Purdue, IU Health Arnett sign agreement to collaborate on human clinical research efforts

May 7, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University and Indiana University Health Arnett in Lafayette have announced a three-year collaboration agreement to promote human clinical research efforts between the two groups.

The memorandum of understanding is designed to foster clinical collaborations between Purdue faculty members and physicians and clinicians at IU Health Arnett, officials at Purdue and IU Health Arnett announced Thursday (May 7).

The goal is to expedite research efforts aimed at improving clinical outcomes, positioning Purdue and IU Health Arnett to attract local, state, federal and institutional funding, Purdue and IU Health Arnett officials say.

The agreement through the Purdue Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships Office also advances existing efforts led by the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and runs through Oct. 31, 2017.

"Basic life sciences research has rapidly advanced in the past several years to routinely include human clinical samples," said Marietta Harrison, director of the Oncological Sciences Center in Purdue's Discovery Park and special adviser for strategic initiatives for the EVPRP.

"That's a significant change from the past where biochemical and molecular biology research often was limited to cell culture approaches, and experimental rodents were the source of clinical materials. This agreement between Purdue faculty and IU Health Arnett clinical staff will provide an opportunity for a close and productive partnership."

Alfonso Gatmaitan, chief executive officer of IU Health Arnett, said this partnership can be a regional model for bringing together university researchers, scientists, engineers and others to take advantage of research expertise at Purdue and the medical strengths in disease treatment at IU Health.

"We look forward to deepening our collaborative efforts with our academic friends at Purdue to build on our strengths for enhancing cancer and other research from the bench to the bedside," Gatmaitan said. "We also believe this agreement between Purdue and IU Health Arnett will be a strong recruiting tool for young physicians and health care leaders committed to quality medical care and related research."

Harrison, a Purdue professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology, said the academic research and clinical cultures can differ. This agreement, she said, positions Purdue and IU Health Arnett to benefit from their expertise in advancing diagnosis and treatment efforts for all types of diseases - all with the goal to ultimately advance medical research.

The primary goal of the Purdue-IU Health Arnett agreement is to:

* Identify potential collaborations.

* Ensure regulatory issues such as human subjects training and institutional review board approvals are understood and addressed.

* Provide assistance in developing IRB protocols.

Purdue and IU Health Arnett also are partnering on a joint clinical research study on colorectal cancer, focused on broadening participation from patients in more rural parts of the state. Research teams from Purdue and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center are working with datasets to develop tools for helping improve prevention, treatment and care of those with colorectal cancer.

With the clinical data, researchers are refining statistical and engineering simulation models to predict how to treat and possibly prevent cancer.

That partnership helped expand the Purdue-led Cancer Care Engineering project, which was launched by Purdue's Oncological Sciences Center in partnership with the IU Cancer Center in 2006 through $5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Walther Cancer Foundation and the Regenstrief Foundation.

The Oncological Sciences Center, created through a Lilly Endowment gift in 2005, is the Discovery Park arm of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, building on existing research areas and expanding Purdue's thrust into nanotechnology, drug delivery, and cancer care and prevention.

IU Health Arnett Hospital and Physicians is home to nearly 300 highly skilled health care providers in more than 40 specialties with an unwavering commitment to improving the health of our community.

In September 2013, the team of Purdue, IU and Notre Dame was awarded a $30 million renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue Indiana CTSI's mission to accelerate research and advance innovative health care programs and biomedical research into 2018.

Media Contacts: Michelle Kreinbrook, IU Health Arnett, 765-448-8846, mkreinbrook@iuhealth.org

Phillip Fiorini, Purdue University, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Marietta Harrison, 765-494-1442, harrisonm@purdue.edu

Alfonso Gatmaitan, agatmait@IUHealth.org

Anantha Shekhar, Indiana CTSI director, 317-278-6969, ashekhar@iupui.edu

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