Public Release:  Scripps Health and Sanford-Burnham to collaborate to advance new cancer treatments

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

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IMAGE: A new collaboration combines the laboratory science at Sanford-Burnham with Scripps' clinical research and network of physicians and patients to catalyze the discovery and development of innovative cancer therapies and... view more

Credit: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

SAN DIEGO -September 13, 2011 - Scripps Health and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have formed a collaboration to bridge the gap between laboratory scientists uncovering new approaches for treating cancer and the physicians caring for patients with cancer.

Basic medical research often struggles to achieve the financing and support to convert significant breakthroughs into medical practice. The field of translational medicine-- aimed at "translating" scientific research into treatments for patients-- has developed to help ensure promising early-stage discoveries don't languish, but instead move into the drug development pipeline.

"San Diego is known for its scientific research and for its premier health care. This collaboration is the latest example of how Scripps and Sanford-Burnham are bringing the two together," said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health.

This joint translational medicine effort combines the discovery research and laboratory science at Sanford-Burnham with Scripps' clinical science and network of physicians and patients. It will catalyze the discovery and development of innovative new therapies and diagnostics for cancer. As part of the collaboration, the two organizations intend to recruit a research-focused clinical oncologist to fill a joint faculty position at Scripps Clinic and Sanford-Burnham.

"Sanford-Burnham conducts world-class research dedicated to finding cures for human disease. Combining this with Scripps' expertise in clinical science and their large patient network, we will have opportunities to translate scientific discoveries into important new diagnostic and therapeutic medical advances," said Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., president of Sanford-Burnham and director of the Institute's NCI-designated Cancer Center.

"The prospect of having a research-focused clinical oncologist holding a joint faculty position at a world-class medical research institute and a nationally ranked health system is precisely the type of arrangement necessary to encourage innovation that can lead to advancements in patient care," said Robert Sarnoff, M.D., president of Scripps Clinic Medical Group.

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About Scripps Health

Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2.3 billion nonprofit integrated health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 13,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of physician offices and 23 outpatient centers and clinics.

Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine, wireless health care and graduate medical education. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges. More information can be found at www.scripps.org.

About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham, with operations in California and Florida, is one of the fastest-growing research institutes in the country. The Institute ranks among the top independent research institutions nationally for NIH grant funding and among the top organizations worldwide for its research impact. From 1999 - 2009, Sanford-Burnham ranked #1 worldwide among all types of organizations in the fields of biology and biochemistry for the impact of its research publications, defined by citations per publication, according to the Institute for Scientific Information. According to government statistics, Sanford-Burnham ranks #2 nationally among all organizations in capital efficiency of generating patents, defined by the number of patents issued per grant dollars awarded.

Sanford-Burnham utilizes a unique, collaborative approach to medical research and has established major research programs in cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is especially known for its world-class capabilities in stem cell research and drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit public benefit corporation. For more information, please visit www.sanfordburnham.org.

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