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New Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain Established With $35 Million Grant

May 14, 2020

The University of Minnesota has announced a $35 million grant from Minnesota Masonic Charities that will be used to create the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain. This interdisciplinary institute will be led by the Medical School and College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), focusing on typical and disordered neurodevelopment from birth through adolescence. The institute will be co-directed by Drs. Michael Georgieff, Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development (a Consortium member), and Damien Fair, who will join the faculty in July from Oregon Health & Science University. More information is available here  

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Announcing the Consortium’s 20th Member Center: Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC)

May 8, 2020

The Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC) is the Consortium’s newest member center, elected by vote of the current members. SPARC was established at the U in January 2019 as an innovation and research hub, and is led by Professors Amy Kircher, DrPH, and Katey Pelican, PhD, DVM. SPARC engages researchers across a wide range of disciplines for large-scale programs and grant proposals at the intersection of science and societyFind out more about SPARC here  

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics

New LawSeqSM Symposium Published in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics

May 1, 2020

The Consortium’s NIH-funded grant on the law of genomics, led collaboratively with Vanderbilt University, has just published a major symposium in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics on "LawSeq: Building a Sound Legal Foundation for Translating Genomics into Clinical Application." The symposium features three open-access articles offering recommendations on legal changes to address liability threats, quality challenges in genomics, and confusion between different domains of genomics (research, clinical care, public health, and direct-to-consumer). Additional articles address further legal and policy challenges including privacy and research participant protections, stakeholder perceptions, and sound regulatory approaches. The full symposium is available online and on the Consortium website.

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Osterholm Warns of Issues With COVID-19 Testing, Proposes a Way Forward

April 28, 2020

In a New York Times op-ed on April 28, Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker analyze the challenges of diagnostic testing for COVID-19, including the potential for false negatives, the fact that individuals would need to be screened repeatedly, and accuracy issues. They also warn of problems with antibody testing. They recommend testing improvements, including greater FDA oversight, increased production of testing reagents and equipment, and intensified “syndromic surveillance.” Prof. Osterholm is Director of CIDRAP, a Consortium member center. Read the full article here

Researcher testing samples

Genomics Center works with University partners to improve COVID-19 clinical testing

April 23, 2020

The University of Minnesota Genomics Center, a Consortium member center, worked with the University of Minnesota Medical School, the Molecular Diagnostics Lab, and M Health Fairview to develop a procedure that increases COVID-19 testing volume. Findings were recently published in bioRxiv so other institutions can utilize the new procedure and mitigate the current testing shortage. More information on how the testing procedure was refined and improved is available on the Medical School Website.

Covid-19 and Cancer: What You Need to Know

Masonic Cancer Center Helps Patients Adjust Care Due to COVID-19

April 13, 2020

As COVID-19 can cause severe issues for people with compromised immune systems, the Masonic Cancer Center, a Consortium member, and their clinical partner, M Health Fairview, are making changes in order to minimize risk and ensure cancer patients are not unnecessarily exposed. Adjustments include utilizing video-supported visits with oncologists and changes to scheduling that ensure patients interact with as few people as possible. Read more on the Masonic Cancer Center website here

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