ODU, EVMS, Sentara name partnership executive director
Kevin Leslie to serve the Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Constortium
Old Dominion University, Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare announced Tuesday that Kevin Leslie has been named executive director of its new partnership, the Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium (HRBRC).
The HRBRC was recently approved by Gov. Ralph Northam and the General Assembly with a goal of strengthening relationships among the three institutions and encouraging more health care research collaboration in Hampton Roads.
“The state has commissioned a study to recommend the optimal structure for our partnership. But for now, the consortium’s first order of business is to mine the region’s vast collection of health care data — stripped of personal information,” Morris Foster, ODU vice president for research, said in a statement. “The resulting algorithms and applications could produce extensive benefits for our region, including wearable devices to monitor health and more pinpointed recommendations for patients.”
Leslie was most recently the associate director of VCU Ventures, a division of Virginia Commonwealth University that helps faculty and staff launch health care startup companies.
“Kevin knows the biotech ecosystem in the commonwealth, and he’s well-versed in sources of funding opportunities, both on the public and private sides,” Foster said in a statement. “Under his direction, the consortium stands poised to build the biotech sector in Hampton Roads and catalyze more innovation.”
Leslie earned his doctorate degree in biophysics from VCU and has worked as a senior scientist in the private sector.
“The HRBRC embodies what drives and excites me: the challenges of a startup, the pursuit of health equity, community building and working with diverse and talented people,” Leslie said in a statement. “The foundational pieces of a world-class pipeline are in place. Now, we finally have the opportunity to coordinate them in earnest.”