At the dawn of the 21st century, advances in medical research were occurring at a breathtaking pace. Yet, the challenge of caring for a rapidly growing number of people with chronic health problems was daunting. To address the gap between biomedical progress and unmet clinical needs, the research community realized that forming partnerships of highly talented interdisciplinary investigators with a translational emphasis was essential. At the same time, the training of talented young investigators was recognized as a top priority, and a critical investment in the future.
The founding of the University of Minnesota, Karolinska Institute, and Mayo Clinic “Frontiers in Biomedical Research Partnership” has been enthusiastically endorsed by each of these world-renowned research institutions. The major goal of this new three-way partnership is to promote collaborations between investigators at these institutions, thereby accelerating discoveries that will lead to new treatment and prevention strategies. To do so, the best and brightest young investigators (at the postdoctoral level) will be selected as recipients of Frontiers Awards to support one year of research in the laboratory of a senior investigator with an active collaboration at the awardee’s institution.
The “Frontiers in Biomedical Research Partnership” will foster collaborations in three areas of great promise and clinical need: Regenerative Medicine, Bio-Omics, and Immunity. Regenerative Medicine is an applied field of biomedicine that holds promise for regenerating damaged cells within the body and/or creating replacements in the laboratory for use in humans. It is a revolutionary approach that focuses on curing conditions as opposed to treating them, and encompasses chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and degenerative diseases of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Bio-Omics includes several of the most promising fields of biomedical research, including genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, all of which are strong suits of the partnering institutions. Finally, Immunity relates to development of new or improved vaccines against infectious agents that already are or threaten to devastate large numbers of people living in the developing world.