May 15, 2013

Jerry Giles
(804) 545-5703
-Newly established corporation fosters collaborative scientific research innovation and partnerships-

RICHMOND - The Board of Directors of the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC) today announced that it has selected Michael Grisham as VBHRC President and CEO. Grisham has served as Founder, Managing Member and CEO of GPB Scientific LLC since 2002. Boasting 21 years of experience in the biosciences-related field, he has served as founder and CEO of Cell Point Diagnostics Corporation; Living Microsystems Inc.; MyWay Health, Inc.; and Paradigm Health, Inc. Grisham holds a BA from University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Established in 2013, VBHRC’s mission is to:

• Foster collaborative scientific research innovation, and provide a new program for public/private partnering with Virginia universities;
• Serve as a catalyst to accelerate and focus life sciences research momentum at Virginia’s universities;
• Stimulate industrial partnerships and increased corporate-sponsored research;
• Create clinical cooperation around patient-oriented studies;
• Develop high-value patents, foster new startup companies, and create jobs;
• Raise Virginia’s ranking in healthcare delivery and the life sciences nationally.

Speaking about selecting Grisham, Interim Chair of the VBHRC Jerry Giles said, “Mike Grisham is a successful, serial entrepreneur in the life sciences arena who has exhibited persistence and keen skills in building high performance and collaborative teams to find big solutions to big problems. He also has been active in sharing his skill and experiences with others in the biosciences field by serving as a director of the Virginia Biotechnology Association since 2007 and its board Chairman since 2012, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Commonwealth University, Intellectual Property Foundation since 2008. The members of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation are extremely pleased that Mike has embraced with passion the mission and strategy of this corporation and that he will be serving in this leadership role.”

Increasingly, leading pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology firms are choosing Virginia. The Commonwealth’s bioscience industry is made up of nearly 800 firms with approximately 28,700 employees. Virginia offers companies a central location in the mid-Atlantic life sciences corridor combined with access to leading research institutes, including SRI International, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 11 Federally Funded R&D Centers, and 20 FLC laboratories. Ample opportunities exist for co-location and cooperative relationships with Virginia’s universities, federal labs and other research entities, and the VBHRC is designed to promote and foster these partnerships and increase the Commonwealth’s standing in life sciences nationally.

The VBHRC is being funded at $5 million for 2013/2014 from the General Assembly’s General Fund. Five founding institutions, Eastern Virginia Medical School, George Mason University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, will each pay a $50,000 cash contribution in each of the first and second years. An 11-member Project Management and Oversight Panel has been recruited, including the founding university representatives’ nominated candidates; scientists from disciplines related to the scientific fields from which proposals will be developed; and private sector members.

The VBHRC Board of Directors is comprised of 13 members, including five university members, with one member appointed from each of the five founding universities; five members designated by the Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, including one member from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, one from the office of Commerce and Trade, two from major statewide health care system providers in Virginia, and one from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; one from the private equity/venture capital community; and two members from life science companies. Grisham will report directly to the Board of Directors.

In accepting the position, Grisham said, “Our goal is to have the Commonwealth of Virginia be the very best in the nation at translational medicine and commercialization. We will achieve this by teaming up the biosciences industry with our world-class academic researchers and focusing efforts on solving large unmet medical needs. Our global mission is to rapidly commercialize scientific breakthroughs that will improve the human condition by enabling people to live longer, healthier and higher quality lives.”

For more information, please contact Jerry Giles at


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