New AbbVie Innovation Center to Employ Students for Discovery of Cutting-Edge Therapies

Published: Jan 22, 2015

New AbbVie Innovation Center to Employ Students for Discovery of Cutting-Edge Therapies
January 22, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

The University of Illinois announced on Jan. 21 that Chicago-based biopharmaceutical company AbbVie has opened an innovation center on campus and plans to hire at least 18 students. The facility is located at the University of Illinois Research Park in Urbana-Champaign, and it is dedicated to medical research that can improve patient care.

“At AbbVie, we know that advancing science requires strong collaboration and different ways of working,” said Mike Carlin, vice president of research and development information technology at AbbVie. “Establishing this innovative and collaborative work center at a world-class research university offers us access to top students and faculty who can help us explore new ideas”

AbbVie plans to hire more than 18 students for the innovation center, ranging from undergraduate to graduate students. Eight students have already begun working on research and development information technology projects.

“The AbbVie Innovation Center will give our students the opportunity to be at the forefront of information technologies for leading-edge therapies that can make a difference in people’s lives,” said Chancellor Phyllis Wise. “Such real-world experiences are examples of the transformative educational opportunities at Illinois that grow from our leadership in engineering, big data, and biomedical sciences.”

Students will be able to use visualization software, which helps AbbVie scientists view clinical trial research in new ways. Additionally, they will have the option to use reporting tools, which help AbbVie medical teams identify new areas of research.

“The AbbVie Innovation Center is a great example of how AbbVie is partnering in unique ways to find new solutions that will have an impact for patients,” Carlin continued.

A Closer Look at Research Park
Research Park at the University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign campus originally opened in 2001. Its existence has been dedicated to providing faculty with the opportunity to develop and commercialize new technology. Research Park has also been geared toward helping established companies collaborate with the University of Illinois, its students, and its faculty.

"It means many resources are there to support [entrepreneurs], through mentoring and financing and building, as well as promoting that this is a good activity to do,” said Laura Frerichs, Research Park Director. “We support and encourage entrepreneurship and taking what is being done in a research lab and translating that into a commercializable product.”

In May 2011, a master developer entered an agreement with the university to further develop and expand Research Park.

BioSpace Temperature Poll
What Are Your Predictions for the Price Bidding War? The market has been buzzing about an escalating price war between large payers like Express Scripts and Big Pharma. Multiple deals last week showed Gilead forming exclusive pacts and smaller companies like Kite Pharma starting talks early. What do you think will be the effect on prices? BioSpace wants your opinion!

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