Tuesday, October 05, 2010
ROCHESTER/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics announced today the launch of Decade of Discovery: A Minnesota Partnership to End Diabetes. Building on the University of Minnesota's and Mayo Clinic's well-established strengths in diabetes research and treatment, the initiative will work to make transformational discoveries to defeat diabetes through research, broad penetration of best practices, treatment, intervention and prevention.
"Currently, one of every three Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes-related treatment in our country with at least $2 billion spent here in Minnesota," says Robert Rizza, M.D., Executive Dean of Research at Mayo Clinic, endocrinologist and globally-recognized diabetes researcher. "When we look at the quality of life impact of diabetes combined with an annual price tag of $170 billion each year nationally, elevating and expediting Minnesota's ability to tackle this disease is not only the right thing to do, it is a health and economic imperative."
World-renowned scientists and diabetes experts from Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota will lead the Decade of Discovery research teams. The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics has been recognized many times by independent review committees, including the National Institutes of Health, for its groundbreaking progress in diabetes research and treatment.
"The demographic, health and economic challenges we face demand transformational approaches to how we treat and address diseases in our country," says Frank Cerra, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center and Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School. "Defeating diabetes is an ambitious goal but failing to build on Minnesota's existing strengths has far more risks than declaring our commitment to ultimately curing the disease. It's time to be bold and this Partnership is ready for the challenge."
The Decade of Discovery will be guided by an Oversight Committee comprised of respected global, national and local leaders from medical research, business/bio-business, civic leadership, philanthropic interests, disease advocacy groups and other impacted communities. The Oversight Committee will be co-chaired by Peter Agre, M.D. and Vance Opperman. Dr. Agre is a Nobel Laureate and Minnesota native currently serving as Board Chair with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute. Opperman is President and CEO of Key Investments, Inc., a private investment company and serves on the board of directors for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
"Minnesota is uniquely positioned to succeed in this initiative, in large part, because of the partnership between Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota," says Dr. Agre. "With Mayo's standing as the leading center of endocrinology research and the University's significant investments in the science of regeneration, investing in Minnesota's globally-recognized expertise in diabetes is the key to reaching the ultimate goal of finding a cure to this disease."
"Putting our state in the position to defeat diabetes is Minnesota's 21st century opportunity given the role that biomedical research and commercialization will play in the future of our economy," adds Opperman. "When we look to the future, the vitality of Minnesota's economy will depend on our ability to invest in high-growth, value-added industries such as biotechnology. This initiative represents a world of medical and economic potential for Minnesota."
Visit the Decade of Discovery initiative for more information.
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