Research News

Ancora inaugural request for proposals announced

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Deerfield Management announce the inaugural request for proposals for Ancora Innovation, LLC, with a due date of June 4 at 6 p.m.“Interested faculty should sign up for the for the information session that will be offered to discuss the goals and selection process and provide examples of the types of projects sought,” said Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan.

The information session is scheduled for Friday, April 27, 2-3:30 p.m. in Room 325 of the Sarratt Student Center.

The first request for proposals follows on the heels of the official launch of Ancora on April 6, which saw Vanderbilt researchers crowd Light Hall, eager to hear more about a collaboration that could pump up to $65 million into their labs. Vanderbilt and Deerfield announced had just announced the formation of Ancora, a company aimed at supporting life sciences research and accelerating drug discovery.

The event offered details about Ancora’s financial model, what additional support it can offer, and how researchers can obtain it.

After introductory remarks by Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan, Alan Bentley, assistant vice chancellor for the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, explained the value of industry collaborations and discussed some that Vanderbilt already nurtures.

“Collaborations like the one we have forged with Deerfield represent a unique opportunity to advance healthcare-related projects that lack funding to reach their true potential to impact patients’ lives,” he said.

Later, Peter Steelman, a partner at Deerfield and father to a Vanderbilt senior, said Ancora seeks researchers who demonstrate an awareness of unmet medical needs and clear paths forward to addressing those.
“Before we came to campus, we were aware of Vanderbilt’s robust research atmosphere,” Steelman said. “Once we visited, the commitment to research was palpable. Your industry-grade, state-of-the-art facilities and concentration of industry expertise among the faculty differentiates Vanderbilt from other universities.
“You have a fantastic drug discovery engine on this campus,” he said.

The launch event included a reception where faculty could meet Deerfield visitors and ask more questions. The April 27 information session will provide further guidance for researchers interested in submitting proposals.

Written by Jane Hirtle