Research Institute enters Phase One of reopening

Phase One reopening
The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute will enter Phase One of reopening.


Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to everyone for helping with the new phase one research implementation plan at Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. By way of follow up, several people have asked about a few things that were not explicitly stated in the message below.

  • Building door access. Doors/stairwells will be remain locked and require prox card access for the time being.
  • After hours work. Yes, that is permitted (actually rotating shifts is labs is encouraged when possible and voluntarily agreeable to all parties) for people who have received permission of their supervisor, have had their supervisor notify the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Human Resources office (Ms. Pamela Stell) of that permission, including where the person will primarily be located when on site and approximately what days/hours they plan to be on site. The receptionist desk will not be staffed after regular work hours such that persons arriving to work after regular work hours are on the honor system for those times but still MUST complete the online questionnaire for each day and receive a green go in order to enter the building.
  • Checking in at reception. You only have to do that one time on a given day when you first arrive at the building; you do not have to check in at reception every time you leave the building and re-enter during that day.
  • Visitors. Please do not bring visitors/family members to the building during this period. Outside visitors are being strictly limited to include a few small scheduled vendors plus deliveries, etc. No human subjects for research are currently being allowed in the buildings. When they are allowed in again, they will have to follow strict screening protocols for building entry and being escorted to/from research sites.
  • Eating. Please try to avoid having several people eating in small break rooms simultaneously. Outside spaced dining is strongly encouraged.
  • Travel. For the moment, travel anywhere outside the immediate Roanoke Valley/New River Valley general region triggers a block on entering the building. This is being considered and we are in the process of working on a more detailed follow up approach on that for specific circumstances with commuting to some areas a little more distant.
  • We will post these and additional FAQs as they arise on the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute home page.


    Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D. Virginia Tech Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology Executive Director, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC Senior Dean for Research, VTCSOM


    Dear Colleagues,

    The attached document is an updated version of the one that was sent last week describing policies for phase one research operations. Please read both sections.

    For people who are not already on the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute essential personnel list, in order to enter either Riverside building #2 or #1 for the purpose of carrying out important research or important research related support duties that requires one’s physical presence, they must first request and be approved to be placed on the phase one list by their supervisor who will then share the approval with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute human resources office.

    In order to enter either building #2 or #1, all Fralin Biomedical Research Institute/OVPHST personnel including graduate or medical students must first answer a brief questionnaire each day. For those working in building #2, the questionnaire (including a self-report of one’s temperature taken at home) can be accessed at by clicking on the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Screening link in the middle of the help page (see attached screen shot). An immediate email response will be generated specifying go/no go status to enter the building that day. If one receives a green go status, they may enter building #2 that day but must first stop by the reception desk on the first floor where the receptionist will have the day’s approved go list. For those working in building #1, the nurse at the entrance at the ground floor entrance there will provide their questionnaire and administer a temperature check on site for gaining entrance to building #1.

    Please make sure to wear a face covering/mask when you enter either building #2 or #1 and keep it on at all times when in all public indoor areas. Exceptions to mandatory face covering/mask wearing include: i) when one is alone in a private closed office; ii) when one is eating/drinking; iii) if a particular health condition prevents it; and iv) if one has trouble breathing and cannot remove their face covering/mask without help. For the safety of others, for category iii or iv, please either try to wear a looser face covering (vs. a mask, per se) or work out a plan with your supervisor to tele-work from home, if possible.

    Once in either building, please make sure to follow all the FBRI protocols as described in the attachment, including wearing a face covering/mask, social distancing, hygiene including frequent hand washing, cleaning of surfaces and observing room occupancy limits.

    Thanks very much for everyone’s strict adherence to these protocols during this challenging time as we try our best to take care of each other. They will slow things down a bit but everyone’s safety is our primary concern.



    Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D. Virginia Tech Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology Executive Director, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC Senior Dean for Research, VTCSOM


    Dear Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Colleagues,

    I hope that everyone is safe and doing well. The institute survived the flooding OK (save for a few cars on Jefferson street) and things are settling down late this afternoon.

    The phase one research guidelines will go into effect here at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute beginning next week on Tuesday, May 26 (day after Memorial Day holiday). Please find the Office of Vice President for Research and Innovation and additional Fralin Biomedical Research Institute guidelines here.

    I look forward to seeing some of you either on zoom or in person (through a mask and from a distance).



    Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D. Virginia Tech Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology Executive Director, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC Senior Dean for Research, VTCSOM