Ohio Venture - OVA Review Newsletter
News from the Ohio Venture Association meeting on May 9, 2014

Keynote Address:

Incubating New Medical Research Discoveries

Dr. Mark Chance

Vice Dean of Research,
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Case Western Reserve University's new strategic plan calls for a campus-wide emphasis on health, and on using that platform to meet the world's most pressing needs, by partnering with entities across Northeast Ohio.

"You need to think of the School of Medicine as a $320-million incubator," Dr. Mark Chance told OVA attendees at the May luncheon. "That's how much money is spent every year driving new research discoveries. The talent and dollars are there. How can we pull it out and get it to the marketplace in an efficient manner?"

He noted that several larger trends are providing momentum for these efforts. Ohio currently hosts 17 percent of the country's clinical trials, and infrastructure is now being put into place to capture an even larger share. He said that while Governor John Kasich vetoed the much-discussed rail line between Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, he has provided funding to spur the emerging medical corridor between those cities.

Dr. Chance explained that this is coming at a time that large pharmaceutical companies are abandoning much of their research capabilities. "Cleveland has been a great medical devices town. But for me, that's like being a one-armed paper hanger. There's a tremendous opportunity to develop therapeutics, based on what's in our laboratories. And we need to grow out and develop that arm."

Case is stepping into that vacuum, with collaboration from its partners. With the multi-affiliate model—University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Hospital and the Veterans Administration medical center--the group boasts more than 2,000 combined clinical faculty in the region. "Whether it's working with someone across the city or across the state, we are at the top of anyone's game in the nation," he said. "Frankly, I don't think we could imagine doing a big initiative on our own anymore, because the combined talent, resources and energy is what is driving us forward."

A case in point: the partners recently lured the noted geneticist and epidemiologist Jonathan Haynes from Vanderbilt to a newly created post. "We established the Institute for Computational Biology. How did we do it? Cleveland Clinic, UH, Case all contributed, and all will have faculty in this institute."

He argued that all of this is creating a sea change in the campus culture. "It's not just dollars. There's culture change that has to occur in the academy. Professors are starting to ask, 'in my early stages of their experiments, if I want it to go somewhere, who do I ask, how do I do those experiments, where do I go to get funding for that?'" He went on to say that all that outreach has resulted in $7 million in new outside investments in faculty research.

Perhaps most importantly, CWRU is dreaming big. The test scores of students the medical school now attracts rank it 8th in the U.S. "Right now, we're asking, can we be number one in the world?"

More information:

Webcast from the Meeting:

Click on the image below to view the presentation as video.

Video Webcast from Recent Meeting

Webcasts produced by Tom Kondilas.

OVA's Video Archive is Online:

OVA is pleased to offer an archive of program videos to its website. You'll find the full video record of most OVA formal programs since 2008 at www.ohioventure.org/video-archive.html.

Upcoming Meeting Dates:

  • June 13, 2014
    Venture of the Year

See complete details and registration for these events.

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