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UVA-Inova award 1st grants to joint research teams

Thursday, May 11, 2017  
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The Inova Health System and the University of Virginia have awarded $450,000 to nine UVA-Inova joint research teams for projects focused on how to better predict, prevent and treat disease. In the fall of 2016, Inova and UVA announced a comprehensive research and education partnership to accelerate joint discovery and the application of translational medical research.  The seed grant awards mark the first of many joint research collaborations. UVA’s Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia, which facilitates translational health research across UVA, and Inova’s Translational Medicine Institute, are helping support these research projects.

This seed funding will help launch projects with broad impact, improving the health of people of all ages and states of health. The goal is to develop research data that can then be used to seek outside funding to continue the research and apply the learnings to improve patient outcomes. Research projects funded through the program include:

  • Learning how the gut microbiome – the bacteria that live inside us – may influence early childhood obesity.
  • Identifying and studying potential three-drug combinations to treat ovarian cancer.
  • Confirming a biomarker that may predict patients at high risk for heart disease.
  • Determining whether a mindfulness-based stress reduction program to prevent excess weight gain in obese pregnant women improves outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Determining the impact of how babies are fed on their growth and the development of their gut micro biome.
  • Examining the gut microbiome of pediatric leukemia patients and how it may make them more susceptible to childhood obesity.
  • Seeking to identify gene variations that could identify patients at risk for heart failure.
  • Learning how dying cells and proteins may impact diseases that affect an individual’s metabolism.
  • Studying a new class of circular DNA – microDNA – along with microdeletions and how they manifest in men and women. 

“It’s exciting to see the first fruits of our partnership in the funding of exciting and promising translational medical research,” said Todd Stottlemyer, CEO, Inova Center for Personalized Health. “We have intentionally chosen projects that will benefit greatly from combining our individual knowledge and resources.”

“We are excited to bring together researchers from UVA and Inova to work collaboratively on these projects that can help improve the lives of patients across Virginia and beyond,” said David S. Wilkes, MD, dean of the UVA School of Medicine. 

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