Message from the President
Over the past five years, UMDNJ has emerged as a powerhouse of biomedical research, ranking in the top 80 academic research institutions in the nation and securing more than $521 million in federal funding, one of the most significant rates of growth of any research university in the country. With a capital construction program that has doubled research space and an active recruitment program targeting scientists with federal funding of at least $1 million each, we fully expect to maintain a research growth trajectory.
We are in the process of establishing a President’s Strategic Council on Research Advancement to provide us with information and perspectives on basic and translational research in order to maximize the wealth of expertise and resources throughout UMDNJ. The Council’s first priorities will be our neuroscience and stem cell initiatives. The membership will include UMDNJ faculty and community representatives as well as partners from other institutions.
As part of our academic and research missions, UMDNJ is positioning itself to enhance collaborations with the state’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Just recently the University and Medco Health Solutions, Inc. unveiled plans to develop the Medco “Institute at UMDNJ for Drug Safety, Policy and Epidemiology” at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health. The Institute will develop research
protocols and programs focused on epidemiology, drug safety and quality, pharmaceutical cost containment, medication insurance coverage, use of pharmaceuticals in vulnerable populations and trends in drug management. The first project will examine the potential association between the use of anti-psychotic medications and the risk of developing diabetes.
This initiative joins two other collaborative programs with pharmaceutical companies. Two years ago University Behavioral HealthCare and Eli Lilly and Company announced a new Center for Excellence in Psychiatry, which focuses on training behavioral healthcare providers nationwide in new treatment approaches to improve the care of individuals who suffer from severe and persistent mental illness. Last August, the Aventis Pharmaceuticals Foundation and UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School established the Aventis Pediatric Asthma Center, to focus on asthma care and prevention for children, research and community education.
As you will see in this issue, our partnerships with pharmaceutical
companies have yielded much research activity. We look forward to continuing productive ongoing partnerships and developing new collaborations.