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ND collaborates with research firm

| Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This month, Notre Dame announced the establishment of a joint venture with Feinstein Institute for Medical Research to establish a variety of academic exchanges, including collaborative research, student training and bilateral conferences as a combined effort to further clinical research and lower patient treatment costs, according to Arnie Phifer, external relations director for research of Notre Dame’s Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics (AD&T) initiative.

Both students and researchers will have access to the combined resources of Notre Dame and Feinstein Institute, including data sets, patient trials and research developments. Early projects will feature research on an infectious condition known as sepsis, Phifer said.

“It’s the leading cause of death for people who have infection in the world, and it’s the costliest condition for U.S. hospitals,” he said.

Students in particular will see an increase of research opportunities in the coming years, Phifer said.

“Notre Dame does a lot of student-involved research — hands-on, direct research in the lab. Any students who are involved in those can go to Feinstein and spend time in their labs,” he said.

Notre Dame has invested many resources in medicinal research as part of a group effort that includes numerous biomedical research entities like Feinstein working to eliminate deadly diseases and lower treatment costs, Phifer said. AD&T, a group of Notre Dame scientists, engineers and researchers, was one such investment to that end.

“About six to eight months ago, we started a new program that we call precision medicine,” Phifer said. “That program is really focused on tying our work in the lab directly to the problems that physicians and people who actually provide health care have.”

Phifer said AD&T spearheaded the University’s cooperation with the Feinstein Institute. He said AD&T director Paul Bohn and Norman Dovichi, both professors of chemistry and biochemistry, first met with Feinstein leaders last spring to discuss prospective collaboration between the two institutions. Both are members of the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare Innovation Alliance, an association of healthcare organizations and individuals that combines clinical and technological research to the benefit of patients, according to a University press release.

“This is a years-long process,” Phifer said. “We anticipate that we will get a lot of good work started between the two institutions and that it will last a long time — there’s no end date to it.”

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