Western Connecticut Health Network’s Biomedical Research Institute in Danbury will now be named after longtime Danbury Hospital supporter Rudy L. Ruggles, following what WCHN termed “a transformational gift” from the latter.
Founded in 2009, the newly minted Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute is home to a state-of-the-art, 17,000-square-foot open-bench laboratory dedicated to improving the health of the community through innovative translational research. Also called bench-to-bedside, the translational research method applies scientific findings to create new therapies, medical procedures, and diagnostics, including development of new techniques to identify people at risk for disease or who are likely to resist certain treatment regimens.
Ruggles served on Danbury Hospital’s Board of Directors and its Foundation Board during the 1980s and ‘90s. His investment in research at Danbury Hospital began nearly 10 years ago after an initial conversation with WCHN President and CEO John Murphy about establishing a research hub at the hospital.
Ruggles and his wife Sally were the first investors in the Research Institute, and Ruggles served as the founding chair of its Advisory Council. He will now chair WCHN’s new Scientific Research Committee. Ruggles also sits on the Board of Trustees for the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, where he serves as an adjunct professor in its Genomic Medicine division.
“Mr. Ruggles has truly been an invaluable partner in our quest to build a state-of-the-art research program in order to improve the current standards of patient care,” said Murphy. “His expertise and dedication have been essential to advancing our innovative translational research mission.”
Research being conducted at the institute includes a new screening process for people at high-risk for pancreatic cancer; an improved way to detect Lyme disease earlier and with more accuracy; and enhanced gynecologic cancer prevention and treatment protocols. Colorectal cancer, metabolic diseases, and multiple myeloma are also being studied at the facility.