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Lilly Endowment Grant to Help Grow Indiana’s Life Science Sector


With strong academic research institutions and global headquarters for some of the world’s top life science companies, Indiana is well positioned for innovative collaboration in biomedical research.

A $25 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., will help accelerate these collaborations and elevate Indiana’s position as a life science research leader by funding a new recruitment initiative designed to attract top scientists to Indiana University School of Medicine and the state.

The new initiative, called the Indiana Collaborative Initiative for Talent Enrichment (INCITE), will bring together IU School of Medicine and non-academic partners such as BioCrossroads, Dow AgroSciences, Cook Regentec, Eli Lilly and Co., the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, Roche Diagnostics, IU Health and Eskenazi Health. Through the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), the initiative also will include partnerships with Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.

INCITE collaborators will serve on a scientific advisory board to help IU School of Medicine address areas of unmet need in the life science community and attract biomedical scientists whose expertise and interests are relevant to both the school and its non-academic partners.

What INCITE partners are saying

“The ability to attract top talent is vital to the continued growth of life sciences in Indiana. This initiative will help us recruit world-class researchers from around the country and across the globe and keep our homegrown talent here, too. We are excited to be a part of it.”
David Broecker, CEO and president of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI)

“Indiana University is a leader in attracting top life science talent, which is important to Lilly as we conduct collaborative research to find innovative solutions for patients. With this new grant, we look forward to the potential to enhance the ecosystem for scientists in Indiana and further the work that has been done to create a life science hub in our state.”
Andrew Dahlem, vice president and COO for Lilly Research Laboratories

“Talent and innovation are the most critical pieces for continued growth in our life sciences community, and the funding from the Lilly Endowment builds upon those two pillars. Indiana is unique in our ability to have industry, academic and philanthropic partners collaborate, whether it’s the Indiana CTSI or the IBRI, and now INCITE, to make our region a world-class life sciences center.”
David Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads

“Partnering with the IU School of Medicine via INCITE gives companies like Cook Regentec the opportunity to collaborate in attracting world leading scientists to our local ecosystem. Indiana can be a leader in the biologics revolution that is transforming medicine. To do this we must continue to attract top biomedical scientific talent to Indiana, it’s a critical priority for all of us.”
–Rob Lyles, president of Cook Regentec 

IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, said the initiative is made possible by Lilly Endowment’s longitudinal investment in IU School of Medicine. Endowment grants awarded in 2000 and 2002 totaling $155 million helped the school build research infrastructure and put in place technologies needed to recruit leading talent. A 2009 grant of $60 million enabled the school to recruit top scientists trained as both physicians and researchers.

“INCITE builds on these (foundational) successes by expanding collaborations with Indiana’s greater life sciences community to accelerate the translation of discoveries that will ultimately lead to better health and a stronger economy in our state,” Dr. Hess said.

The Lilly Endowment grant also will support the creation of a high-end biomedical research center with cryo-electron microscopy technology open to IU School of Medicine and partner researchers to study the structure of molecules at the atomic level. It also will fund the establishment of a new PhD program in biomedical informatics to help IU School of Medicine train the next generation of scientists in genomic medicine.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Andrea Zeek

Assistant Director of Research Communications

Andrea works closely with IU School of Medicine researchers, the Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs, and her colleagues in the Office of Strategic Communications to elevate the school's research reputation.