Industry-academia collaborations are key for the development of new medical technologies and drugs that can provide better care for our patients.
The Mass General Research Institute recognizes the importance of these relationships in moving healthcare forward and has increased its efforts to work collaboratively with industry. This has led to an 18% increase in industry-sponsored research funding in FY18.
Below we highlight some of the collaborations that were announced over the summer.
A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Clinical Data Science, the Mayo Clinic, and Nvidia have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model to generate synthetic MRIs on which they can train future AI systems. For the study, the researchers used a system and deep learning framework from Nvidia to train a generative adversarial network on data from two publicly available datasets of brain MRIs. They then used the network to create synthetic abnormal MRIs with brain tumors.
Kamada Ltd. extends collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital for a proof-of-concept study evaluating the potential benefit of the company’s liquid alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) on liver preservation and transplant rejection prevention. The purpose of the ongoing study is to assess the effect of AAT on liver graft quality and viability and to evaluate the liver graft for markers of ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) and tissue damage.
Massachusetts General Hospital and ideas42, a nonprofit behavioral design lab, announced a research collaboration aimed at supporting patients in emergency care seeking treatment for opioid use disorder. With funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Mass General and ideas42 will use behavioral insights to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of a series of new interventions for this growing population.
Massachusetts General Hospital and electroCore, a New Jersey-based medical device company, announce a four-year research project looking at concussive brain injuries and Alzheimer’s disease. The company is providing Mass General with $1 million over four years as seed funding for multiple preclinical studies on its non-invasive electric nerve stimulation device. The device is already on the market for migraines, but they hope to expand the market to other conditions.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced the winners of the sixth annual Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation, an award designed to recognize, reward and foster talented early-career biomedical scientists. Lauren Orefice, PhD, of the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, won an award for her research studying the function of peripheral sensory neurons in mouse models of autism spectrum disorders.
In this WCVB interview, Rox Anderson, MD, a dermatologist at Mass General, researcher, and inventor of cool sculpting—the procedure that freezes unwanted body fat—discusses how he thought of the idea while looking for a new way to remove fat without surgery.
GigaMune and Massachusetts General Hospital entered a research collaboration to test GigaMune’s T cell receptor (TCR) discovery technology to identify therapeutic TCRs in healthy donor samples. The TCRs will be directed against tumor antigens that are expressed by solid tumors. The project will be led by Mark Cobbold, MRCP, PhD, a translational immunologist at Mass General, and Dr. David Johnson, founder of GigaMune and expert in immune genomics.