Our History: A Unique Partnership to Foster Innovation

The Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute was formed in 2002 as a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Baystate Medical Center. Leaders at these institutions wanted to create a novel translational research environment for interdisciplinary teams of life scientists, physical scientists, engineers, and physicians. We are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to biomedical research.

Our mission is to improve human health by developing creative approaches to diagnose and treat cancer, diabetes, and other life-changing diseases. To accomplish this goal, we've created an environment that does three important things:

  • Integrates the academic and scientific resources of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the clinical expertise of the Baystate Medical Center
  • Brings together teams of life scientists, physicians, engineers, and physical scientists to focus on clinical disorders
  • Fosters collaboration with the private sector to speed the application of ideas and new technologies that could help diagnose and treat disease

These elements, as well as the Institute's focus on translational research, provide our scientists with a unique opportunity to improve human health and strengthen economic development in our community. This approach has allowed our scientists to make a number of advances over the past few years, including new findings related to tumor suppressor genes, protein inhibitors that may play a role in diabetes, and an enzyme that may be involved in obesity. These and other studies offer data that could lead to the development of new drugs and therapies to treat human disease.

Funding for research at the Institute comes from a variety of federal, state, and private organizations and agencies. We also collaborate with the business community to conduct industry-sponsored research, contract research, and technology commercialization.

Organizations that support our research include: