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 andcardiovascular 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. CraigBrater, 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 andBrenSimonCancerCenter 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 inIndiana.
- 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 improvepatient 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 latestgenetic tools to develop personalized therapies that are more effective forindividuals 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.