Temple’s School of Medicine announced a new partnership with Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Fox Chase scientists and researchers will have the opportunity to become members of the Temple faculty to train graduate students in biomedical sciences.
“Graduate students will absolutely benefit from this partnership,” said John Daly, dean of the medicine school.
He said the increased interaction with Fox Chase researchers will also benefit graduate students who are looking to be employed by the cancer center.
“I think that the new partnership will be very beneficial to graduate students,” sophomore biology major Kristen Fida said. “Being in the field themselves, the researchers would focus on more recent research and findings instead of depending on year-old textbooks with out-of-date information.”
To be able to become full-time faculty members, researchers from Fox Chase must first go through an application process involving an application letter requesting employment and a curriculum outline. Both must be approved by the department chair and a committee before it is brought to Daly.
This isn’t the first time Temple and Fox Chase have partnered. The Bone-Marrow Transplant Program was established 19 years ago and has performed more than 1,000 transplants since implemented.
In 1998, Temple and Fox Chase announced an agreement aimed at expanding and strengthening the overall cancer care in the Philadelphia area.
Daly and Michael V. Seiden, the new president of Fox Chase, met over the summer to discuss future collaborations. The final collaboration agreement was signed by the end of December.
Richard Coico, the associate dean of research for Temple’s medicine school, said Temple is hoping that the partnership with Fox Chase will make the university more appealing for the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Award.
By 2012, NIH will award 60 universities more than $500 million a year for translational research. So far, 24 universities and academic centers have been chosen for this award and Temple hopes to become a designated NIH Institutional Clinical and Translational Research Center.
“The university was already awarded the Clinical and Translational Science Award School Planning Grant in order to begin mobilizing a full application for the bigger grant,” Coico said.
In order to receive one of the 60 grants, universities have to demonstrate that they are committed to translational research.
The combination of the new partnership with Fox Chase – including joint pilot projects in the area of clinical and translational research, the development of new educational planning initiatives and the creation of a master’s program in clinical and translational sciences – will help make Temple a strong contender for this award, Coico said.
“Fox Chase is a powerhouse in its field, and a lot of cash comes with association with the center,” Daly said.
The partnership will give Temple access to all of Fox Chase’s facilities including their bioinformatics lab. Fox Chase will also be able to utilize Temple’s facilities.
“Graduate students will obviously benefit the most from this partnership,” Coico said. “But, Fox Chase is going to be the one attracting and working with these graduate students. Ask any group of scientists, and they’ll tell you that graduate students are the most important members of their lab. They’re just so eager and ready to work.”
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