VGTI Florida® is an independent non-profit institute established in 2008 with the assistance of a $60 million grant from the State of Florida’s Innovation Incentive Fund intended to anchor and drive the State’s expansion strategy for biomedical research.
The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon founded by Jay Nelson, Ph.D. was established with a vision to provide an infrastructure where groups of scientists with differing expertise could collaborate on scientific challenges from a systems biology perspective. While VGTI at OHSU has focused on infectious disease research with a strong collaboration with the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) to evaluate vaccine candidates in non-human primates; VGTI Florida is focused on the human response to pathogens and cancer. This requires affiliations with hospitals and collaborations with clinical researchers and pharmaceutical companies which serves as the foundation of our mission of “Translating Research Into Health®”.
With the recruitment in 2013 of Richard Jove, Ph.D. as the director of the Institute, VGTI Florida has positioned itself for a healthy trajectory of growth and enhanced scientific discovery. Dr. Jove will further implement the multi-disciplinary team approach to address fundamental challenges in understanding the function and regulation of the human immune system, particularly in the aging population. He is leading the institute to attract top scientists to the institute and facilitate collaboration between scientists and clinical investigators for the development of scientific discoveries and ultimately the translation of these discoveries into novel therapies.
VGTI Florida is continuing to expand and currently has over 104 employees conducting state-of-the-art research at its 100,000 square foot research facility, located on eight acres at the Tradition Center for Innovation in Port St. Lucie. Built nearby to the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and the home to Martin Health System’s Tradition Medical Center, VGTI Florida is in the perfect location to grow as an anchor institute to the burgeoning South Florida Life Science Corridor and Research Coast.