The Geography of Penn’s 21st Century Medicine
May 10, 2011
On May 3, 246 years to the day after John Morgan founded the first medical school in the nation at Penn, the University celebrated the opening of the Translational Research Center (TRC). “Today we stand inside a state-of-the-art facility that exceeds all of Dr. Morgan’s boldest aspirations,” President Gutmann told those gathered in the TRC Auditorium. “Here, renowned research scientists and talented clinicians will be able to collaborate closely together. They will reach out to their peers across our campus; they will integrate knowledge across specialties. Their work is vital, and it is vital not only to our nation’s health but to our country’s continued global preeminence in science and medicine.”
The event marks the completion of Penn’s new “geography of medicine,” a nexus of research and patient care facilities that includes the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
(PCAM), the Roberts Proton Therapy Center
, the Abramson Cancer Center, and several of Penn’s other clinical centers, all in close proximity to the University’s bio- and nano-tech labs. The TRC is designed to speed the translation of pioneering research into clinical trials and ultimately to treatments and cures.
“The Center promises to accelerate the pace of medicine for the next generation of advanced therapies and cures,” said Arthur Rubenstein, Dean of Penn Medicine and Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Bridging the gap between groundbreaking scientific discoveries and treatments for diseases that millions are suffering from every day demands a 21st century medical facility like the TRC. It is designed to provide increased access to the best current knowledge by fostering collaboration among research scientists and with clinicians so that they may share ideas, discoveries, and techniques regardless of their specialty or discipline.
Keynote speaker, National Institutes of Health
director Dr. Francis Collin commented enthusiastically about the new Center: “People who work here are being given remarkable facilities and the opportunity to work with amazing faculty.” To illustrate the promise of the Translational Research Center, Dr. Collins cited Penn’s own Carl June, Director of Translational Research in Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at PCAM. Through translation of laboratory insights into safe and effective patient-based testing, Dr. June and his colleagues have accelerated the development of therapies that use the immune system to fight cancer and HIV/AIDS, leading to the first successful clinical trial of a new type of gene-therapy. By disrupting a single gene, the researchers have made a promising discovery for a treatment of HIV
that could lead to a cure. “We are going to be celebrating and watching closely,” Dr. Collins said, “because this new contribution to the international stage provides opportunities to do research that will truly have an impact on the world going forward.”
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