By Aila Boyd
The Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce held its 50th Annual Gala and Dinner last Tuesday at Virginia Mountain Vineyards.
Dr. Michael Friedlander, vice president of health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech, served as the keynote speaker. He discussed the growing biomedical research enterprise in Roanoke and the implications for the region.
Friedlander is also the founding executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and senior dean for research at the VTC School of Medicine.
Under Friedlander’s leadership, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s research program has amassed $125 million in grant value in its first nine years. The program has 28 research teams and over 350 investigators and students.
Before assuming his current position, Friedlander served as the Robertson endowed Professor and Chair of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He has also served as a professor and founding chair of the Department of Neurobiology at UAB School of Medicine in Birmingham, Ala. where he was the founding director of the Intellectual Disabilities Research Center, director of the Civitan International Research Center, and the Evelyn McKnight Professor of Learning and Memory.
A silent auction was also held to raise funds for the chamber’s scholarship program. The recipients of the chamber’s 2019 scholarships were Emma Hall, Lord Botetourt High School, Bailey Marshall, James River High School, and Halee Guentzel, James River High School.