SRI Shenandoah Valley
SRI Shenandoah Valley focuses on health and biomedical research and drug discovery and development with the ultimate goal of bringing new therapies and diagnostics to market. As part of SRI Biosciences, the research complements research and development (R&D) capabilities at other SRI locations, including SRI's Menlo Park, California headquarters.
SRI’s state-of-the-art 40,000-square-foot research facility is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia on a 25-acre campus in the Innovation Village at Rockingham. The facility provides a convenient base for collaboration with academia, entrepreneurs, government, industry, and investors in Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. SRI moved into its Shenandoah Valley laboratory facility in 2009 and further expanded in 2011 and 2013 to accommodate growth in its R&D programs.
Scientific research at SRI Shenandoah Valley focuses on prevention, detection and treatment of diseases. Activities span basic research in emerging infectious disease, metabolic disease and proteomics; applied research in therapeutics including drugs, biologics, and vaccines; and personalized medicine through the development of companion diagnostics and biomarkers.
Examples of activities at SRI Shenandoah Valley include:
- Virology research in the Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases focuses on the study of the pathogenesis and transmission of emerging and re-emerging viruses to better inform therapeutic and vaccine discovery for influenza, SARS-CoV, hantaviruses, paramyxoviruses, poxviruses, and flaviviruses. Recent studies have focused on the emerging Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and the development of potential inhibitors for this acute viral disease.
- One research program in the Center for Chemical Biology focuses on novel and collaborative applications of the fluorescence-based CombiFluor™ technology platform for proteolytic enzyme-based biomarker discovery for therapeutic and diagnostic development.
- The Preclinical Development Section evaluates the safety, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of a broad range of therapeutics in support of research grants and preclinical development contracts under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and for other clients.
- The proteomics team in the Center for Cancer and Metabolism has developed a method to find proteins that bind drugs and are thus potential drug targets. This novel method does not require an affinity tag on the drug of interest, which means that it can be applied to any drug, natural product, repurposed drug, or hit from a high-throughput screen. The method is being applied by SRI’s cancer drug discovery program to identify potential novel drug targets.
SRI SV is contributing to regional innovation, with two spin-off companies created to date:
- Redcoat Solutions is developing products to detect and treat infestations of bed bugs (parasitic insects that feed on human blood and cause a number of adverse health effects). The products will allow users to quickly determine when a room is infested with bed bugs before obvious signs of infestation are visible.
- RioGin is researching a technology to increase the half-life and reduce the side-effects of important classes of drugs, such as those used to treat cancer or diabetes.
As SRI Shenandoah Valley conducts cutting-edge research on globally important problems, it serves as a magnet and resource for local faculty and students to actively engage in R&D with real-world applications. SRI's collaborations with leading Virginia academic institutions are facilitated by government funding, sponsored industrial research, and private foundation support.
SRI Shenandoah Valley was established in 2006 as the SRI Center for Advanced Drug Research (CADRE) to foster economic development centered on research and technology. The new facility received support from the Commonwealth of Virginia and partnerships with James Madison University, Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. Stakeholders include the education sector, business and industry, economic development advocates, workforce development groups, community organizations, and local government.