The Monell Center and Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) announced today the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation, outlining how the two institutions will collaborate over the next year to develop joint scientific programs and clinical opportunities to advance their shared mission of improving human health.
This comes 10 months after the announcement of the signing of a Letter of Intent to discuss a potential merger. The Agreement of Cooperation, which became effective on Aug. 1, 2018, and extends for one year, results from the extensive dialog between Monell and Jefferson, which identified many mutually advantageous benefits of working as independent entities.
Terms of the Cooperation Agreement focus on promoting joint research activities between the two institutions, establishing educational exchange programs to explore basic and clinical synergies, and developing fund-raising opportunities for research programs of mutual interest.
“This creative partnership agreement is a powerful next step in our relationship with Monell,” said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. “This allows our scientists to share ideas, compete for funding together and focus on the real work—reimagining discovery.”
The collaborative partnership between an exceptional clinical health system and professional university and a world-class basic research institute presents exciting translational research opportunities to address pressing health challenges, such as heart disease, obesity, hypertension, infectious disease, and Alzheimer’s dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
To achieve that goal, the two institutions will fund up to four Monell-Jefferson collaborative pilot studies exploring promising new ideas and hypotheses. A highly successful joint research symposium held at Jefferson in July identified multiple basic research synergies for scientists to develop. A second symposium will focus on clinical translation.
“Monell and Jefferson share a mission to improve lives and advance health outcomes by translating basic science into clinical practice,” said Monell Center President and Director Robert Margolskee, MD, PhD. “Over the past year, we identified multiple benefits of working together to advance that mission. In one example, we recently received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for research involving scientists from Monell and Jefferson. This exciting work, which has high potential for increasing pharmaceutical compliance in children by improving the taste of liquid medicines, could not have been carried out by either partner alone.”
Currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding, Monell has a strong legacy of discoveries about how the human body detects and responds to chemicals in the worlds within and around us. Advances over the past decade dramatically illustrate how the primal senses of taste and smell extend well beyond our mouths and noses to detect and vanquish invading bacteria in our airways and parasites in our intestines. Still other developments focus on the regenerative capacities of taste and smell cells, which hold great promise for addressing the decline of the senses associated with aging.