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IU Undertakes $150M Initiative to Expand Translational, Personalized Medicine Programs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Indiana University has launched a new $150 million, five-year effort that will use genetics and personalized medicine, among other approaches, to develop new capabilities and translational research projects focused on cancer, neuroscience, and cardiovascular medicine, the IU School of Medicine said on Thursday.

Under the plan, Indiana University Health, the school's healthcare system, and the Indiana University School of Medicine will each contribute $75 million in a joint research collaboration called the Strategic Research Initiative.

The funding will be used to support research projects, to recruit new scientists in selected fields, and to retain current scientists at the IU School of Medicine.

The new initiative will support research that uses genetic technologies to develop personalized therapies that could be more effective and efficient for individuals and healthcare providers, and also will fund translational projects and clinical trials.

"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," Craig Brater, dean of the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president for university clinical affairs, said in a statement.

One of the new initiatives will enable the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center to achieve the National Cancer Institute's 'comprehensive' status, and will involve the recruitment of leading cancer researchers and the expansion of cancer clinical trials.

Under the cardiovascular initiative, the partners will develop a cardiovascular genetics program and recruit a scientist in the field, and will develop a comprehensive program for the study and treatment of heart failure across the lifespan.

The neuroscience research program will involve research into a wide range of brain injuries, neurodegenerative disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

"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," added David Wilkes, executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU School of Medicine.

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