Project Description

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Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN)
Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute

131 West Street
Danbury, CT 06810

Phone: 203 739 8388
Fax: 203 739 8739
Website: wchnresearchinstitute.org

Contact: Sandra Lobo, Ph.D., Director of WCHN Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute
Email: Sandra.lobo@wchn.org

About the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute

The vision of the Western Connecticut Health Network’s (WCHN) Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute (RRBRI) is to advance the health of the community by performing innovative translational research and putting into practice concepts of precision medicine with the goal of improving value-based medicine. RRBRI’s 17,000-square-facility houses state-of-the-art laboratory equipment for translational research programs that focus on diseases concerning our immediate community such as cancer and Lyme disease and complement ongoing epidemiologic studies and clinical trials conducted at WCHN’s hospitals in Danbury, New Milford, and Norwalk. RRBRI encourages scientific collaboration and clinical partnerships with leading research organizations and the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries to pioneer new discoveries in precision medicine technologies and foster creative solutions.

Research Activities

RRBRI has several ongoing research projects which include,

Cancer – The WCHN Oncology Biorepository is a central core of our precision medicine program linking patient clinical care and genomic information to improve detection, surveillance, prognosis and treatment.  Our genomics-based studies develop highly-specific and sensitive, patient-tailored prognostic and surveillance biomarkers including circulating tumor DNA for gynecologic and pancreatic cancer and exosomal noncoding RNA profiles for pancreatic cancer prognosis.  In addition, early cancer detection methods using ultra-deep, panel-based next generation sequencing are being developed.  Our generation of patient-derived tumor cell lines from women with gynecologic cancers allows for testing therapeutics and pursuing mechanism of action studies.

Lyme disease – RRBRI houses the WCHN Lyme disease repository which is a hospital-based registry purposed for use in interdisciplinary research on Lyme disease. The pathology research group at BRI has developed a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic assay for detecting circulating spirochete DNA. Validation studies will lead to the clinical use of this assay to accurately diagnose Lyme disease at an early stage when treatment is most effective.

Other projects include microbiome studies and research on multiple myeloma.

Other Information
Ownership: Not For Profit
CT Employees: 20
World Employees: 20

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