University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) is a new organization within UMass Amherst that aims to translate fundamental discoveries on campus into novel candidate medical devices, biomolecules, and delivery vehicles that benefit human health. IALS is also advancing UMass’s educational and economic development missions through training researchers skilled in the discovery, development, and manufacture of medical devices and biomolecules and in life science entrepreneurship.

IALS works in close collaboration with industry partners to combine the best academic innovation with a goal-directed focus on delivering commercially significant products, services, and technologies.

IALS combines deep expertise from more than 120 faculty members associated with 25 departments to fulfill its mission. The Institute is organized as three centers:

  • Center for Bioactive Delivery seeks to deliver the right drug to the right place. This is achieved by creating novel delivery technologies for small and large molecules. These technologies are then optimized to deliver compounds to specific organs as unique biomolecule/vehicle pairs.
  • Models to Medicine Center will identify novel drug targets and therapeutic candidates by leveraging mechanistic insights from molecular pathways implicated in cell health and disease. These insights will provide the next generation of therapeutics for a range of diseases with huge unmet patient needs.
  • Center for Personalized Health Monitoring seeks to be a world-leading research, partnership, and demonstration facility for accelerating the commercialization of low-cost, multi-function, wearable wireless sensor systems for personalized health care and biometric monitoring.

IALS was established in 2014, based on a total investment of more than $150 million from the Massachusetts Life Science Center (MLSC) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. IALS manages more than 20 core equipment facilities to enable its translational mission. These facilities are available to both academic researchers and industry partners. The institute will be fully operational in its new state-of-the-art facility early in 2016.