Biomedical engineering graduate is co-founder of radiopharmacy, molecular diagnostic center soon to open on Medical Mile

group of five people standing outside in construction yellow vests, with a large, wrapped cyclotron in center
BAMF Health’s radiopharmacy team poses with a GE PETtrace 890 cyclotron at the Grand Rapids headquarters. Pictured, left to right, are GVSU engineering graduates Paul Shields, Nick Freiburger, Matt DeLong, Anderson Peck and Colten Conrad.
Image Credit: courtesy photo

GVSU graduate Anderson Peck is the co-founder and chief technology officer for a cutting-edge radiopharmacy and molecular diagnostics and therapy center soon to be headquartered on Grand Rapids' Medical Mile. It is poised to provide effective new treatments and early cancer diagnoses.

BAMF (Bold Advanced Medical Future) is slated to open next year in downtown Grand Rapids, in the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building. 

Peck said, eventually, BAMF will produce novel radiopharmaceuticals at the site, offering same-day treatment to cancer patients in the BAMF's theranostics clinic. The location will be home to a first-of-its-type dual cyclotron radiopharmacy.

Peck said it's the best piece of real estate for BAMF, as proximity to major hospitals was key.

"Proximity matters because of the radioactive decay of the drugs, so the closer to hospitals, the better. We can get a radiopharmaceutical to the local hospitals within five minutes," he said.

For patients with recurrent prostate cancer, Peck said BAMF will provide new efficient and effective therapies that could be expanded to treat other cancers.

Peck was in the first cohort of Grand Valley's master's program in biomedical engineering in 2010. Engineering professors Samhita Rhodes and John Farris received a National Science Foundation grant to develop the program. Rhodes said the NSF grant came at the same time as the state of Michigan was investing in biotechnology through the Life Sciences Corridor, West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative SmartZone, and Medical Mile.

"I think we were ahead of the eight ball because we knew these initiatives would require well trained biomedical engineers to be successful," Rhodes said.

Peck, too, said the program came along at the right time for his career. While at Grand Valley, Peck met Anthony Chang, the other co-founder of BAMF, while Chang was then a researcher at  the Van Andel Institute.

"Anthony and I talk about fate and how it created the perfect place and time for BAMF to begin here in West Michigan. We are more than the sum of our parts and this is where we are meant to be," Peck said.

Rhodes said the biomedical engineering curriculum has evolved to meet the innovative needs of the medical community.

"Medical science and technology can move at different relative speeds but they must move together and only engineers with practical training, complemented by a solid foundational knowledge, are going to be able to adapt and have the ability to think outside the box," Rhodes said.

Peck said there are six Grand Valley engineering graduates working for BAMF and he hopes to continue leveraging the program to build a new industry in West Michigan. Learn more about BAMF at bamfhealth.com.