SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium (HRBRC) is set to hold the grand opening for its new facility on Apr. 7.
The new state-of-the-art facility, located at 1040 University Blvd, aims to address health disparities, jumpstart science research and advance biohealth innovations in Hampton Roads.
The facility’s manager, Patrick Ball, said new technology that HRBRC’s lab received allows researchers to create realistic body parts within a quick turnaround time.
He showed an example of a prosthetic arm. The arm is a scan of a research doctor’s arm. Ball said the arm was made to look just like her arm, from her freckles to the wrinkles in her fingers.
He said a prosthetic arm like that could take months to create, and would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, with HRBRC’s new technology, researchers can scan and print life-like body parts within 23 hours and it can cost $500 to a $1000.
“We can manufacture that entire prosthetic here in our lab in a way that is more cost-efficient, that is more specific to the patient, that is stronger and more reliable, that is more convincing than we’ve ever been able to do before,” Ball said.
HRBRC was founded in 2020 and is a partnership between Old Dominion University, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Sentara Healthcare and Norfolk State University. The state funding the HRBRC was approved by the General Assembly and Governor Ralph Northam.
Presidents from Old Dominion University, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Norfolk State University are set to speak during the grand opening