Our History: A Unique Partnership To Foster Innovation

The Pioneer Valley Life Sciences institute (PVLSI) was formed in 2002 as a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Baystate Medical Center.  We are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to biomedical research.  Our mission is to develop innovative approaches to diagnose, monitor, and treat disease.  The structure of the PVLSI provides the resources required to identify needs in the clinical pipeline as well as the ability to rapidly implement changes that meet the needs of the dynamic landscape of healthcare.

Our approach is to leverage the innovation of scientists, in both life sciences and engineering, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst together with the clinical experience of clinicians at Baystate Medical Center to develop creative solutions to pressing needs in healthcare.  Our primary focus is on cancer, diabetes, and obesity as these are the major diseases confronting our population.

Baystate Medical Center is a large hospital with 716 beds serving a population of more than 1 million people throughout the Pioneer Valley and surrounding communities. The University of Massachusetts Amherst attracted more that $165M in sponsored research in 2014.  The PVLSI provides the physical space and resources for collaborative research through access to both the patients and human specimens needed to catalyze the next generation of healthcare.

Funding for research at the Institute comes from a variety of federal, state, and private organizations.  We collaborate with businesses to conduct sponsored research and speed commercialization of new technologies.  We also depend on the support of the patient community who are essential partners in the quest for more effective treatments that will improve our health and well-being.

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 have 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