to five years. It will be terrific to have pathology connected to the other groups here, establishing relationships and developing ideas in the NCRC research community.

As our colleague Jack Hu, Vice President for Research, says, “NCRC has become a vibrant hub of activities that showcase our commitment as a public research university to societal impact.” NCRC is committed to providing the collaborative, innovative and diverse environment that complex research programs need in order to attract world-class investigators, programs, funding, and business support.

In addition to our many U-M research programs, we are home to external partners like Lycera, and the Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research.  In the next year we will also be welcoming Denso, a private manufacturer of auto parts using innovative technology to make automobiles more eco-friendly. These partners are flourishing in NCRC’s collaborative environment: in the past year, the Business Engagement Center’s overall revenue increased 11 percent, while the Tech Transfer Venture Center helped launch 19 start-ups in 2015 with 14 companies in the Accelerator Program.

U-M has always promoted individual excellence among its researchers, but ever since President Emeritus Mary Sue Coleman exhorted us to “partner or perish,” there has been growing recognition that collaboration and team-based science are also essential. President Mark Schlissel–an M.D./Ph.D. himself–has continued to emphasize cross-school interdisciplinary science, and the living proof of that is at NCRC.

NCRC faculty members, researchers, administrators, and students have built a diverse, inclusive community in which they can take risks and do research differently. I share their commitment to human health, and feel fortunate to be part of the advancement of NCRC’s robust research environment. I look forward to returning to you again next year to share the successes of the groups collaborating and innovating on this connected, vibrant, flourishing campus.

David Canter, M.B., Ch.B.
Executive Director, NCRC

U-M has two stated missions for NCRC: to expand the University’s strengths in translational research, and to help lead the resurgence of the Michigan economy.

David Canter, M.B., Ch.B. Executive Director, NCRC