Jul 21, 2006    #121
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UMKC announces creation of translational research instituteRepresentative Emanuel Cleaver delivers funds to UMKC

Marking a milestone in its plans to emerge as a major health science leader in the region, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) announces today the creation of an institute for translational research.

Creation of this institute will mean the advancement of the area’s research institutions by translating their basic science discoveries into therapeutic products and services.

This is the result of years of mounting research strengths at UMKC and its growing community partnerships. Translational research is a niche that science and health care experts across the nation are calling critical, and UMKC is primed to fill the niche regionally.

The Institute of Medicine has identified translational research as a fundamental way to fix a health care delivery system that is failing to “provide consistently high quality care to all Americans.” The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published papers about the “next scientific frontier” of translational research; and Congress has expressed concern about basic science being detached from health care delivery.

“This institute for translational research is a significant mile marker for UMKC as it moves toward its role in the regional strategy for health sciences,” said UMKC Chancellor Guy H. Bailey. “This undertaking will focus institutional resources, coordinate efforts, build critical mass to expand research and attract resources, and train the next generation of researchers and clinicians.”

UMKC has applied for a $150,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to help with the planning of the institute and will continue to apply for other multi-million dollar NIH grants available for new clinical and translational centers.

As a strong commitment to translational research, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II announces today House passage of $1 million for UMKC’s Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration Consortium, which awaits Senate approval later this month. This money is in addition to $1 million in federal funding previously secured that helped start the University’s Orthopedic Trauma Research Center. This center will work along side the U.S. Army’s Institute of Surgical Research’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program to develop new technologies for the treatment of severe bone fractures.

“I am proud that UMKC is able to play such a vital role in rehabilitating our brave men and women in uniform,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Members of the armed services sacrifice every day. We owe them the very best medical care both in the field and at home. These funds will help UMKC find new ways to speed the recovery and improve the health of injured soldiers. I am excited that this important work will be done here in Kansas City.”

If approved by the Senate, the additional $1 million allocation will focus on improving current prosthetic materials and devices that are often inadequate for treating the wide range of injuries. The UMKC Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration Consortium will research and develop advanced biomaterials, biosensors, and bio-interfaces for the repair and regenerations of traumatized bone and tissues.

This relates to the newly announced institute for translational research because its research and educational programs will initially include bioinformatics/health informatics; bioengineering and biomaterials; health outcomes; and health policy.

“UMKC is grateful to Congressman Cleaver for securing funds that will no doubt help UMKC enhance its reputation as a leader in the life sciences and as a vital partner with Kansas City,” said Chancellor Bailey. “These awards further community-wide efforts to position the area as the nation’s leader in life science research and development.”

Existing areas of research expertise among the new institute’s partners include: cardiovascular outcomes, drug discovery and development, infectious agent biodefense, clinical asthma, mineralized tissue, neuroscience, pediatric pharmacogenetics, shock/trauma, and women’s health outcomes.

The institute’s partnership includes Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics; Saint Luke’s Hospital and the Mid America Heart Institute; Truman Medical Centers; Western Missouri Mental Health; Midwest Research Institute (MRI); and UMKC’s research-producing schools. Additionally, the institute will align with other strengths at UMKC, such as the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Bloch School and intellectual property in the School of Law.

Affiliated community organizations include the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI); Cerner; the Center for Practical Bioethics; the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City; the Kansas City Health Department; and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

The result of the multi-institutional, multidisciplinary program is expected to be the development and maturation of a clinical and translational research facility that will both benefit from and contribute to the health care needs of the citizens of Kansas City, surrounding states, and the nation.

When fully developed, the institute will include approximately a dozen strong areas of research that span a spectrum of human disease — from fetal and prenatal medicine to degenerative disorders unique to aging. Each area of strength will naturally lend itself to educational, as well as clinical and translational advancements. New educational models will be created to complement new and existing professional and graduate degree programs at UMKC. It is also expected that the number of partners committed to active and meaningful participation in the goals of the institute will expand.

UMKC is one of four University of Missouri campuses. It is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences, and urban affairs.



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