UNC, Hamner Institutes announce partnership to accelerate basic, translational research

April 18, 2008 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences have signed a memorandum of understanding that will guide innovative collaborations in basic and translational research.

Established with Carolina’s schools of medicine, pharmacy and public health, and its Kenan-Flagler Business School, this unique partnership capitalizes on the scientific strengths of a leading university and an independent research institute, both of which are committed to accelerating advances in human therapeutics and public health locally and internationally. Key initial areas of anticipated collaboration include pursuit of new therapies for cancer and respiratory diseases by advancing experimental and computational sciences in drug safety assessment, drug disposition, pharmacogenomics, genomic medicine, nanomedicine, drug delivery and public health.

“At Carolina, we are committed to making sure that the discoveries of basic science benefit people,” said UNC Chancellor James Moeser. “This partnership with the Hamner Institutes will help us accelerate the development of valuable new drugs, treatments and technologies that improve health and also yield new economic opportunities for North Carolinians.”

The scientific and business-development team at The Hamner Institutes will work with Carolina health affairs faculty, including those from the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery in the School of Pharmacy, UNC Kenan-Flagler and the University’s Office of Technology Development to identify, assess and enhance development of new research leads. Together, they will collaboratively pursue a wide array of research grant opportunities from government, industry and non-profit organizations to accelerate development of promising research and technologies that can be licensed out and/or spun out into the University’s new innovation center.

“We are extremely pleased and honored to be joining with one of the world’s leading research universities to create a unique integrative model for translating basic science research into new medicines,” said William Greenlee, president and chief executive officer of The Hamner Institutes. “This partnership also will foster new alliances between academe, industry and government regulatory agencies to advance public health research, education and scientifically informed policies.”

This new partnership between The Hamner Institutes and the University will also draw upon extensive resources available at the state’s other academic institutions and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, which supports statewide faculty recruitment, scientific education, economic development and technology development.

Strategically located on a 56-acre campus in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences is a cross-disciplinary nonprofit organization that acts as a catalyst to facilitate scientific collaborations – both locally and internationally – between academia, the private sector and government. For more than 30 years, Hamner scientists have been recognized for their public-policy leadership and research advances in fields such as risk assessment, dose-response modeling and inhalation drug delivery.

Hamner Institutes site: www.thehamner.org
UNC Office of Technology Development site: http://research.unc.edu/otd/

Hamner Institutes contact: Patty Briguglio, (919) 233-6600, patty@mmimarketing.com
UNC News Services contact: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093, lisa_katz@unc.edu