Infectious Disease Research Center named bioscience manufacturer of the year

Ceci Taylor

Located at the Colorado State University – Foothills Campus, the University’s Infectious Disease Research Center is a place where challenges are presented and problems are solved, said Raymond P. Goodrich, executive director of the IDRC.

The center was named the 2019 Bioscience/Medical Manufacturer of the Year on April 4 at an awards presentation in Denver.

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“We really gauge success by how we do things that help students, help faculty, help our community,” Goodrich said. “Whether that’s getting manufacturing through the (Bio-pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Academic Resource Center) operation, vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, things related to animal or human health, or supporting small company startups.”

The award was sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The program aims to support the manufacturing and production of materials that are valuable to the public across the country, said Howie Carpenter, associate director of the IDRC.

“They’re trying to have an event for the celebration of making stuff and that manufacturing is cool,” Carpenter said. “They had categories including bioscience, but also things like craft brewer of the year (and) distiller of the year.”

John H. Wyckoff III., the Bio-MARC director, said that there were categories in aerospace, electronics, bicycles and even a company from Gunnison that made expensive fly fishing reels.

Howie Carpenter, Ray Goodrich, Debra Horensky and John Wyckoff stand in front of CSU’s Infectious Disease Research Center. Dr. Goodrich, the executive director, talked about the center’s future expansion and the many opportunities provided by the center to students, researchers and the community. (Ryan Schmidt | Collegian)

The category the IDRC fell under was under bioscience and medical manufacturing, and Goodrich said they were one of three finalists before officially winning the award at a banquet in Denver.

Goodrich, Wyckoff and Carpenter said that the banquet was filled with other creator’s works, and even the food and beverages presented at the banquet were provided by the groups selected as finalists in the food and beverages.

“They were really celebrating Colorado makes cool stuff,” Carpenter said. “I certainly came away from it feeling that wow, Colorado, what a great place to build stuff. You’re a young student studying any number of fields, certainly many manufacturing disciplines, what a great place to be.”

Goodrich said that not only did the group win the manufacturer of the year award in the bioscience category, but they also won the award for the loudest cheer when going up to receive it. He said that receiving the award was both humbling and inspirational for the IDRC.

“It’s something that has a well-deserved recognition for a lot of the work that goes on here, by the staff, by the students, by the faculty, by the administration and all of CSU,” Goodrich said. “When we accepted the award I said that this really was something that could be celebrated by the entire state of Colorado … because this really is an asset by the people of the state of Colorado, for the people of the state of Colorado.”

Goodrich said that receiving the award inspires the IDRC to continue to do the work that they do — solve problems relating to diseases in both animals and humans.

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“If the things that we do help to prevent animals or humans from becoming infected …  our success is measured by what doesn’t happen. So having recognition that what we do is important doesn’t always come every day,” Goodrich said. “When it does come in the form of something like this, it really inspires us to not only continue that work but to try to find new ways to utilize the assets and the resources that we have been given to help solve problems for our communities.”

Goodrich said that, in the future, the IDRC hopes to provide better education to help promote the next generation of researchers.

Staff members stand in front of CSU’s Infectious Disease Research Center. Dr. Goodrich, the executive director, talked about the center’s future expansion and the many opportunities provided by the center to students, researchers, and the community. (Ryan Schmidt | Collegian)

“We want to find other ways that we can provide the education to help promote and develop the next generation of researchers and problem solvers,” Goodrich said. “To help solve the problems that may not exist today but will certainly come in the future as they relate to animal and human diseases.”

Carpenter said the research center is currently developing some important drugs, including a vaccine for HIV that will be used in various trials.

“That’s a pretty exciting medical need out there that we’re potentially contributing to a solution,” Carpenter said. “We have another one, we’re working on a vaccine to be used in trials for typhoid fever, which is actually a really big problem in some parts of the world because the existing vaccines can’t be used on small children, who are the most vulnerable.”

The typhoid fever vaccine still has a ways to go before it reaches the public, but the HIV vaccine is already being tested on humans, Carpenter said.

“Really some of the most important science in the world right now … that’s happening right here at CSU,” Carpenter said.

Andrew Block does research in CSU’s Infectious Disease Research Center. Dr. Goodrich, the executive director, talked about the center’s future expansion and the many opportunities provided by the center to students, researchers, and the community. (Ryan Schmidt | Collegian)

Carpenter said the IDRC is also looking forward to developing new products that will continue to help the Colorado community. He said he can’t talk about some of the projects now, but the center will share more when they are able to.

“We have several projects in the pipeline that are bigger and higher impact than anything we’ve ever done before,” Carpenter said. “It’s basically a well-running operation that we’re on the verge of taking to the next level.”

Although secretive, the team expressed excitement for their future projects.

“Let’s just say that because our capabilities are developing and becoming more well-known, we’ve seen increased interest from places around the world who would like to be a part of this,” Goodrich said.

Goodrich also said that the IDRC loves to take on challenges, and hopes to continue helping people in the future.

“A lot of what we do is we take on challenges, and my experiences have always been that challenges and opportunities come hand in hand, it’s what you do with them,” Goodrich said.

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.