Virginians have often sought experimental medical treatments outside the state — traveling to North Carolina, Boston or one of the Mayo Clinic’s locations. However, the Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Virginia aims to change that.

“We intend to tackle the biggest challenges in health care and to empower our researchers to make the life-changing breakthroughs that will transform care for people across Virginia and beyond,” says Dr. K. Craig Kent, CEO of UVA Health and executive vice president for health affairs at U.Va. “We’re on a cusp of a revolution in health care.”

Construction of the institute, which will be built in the 54-acre Fontaine Research Park adjacent to U.Va.’s Grounds, is set to be complete in 2026 or 2027. However, the university is forging ahead with hires, including about 100 scientists who will research potential treatments for diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Kent anticipates employing 1,000 to 1,400 people at the institute, which will include 30,000 to 40,000 square feet of lab space and a biomanufacturing facility.


The institute will expand U.Va.’s existing research operations and position the school at the forefront of areas of modern medical research, such as gene therapy and nanotechnology. Also among the institute’s principal focuses are cellular therapy and targeted drug delivery, which help patients get well faster and with less physical pain compared with chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer.

Charlottesville biotech investor Paul B. Manning and his wife, Diane, are the chief engineers behind the institute; they made a $100 million gift to the university to start it, and Paul Manning was instrumental in getting the Virginia General Assembly’s support for the institute in 2022. In addition to the Mannings’ donation, U.Va. will provide $150 million for the institute, and the state is contributing $50 million.

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