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Three Kansas City Health Sciences Schools Partner in Musculoskeletal Disease Research Consortium

The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU), the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) and the University of Kansas (KU) Medical Center proudly announce a research consortium among the three Kansas City-area institutions. The consortium brings together scientists and resources focused on the research of musculoskeletal disorders and diseases.

This unique consortium is the first initiative of its kind in Kansas City and provides opportunities to combine the individual strengths and resources of the three health sciences schools to advance translational research. Sometimes referred to as “bench to bedside,” translational research harnesses knowledge from the study of basic sciences to produce new drugs, devices and treatment options for patients. The goal of this partnership is to build medical research teams that will focus on specific diseases of muscle and bone, thereby accelerating the process of turning discoveries into clinical treatments while also improving research education opportunities for health sciences students.

The consortium will be overseen by an executive committee comprised of Lynda Bonewald, PhD, vice chancellor for translational and clinical research at UMKC; Jeffrey Joyce, PhD, vice president for research at KCU; and Richard Barohn, MD, vice chancellor for research at the KU Medical Center. Dr. Bonewald will serve as the founding director of the consortium, with directorship duties rotating between each of the institutions.

“The consortium builds upon the individual strengths of each institution in basic and clinical research to truly improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Dr. Joyce. “It leverages the investments and resources of each institution to maximize the impact on translational research in musculoskeletal diseases.”

“We have the unprecedented opportunity to tackle diseases of the bone and muscle through the newly formed Kansas City Consortium,” said Dr. Bonewald. “The goal of this consortium is to build powerful research teams of basic to clinical investigators from our three institutions to discover new treatments and cures.

These research teams will give our students opportunities to work alongside these researchers to understand and optimally treat musculoskeletal disease.”

“The KU Medical Center is pleased to partner with UMKC and KCU to collaborate on musculoskeletal research,” said Dr. Barohn. “We are confident that our faculty and researchers, who are dedicated to finding cures for these debilitating diseases, can make even greater strides by working together.”

This is the first formal agreement for joint research between the three universities’ health sciences schools, but the region can look forward to more collaborative efforts. At a recent panel featuring the deans of these three schools of medicine, they each indicated their strong desire to foster collaboration.

“We are more innovative and successful when we solve problems collaboratively than individually,” said Wayne Carter, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Life Sciences Institute. “We must lead by example and I applaud Dr. Bonewald and these three great institutions in their leadership that I hope is the first of many such regional consortia.”

“In my experience, I find the level of cooperation between medical schools in other states doesn’t come close to the sense of what we are doing at KCU, UMKC and KU,” said Bruce Dubin, DO, JD, executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and dean of the KCU College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This is a collaboration that doesn’t exist anywhere and serves as a role model for the rest of the country.”

About Kansas City University
The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, founded in 1916, is a fully accredited, private university, with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the largest in the state. It is the second-leading provider of physicians for the states of Missouri and Kansas, with 73 percent practicing in a primary care specialty throughout the Midwest region. Faculty and students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Biosciences collaborate to advance interdisciplinary research in improving the communities we serve.

About University of Kansas Medical Center
The University of Kansas Medical Center’s mission is to educate exceptional health care professionals through a full range of undergraduate, graduate, professional, postdoctoral and continuing education programs in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions. KU Medical Center also advances the health sciences through world-class research programs; provides compassionate and state-of-the-art patient care in an academic medical center environment; and works with communities in every Kansas county to improve the health of Kansans.

About Health Research at University of
Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is a world leader in musculoskeletal and outcomes research, pioneering strategies for delivering personalized medicine in routine clinical care to improve patients’ experiences and lower costs. UMKC’s Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Studies, Dentistry, Computer Science and Engineering, Biological Sciences and Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Research and Economic Development collaborate to advance health care in the community.

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