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VA Pittsburgh Opens New Doors For Innovative Research

July 28, 2011

VA Pittsburgh Opens New Doors For Innovative Research
Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL) Relocates to Bakery Square

July 28, 2011 – There's a new reality for injured Veterans — one where despite serious wounds, they excel in basketball, track and field and shooting sports. The innovative inventors making that possible are moving into state of the art facilities where they will continue to help turn the injured into the victorious.

The dedication of the new location of VA Pittsburgh's Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL) at 6425 Penn Avenue, Suite 400 (Bakery Square) in Pittsburgh begins at 3 p.m. Monday Aug. 1, on the fourth floor Clinical Research Laboratory.

HERL moves to Bakery Square from its 11,000 square foot space at the VA facility at Highland Drive which will close after completion of a major construction project. The move more than doubles the laboratory space (28,000 square feet) housing all of its operations under one roof. HERL will occupy the same building as Google, further enhancing the region's reputation as a leader in innovative technology.

"While we will certainly miss being in the heart of a VA medical center and being around Veterans every day, the new HERL space affords us a monumental opportunity to contribute more to Veterans," said Dr. Rory Cooper, HERL Director. "This new space will allow us to work at full capacity, and expand our ability to improve the lives of Veterans."

On July 15, HERL received a major equipment grant of $1.7 million from the VA Rehabilitation, Research and Development Service which will continue to fund several innovative projects. Demonstrations of developed projects — the Personal Mobility and Manipulation Appliance (PerMMA), the Strong-arm device, the Virtual Seating Coach system and the SmartWheel — all developed in HERL labs, will be given. For more information on HERL, visit:

HERL's handiwork is also on display this week at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games events in and around Pittsburgh.

U.S. Representative Mike Doyle will be at the ceremony to deliver a few remarks.