New bioterror response research institute opens near Washington, D.C.

The Stanford Research Institute International's new research facility in Harrisonburg, Va., has officially opened after four years of planning and construction.

The non-profit research and development group SRI International, based in California's Silicon Valley, ha, since 2006, had its Virginia offices and lab space at James Madison University.

SRI's Center for Advanced Drug Research, which focuses on improving the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry and developing treatments for diseases and responses to pandemic and bioterror threats, has also been housed at JMU but will move to the new facility.

Researchers st SRI, which also has an office in Tokyo, Japan, develop technology used by the federal government. The technology is managed by spin-off companies in the private sector.

SRI officials stated that the Harrisonburg location as chosen because of the quality of life int he Shenandoah Valley, and the location's proximity to several universities and Washington, D.C.

James Madison University worked with the virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, and the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County governments to bring SRI to the area.

The new research facility is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the valley in the next year and create more high-tech investment in the area.