CMU, University Pediatricians partnership to expand pediatric research and care in Michigan

Children across the state to benefit from new clinical research organization

| Author: Heather Smith

Building upon an existing educational partnership, the Central Michigan University College of Medicine and University Pediatricians will improve children's health care across Michigan by expanding their affiliation to include clinical and translational research.

"Physicians who do research are on the cutting edge of medicine. This expansion of CMU's educational partnership ensures the children of Michigan receive the most up-to-date care," said Dr. Kathleen Meert, chair of pediatrics at the CMU College of Medicine and president of University Pediatricians.

Generously supported by grants and endowments from The Children's Foundations the collaboration establishes the CMU Clinical Research Institute, based in Detroit, and includes the Detroit Medical Center Children's Hospital of Michigan.

"We are excited about the collaborative opportunities created by this new framework because it allows both University Pediatricians and the CMU College of Medicine to reach our full potential," said Dr. George E. Kikano, dean of the College of Medicine and CMU's vice president for health affairs. "We share a mission of advancing human health, and we fulfill that mission through research and education."

Translational and clinical research requires a significant support system to manage operations and infrastructure such as grants, personnel and physical space.

Clinical research is medical research that involves people. Clinical trials are studies that evaluate new ways to prevent, detect or treat disease and will fall within the expanded partnership. University Pediatricians conducts clinical trials on topics such as childhood cancer, pediatric blood disorders, asthma and critical conditions in children, such as cardiac arrest, sepsis and trauma.

Translational research serves as a bridge between science and practice by combining knowledge from laboratory research and clinical trials to create techniques and tools used inpatient care. For example, investigators are looking into drugs that could reduce the impact of chemotherapy-drug-related cardiomyopathy. Another group of researchers is examining the genetic variations in a particular type of brain lesions associated with uncontrolled seizures. Analysis of these tissues will help to identify new medications for children with these lesions and ultimately help treat epilepsy in these patients.

"Pediatric medical research has always been a focus area of Children's Foundation funding," said Lawrence J. Burns, president and CEO of The Children's Foundation. "This partnership is a great example of how we can combine our resources with those of Central Michigan University and University Pediatricians to impact the future of pediatric medical research."

CMU's College of Medicine educates diverse students and trains culturally competent physicians to provide comprehensive health care and services to underserved populations in Michigan and beyond.

University Pediatricians provides essential access to care for a significant population of children with chronic illnesses within Michigan and the surrounding region.

DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best children's hospitals in the nation in six pediatric specialties.

The Children's Foundation, an independent community foundation for children, is the largest funder dedicated solely to advancing the health and wellness of children in the state of Michigan and beyond.

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