Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap Profile: EVMS

Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) is a 40-year-old community-based, state-assisted, not-for-profit medical school located in Norfolk, Virginia. It has grown rapidly to meet the anticipated needs of the metropolitan region for medical training, specialized healthcare services, and technology development and is an international leader in reproductive medicine and diabetes. The school has established key partnerships for training and research with the region's largest healthcare providers, including Sentara Health Care, Bon Secours Health System, Riverside Health System, Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters, the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, and the Hampton Veteran Affairs Hospital. As a full complement to its regional healthcare mission, EVMS has established nationally recognized research programs that focus on community health challenges in areas ranging from Diabetes/Obesity, Cancer, Infectious Diseases, Women's and Infant Health, and Community Health.

EVMS has technology strengths and strategic priorities in biomedical innovation focusing on drug development, medical devices and instruments, diagnostics, and educational applications of modeling and simulation. The top three priorities include the development of technologies and applications to improve community health, medical training, and healthcare delivery. Highlighted research includes:

  • Complement inhibitors to improve transfusion and reduce host tissue rejection
  • Cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, including biomarker discovery
  • Diabetes/obesity control and mitigation of complications, including regenerative medicine
  • Development of novel medical modeling and simulation applications for healthcare training
  • Women's health research to improve fertility, family planning, address infectious disease, and maternal-fetal health
  • Pediatric community health and outcomes research
  • Viral pathogenic mechanisms
  • Clinical and basic sleep disorders
  • Ocular pharmacology and disease therapy
  • Autism and neurological illness

Key personnel supporting the EVMS research and clinical mission include several international thought leaders and scientific experts:

EVMS has several key assets, including:

The anticipated direction and vision of EVMS is to become a leading community-oriented medical school providing innovative learning, clinical care, and biomedical research to meet regional and national health needs. The organization is strategically located to build partnerships with major healthcare networks and universities/federal laboratories to achieve this vision. Recent changes fueling forward momentum for EVMS include additional support from state government and local hospitals, the opening of a new combined medical education and research building, as well as renovations of clinical facilities, recruitment of key clinical and scientific faculty, a new President/Dean, and connections to companies and state research networks.

Some critical issues affecting EVMS now and in the future will be healthcare reform and costs, funding from state and local supporters, and federal research, particularly from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Although EVMS does not have a formal entrepreneurship program for its faculty, the faculty members are very inventive and have a history of successful patenting and licensing of their technologies to the private sector; enhanced mentoring and seed funding will be drivers to increased start-up company formation. Seven products and services in the marketplace are derived from EVMS technologies and 17 companies have been formed as a result of EVMS' activities, of which seven were formed by EVMS faculty members.