Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Georgia's Innovative Projects

Four of Georgia’s leading research and healthcare organizations have joined together to create an innovative new center to accelerate the development and commercialization of next generation medical devices and medical technology. The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI), the first of its kind in the Southeast, will include a comprehensive medical device prototyping center and be able to manage, coordinate, and aggregate intellectual property from partner organizations and interested private companies.

The center is supported by the Georgia Institute of Technology, Saint Joseph’s Translational Research Institute, Piedmont Healthcare, and the Georgia Research Alliance. The new center will bring together a complete medical device marketplace to include universities, research centers, clinicians, drug and device companies, investors, and early stage companies. The Center will be located adjacent to the Georgia Tech campus.

“The convergence of the life sciences with engineering provides a unique opportunity to expand our technology in areas that will support the healthcare industry of the future,” said G.P. “Bud” Peterson, President of Georgia Tech. “GCMI will bring together in one location, the key infrastructure needed to rapidly move new medical devices and new medical technologies to market”.

Georgia Tech has also started a new research center to find ways to heal and treat wounds with funding provided by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Army Institute of Surgical Research, DOD, and from private industry. The research focuses on using a person’s own stem cells to build up tissue and to repair bones with the hope that the cells will take hold and more tissue and bone will be able to repair and grow. The timeframe is to start clinical trials in 3 years.

Also in Georgia, two of the leading vaccine research centers will combine their expertise to establish an international research program leading to the development of new human vaccines for infectious diseases and cancers.

The Emory Vaccine Center will collaborate with the Australian Centre for Vaccine Development at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in a new Queensland and U.S. Vaccine Technology Alliance funded in part by a three year grant from the Smart Futures of the Queensland National and International Research Alliance.

Other plans are for Emory University to establish a new Emory Institute for Drug Discovery to focus on commercially neglected diseases, global health partnerships, and mentored research. The center will be led by scientist and entrepreneur Dennis Liotta, PhD, who co-invented drugs taken by more than 94 percent of HIV/AIDS patients in the U.S.

Governor Sonny Perdue has also announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind research tool called iResearchGeorgia. This online free database is the only one in the U.S. that combines the research capabilities of multiple public and private universities within a single state. Users of the database will be able to search and explore published papers, patents, on more than 500 faculty profiles and NIH grants associated with Georgia’s researchers.