The Research Triangle is the place to be in the life sciences. That’s one of the reasons LifeNet Health is expanding its cell-based research and processing capacity with the opening of a facility in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP), near Durham. It will be an extension of its flagship research center, the LifeNet Health Institute of Regenerative Medicine, located at the company’s headquarters in Virginia Beach, VA.

The center’s initial footprint will be approximately 10,000 square feet, with the potential to expand. LifeNet Health has begun recruiting staff for the facility and has appointed Edward LeCluyse, PhD, a nationally renowned scientist with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, as a principal scientist based at RTP. The number of employees to be hired was not disclosed.

The Virginia Beach-based non-profit’s presence will serve as a center of excellence for collaboration with other research entities and provide an opportunity to build partnerships within the biomedical and regenerative science sector. Research and development at the North Carolina facility will focus on isolating liver cells and adult stem cells for applications in drug discovery and toxicity testing.

“Having a facility in the midst of North Carolina’s active biomedical research community gives us the opportunity to leverage the scientific resources of Research Triangle Park with LifeNet Health’s industry-leading technologies in organ, tissue and cell recovery for transplantation,” said Rony Thomas, president and CEO of LifeNet Health said in a statement.

“We are delighted to have LifeNet Health join North Carolina’s widely diverse array of more than 600 life science companies, adding value to both academic research and commercial activity with its cell-based programs,” said Doug Edgeton, president and CEO of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.