Grant to Foster Enhanced Collaboration with Inova, GMU Investigators

Falls Church, VA – (January 5, 2009) – Inova Health System has provided $1 million to George Mason University to create the Inova Life Sciences Research Collaboration Fund at George Mason University (GMU). The fund was created to stimulate and enhance collaborative research between Inova and GMU investigators.

“At Inova our goal is to be a world leader in healthcare and we recognize that cutting-edge research is a cornerstone of any world-class program,” said Knox Singleton, president and CEO, Inova Health System. “Researchers at George Mason are quickly becoming leaders in a variety of fields in life sciences and it is our intention to take their findings from the lab and apply them at the bedside to benefit our patients.”

George Mason’s Provost, Peter Stearns, views the fund as “yet another way to expand on the many existing and successful research collaborations our researchers have with Inova. It is a welcome development and bodes well for strengthening the already strong ties between the two institutions. We are most pleased with this development and look forward to the accelerated research relationship the fund will create.”

The Inova Life Sciences Research Collaboration Fund will be administered by Zobair Younossi, MD, executive director, Research, Inova Health System; and Roger Stough, PhD, vice president of Research and Economic Development, George Mason University. The fund is intended to accelerate joint research between Inova and GMU investigators and serve as a vehicle for application in life sciences, adding new energy to the Inova-Mason partnership.

Some specific areas of priority for the use of this fund include:

  • Issues related to chronic disease management;
  • Treatment and prevention strategies for lifestyle-related conditions such as obesity, heart disease and stroke;
  • Issues associated with end-of-life provisions and ethical issues in health services delivery relating to health disparities;
  • The patient experience in healthcare institutions, including the therapeutic environment, nursing/clinical staff interaction with patients and the effectiveness of mind-body interventions and therapies;
  • Matters related to application of genomics and proteomic-related research, both diagnostic and therapeutic and more.

The fund may provide support for either GMU or Inova researchers for joint collaborative research projects.  Grant award requests will use a joint peer review process carried out by GMU and Inova experts.  The outcomes desired are to generate preliminary data for future grant submissions to outside granting agencies or industry sponsors.

“It is our hope that our research results will be used to implement new discoveries in improving the delivery of patient care,” said Dr. Younossi. “It is through research that we will have the ability to offer cutting-edge services and treatment protocols to the greater Washington region and beyond.”

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency and urgent care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

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