Temple, Fox Chase and Geisinger create Keystone Institute for Translational Medicine

August 12, 2008

Temple University School of Medicine, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Geisinger Health System today announced a research collaboration that will speed the translation of medical and health-related discoveries into significant advances in patient care.

As part of the agreement, the three institutions will form The Keystone Institute for Translational Medicine, based at Temple, to design and implement research on the genetic, behavioral, and social causes of such diseases as diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, obesity and specific cancers that disproportionately affect urban and rural Pennsylvanians.

"Together, we serve one of the most diverse patient populations in the country, putting us in a unique position to contribute significantly to translational research discoveries," said John M. Daly, M.D., dean of Temple University School of Medicine.

"We are excited to participate in The Keystone Institute for Translational Medicine," said J. Robert Beck, M.D., Fox Chase Cancer Center's senior vice president and chief academic officer. "Fox Chase Cancer Center has strong traditions in basic biomedical research, population science, and clinical trials in oncology. The Institute offers an opportunity to bridge these areas with outstanding partners to complete the cycle of bench-to-bedside-to-bench in many areas of medicine and among the diverse populations we all serve."

A special feature of the Institute is its virtual nature, which will enhance the collaboration through a social network, much like Facebook, thereby erasing the physical boundaries that separate Temple and Fox Chase researchers in Philadelphia and those at Geisinger Health System in Danville.

An overarching goal will be to engage patients in research as part of the healthcare delivery process. One such project already underway in urban Philadelphia and rural Danville is investigating the effectiveness of church-based weight loss support groups in helping people lose weight and maintain weight loss.

The three institutions are jointly pursuing a place within the National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium, a network of medical research institutions across the nation.

In 2006, Temple was awarded the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Planning Grant, which helps prepare institutions to become full-fledged CTSAs. Support from this grant has led to the master's program in Clinical Research and Translational Sciences, as well as the training and education of faculty in translational science research.

"This collaboration allows us to move beyond standard clinical and research practices to play a large role in moving knowledge from the bench to the bedside," said Glenn D. Steele, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Geisinger Health System. "The synergy is expected to lead to major new therapies that can be safely and efficiently delivered to a broader healthcare market."
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About Fox Chase

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the leading cancer research and treatments centers in the United States, conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and community outreach.

About Geisinger Health System

Geisinger Health System, based in Danville, Pa., is one of the nation's leading fully integrated healthcare providers serving more than 2.5 million residents throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania. With a 720-member group practice, Geisinger includes two regional medical centers, a not-for-profit health insurance company, and a systemwide commitment to research. A leader in the nation's electronic health record movement, Geisinger's research strengths include population medicine, genomic medicine, translational and clinical investigations in cardiology, obesity, oncology and rheumatology, as well as an overall commitment to creating innovative new models for patient care, patient engagement, and clinical outcomes.

About Temple University School of Medicine

One of the region's leading academic medical centers, Temple has a long-standing commitment to the healthcare of the surrounding community as well as patients coming far and wide for specialty care. The faculty at Temple School of Medicine's Basic and Clinical Departments are committed to collaborative research and training endeavors that will enable them to meaningfully contribute to the NIH roadmap initiative in clinical and translational science with efforts focused on investigations of autoimmune diseases; cardiovascular disease; neurologic diseases with viral etiologies; substance abuse; obesity and diabetes; cancer and molecular biology; thrombosis and pulmonary disease; and health disparities.

Temple University

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