updated: 5/7/2012 12:35:45 PM

IU, IU Health Aim For 'The Next Level'

Andy Ober, InsideINdianaBusiness.com

The president of Indiana University hopes a new $150 million research collaboration with IU Health will propel both organizations to "a position of national leadership" in neuroscience, cancer treatment and cardiovascular disease. Michael McRobbie says the priority for the partnership is to recruit teams of top scientists from around the world to develop new technologies and treatments. McRobbie and IU Health Chief Executive Officer Dan Evans spoke about the collaboration in an extended interview with Business of Health Contributor Barb Lewis.

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Evans says the marketplace of innovation is becoming more competitive, meaning IU and IU Health must act quickly to keep pace with health systems around the globe. He says the goal of the partnership is to achieve results that "make a difference" to Hoosiers and patients around the world.

Originally posted April 25, 2012

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana University Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine announced Wednesday they will invest $150 million over five years in a new research collaboration, the Strategic Research Initiative, that will enhance the institutions’ joint capabilities in fundamental scientific investigation, translational research and clinical trials that will result in innovative treatments for disease.

IU Health, the state’s largest and most comprehensive health system, will invest $75 million in the Strategic Research Initiative and IU School of Medicine will match that with an additional $75 million in resources. The initial focus will be on projects in the fields of neuroscience, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“This investment is further evidence of IU Health’s continued commitment to our mission of clinical care, education and research,” said Daniel J. Evans, president and CEO, IU Health. “Our partnership with the IU School of Medicine and the Initiative’s promise of breakthrough research are essential to advancing patient care.”

“This collaboration will further strengthen the IU School of Medicine’s research enterprise and, with the support of IU Health, enable us to move the results of that research into the hands of physicians,” said D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president for university clinical affairs.

The three target research areas represent research strengths at IU School of Medicine, key strategic service lines for IU Health and important medical needs in a time of an aging population and rising health care costs:

•Cancer: One of the initiative’s primary goals is to enable the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center to attain the National Cancer Institute’s top status of “comprehensive” which would recognize it as one of the top-tier cancer centers in the nation. To support that goal the initiative will provide funds to recruit leading cancer researchers and expand cancer clinical trials in Indiana.

•Neuroscience: The neurosciences research program will tackle a broad range of brain injuries, neurodegenerative disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders.

•Cardiovascular: The cardiovascular research initiative will develop a comprehensive program for the study and treatment of heart failure, from newborns to older adults. A top priority is developing a cardiovascular genetics program and recruiting a top scientist in that field.

“It is our goal to fund transformative proposals that will fundamentally change our understanding of these diseases and lead to important new therapies for patients,” said David S. Wilkes, M.D., executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU School of Medicine.

“Together, our organizations have an uncommon degree of strategic alignment that will contribute to the development of personalized medical treatments to improve patient safety and outcomes,” said Eric Williams, M.D., executive vice president for academic affairs at IU Health.

The Strategic Research Initiative will provide patients with access to internationally renowned physicians and to new therapies developed through translational research and clinical trials, and will make use of the latest genetic tools to develop personalized therapies that are more effective for individuals and efficient for health care providers. Money from the initiative will be used to support new research projects, recruit top scientists in the selected fields and retain existing IU School of Medicine researchers.

About Indiana University Health

Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 14 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Discover the strength at iuhealth.org.

About Indiana University School of Medicine

Indiana University School of Medicine is one of the nation’s premiere medical schools and is a leader and innovator in medical education, research and clinical care. The nation’s second largest medical school, Indiana University School of Medicine educates more than 1,600 medical and graduate degree students on nine campuses in Indiana, and its faculty holds in excess of $260 million in research grants and contracts to advance the School’s mission and promote life sciences. For more information visit medicine.iu.edu.

Source: Indiana University Health

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