When I chose Virginia Tech for graduate school I did it for 2 reasons, 1) Virginia Tech is a kick ass research school and is consistently one of the best science/engineering schools on the East Coast. (and 2) cause I love mountains! and it is one of the most beautiful locations I've ever seen in my life.
I was there seven years ago when a little prick took a gun and shot a bunch of nice people having class. As bad as that was, something that makes me almost equally angry is the fact that one day has almost overshadowed the fact that this is a premier research school. Prior to April 16th, 2007 Googling Virginia Tech would take you first to the school's rankings (and then to the football program). Since, it shows you first pictures of that little shit.
Off my soapbox, I'd like to use today's entry to remind people that Virginia Tech kicks ass and we need to forget about what-his-name.
As evidence, I'd like to point out that VT dumped $450M into research in 2011 (the newest numbers I could find). That places it cleanly into the top50 schools in this country. I'd also like to point out that, although it isn't super high on the NIH research institute rankings, tons of this money comes from private enterprises, but we also pull in the federal funding:
Dr. Chang Lu wont this NIBIB award this week to develop assays using as few as 100 cells to track disease progress.
Dr. Lu's grant will add to these numbers from last fall from the Carilion Research Institute (which didn't exist way back when I graduated).
SO. I'm getting off the soap box for real, and getting back to the science, but what I want to leave you with is this thought. The next time you think about Virginia Tech, think about a great school with a history and record of success in all sorts of research areas (and that appears more successful all the time) and not about something unfortunate that happened there. I don't want to ignore that event, but I don't want it to be all we consider when we hear the name of that awesome place.
Now all we need is some Orbitraps in there (don't worry, its one of my side projects.)