Inova and UVA Letter of Intent FAQs

What did Inova and UVA announce today?

Inova and UVA announced that we have agreed, subject to the completion of definitive agreements, to form a research, education, and cancer research and clinical trials partnership. The institutions will collaborate to recruit eminent researchers and investigators to the Commonwealth of Virginia to facilitate innovation, application of medical research, and commercialization of new discoveries. Our shared vision is that through this affiliation we can better accomplish our missions in research and education.

How will this partnership benefit the Commonwealth of Virginia and her citizens?

Through our research partnership, we will be better positioned to attract top researchers whose scientific breakthroughs have potential to impact the citizens of the Commonwealth. We expect this partnership will boost the Commonwealth’s economy through the commercialization of new discoveries. The regional campus of the UVA School of Medicine will enhance our ability to educate the healthcare providers of tomorrow by providing students with an opportunity for a differentiated learning experience during the post-clerkship phase.

Why is this partnership important to Inova?

Inova is a leading integrated health system serving Northern Virginia, the greater Washington, DC region, and beyond. By partnering with UVA, we will combine our translational medicine research efforts and clinical excellence in cancer, neuroscience, cardiovascular disease, and other areas with one of the most prestigious research universities in the country whose translational and clinical research strengths are complementary to Inova’s.

Over the past 10 years, UVA has captured almost 50% of the approximately $2.4 billion in awards by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Virginia research universities.  As a result, Inova will be better positioned to partner with UVA on both governmental and commercial grants and funding opportunities.  We will also jointly recruit eminent researchers, scientists and investigators to support our collaborative research efforts.

Why is this partnership important to UVA?

As an academic health system, our mission includes research that improves the human condition and educating the healthcare providers of tomorrow. This partnership with Inova will broaden our research footprint and draw more eminent researchers to Virginia. Inova’s research focus on genomic science and translational medicine complements UVA’s research priorities. Our students will have opportunity to have more direct contact with patients during their clerkship and post-clerkships phases.

Why is the proposed research institute to be located on the ICPH campus in Northern Virginia?

The 2016 Virginia General Assembly recognized the Inova Center for Personalized Health as a hub for biomedical research and commercialization of new discoveries and has encouraged certain institutions of higher education to partner with Inova in order to seek funding that has been earmarked for a genomics and research institute.

Will this partnership create jobs?

One of the goals of the partnership is to commercialize research breakthroughs, which in some cases will lead to new jobs either through the expansion of existing biomedical companies or the creation of new companies in Northern Virginia and throughout the Commonwealth.

Is the partnership effective immediately?

The goal of leaders from both institutions is to finalize definitive agreements later this year. The partnership’s start date will be determined in by those agreements. Collaborative research discussions are already underway.

What does this research partnership mean to potential partnerships with other universities?

One of the objectives of the new ICPH campus is to facilitate broad and collaborative partnerships among and between universities, academic medical centers, and commercial entities with similar research, prevention, treatment and commercialization goals. Last year Inova announced an important research partnership with George Mason University focused on a number of disease areas, including the creation of a joint center for applied clinical proteomics, as well as joint efforts to help define the policy ecosystem for personalized health. UVA will continue to work with research collaborators throughout the Commonwealth and across the nation.

What does this partnership mean for UVA’s relationship with Novant Health?

This education and research partnership does not impact UVA’s ongoing partnership with Novant Health.

Who will lead the Research Institute and how will joint projects be determined?

The details of the research collaborative are still being determined; however, both UVA and Inova intend to be founding partners of the research institute and will have roles in governance and oversight of the research activities.

Where will research be conducted?

Research will be conducted both at the Inova campus and at UVA’s Charlottesville campus. Buildings at the Inova campus will be renovated to accommodate research activities.

What kinds of research will be conducted?

Research will focus on genomics, functional biology, bioinformatics, biologically driven engineering, precision medicine and related translational research. The Inova Schar Cancer Institute and the UVA Cancer Center will also create a cancer research partnership as both institutions work together to achieve designation by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Does the agreement include a medical school?

The proposed agreement will include a regional campus of the UVA School of Medicine on the Inova campus. The regional campus will meet the accreditation standards as required by the LCME. UVA will submit an application for a regional campus in early 2017. Incoming students will self-select to attend the regional campus.

Where will the school be located and will it require new construction?

The regional campus will be located at Inova.  New construction will not be required as Inova has a medical education building that meets LCME requirements.

What programs will be available to medical students at the regional campus?

Students at the regional campus will complete their clerkship and post-clerkship training. During clerkship, medical students rotate through different medical specialties and both observe and assist in patient care under the supervision of physicians.  During post-clerkship training, students are able to select programs that may include additional patient-care rotations. Clinical rotations would be available at Inova hospitals and research facilities.

How many students will be there? When will the regional campus begin educating students?

We intend for approximately 30-42 students to complete their medical education at the regional campus. The exact start date and number of students will be determined as part of the final definitive agreement.  We anticipate the first clerkship cohort will start in March 2021.

How will recruitment and employment of eminent researchers work?

The details of the research collaborative are still being finalized.  Identification of key research areas is underway.  UVA and Inova will jointly make recruitment and employment decisions.  UVA will follow existing SOM policies and procedures for recruitment and hiring of faculty and faculty appointments.

How will Inova and UVA fund this partnership? Where is the money coming from?

Inova and UVA both intend to devote substantial resources to this partnership effort, including resources specifically for the purpose of obtaining matching dollars from the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of the new Virginia research investment fund. In the 2016 Session, the General Assembly approved funding for a genomics and research institute to be formed by Inova and other partners. This legislation included $20 million designated for capital investments in research laboratories and equipment, along with $8 million for recruitment efforts to attract eminent researchers. The General Assembly specifically named UVA as one of the institutions of higher education eligible to partner with Inova in order to seek funding through the Virginia Research Investment Fund created through this legislation.

Are other institutions welcome to join the partnership?

UVA and Inova plan to become the founding partners of the research institute, and other Virginia universities named in the legislation establishing the Virginia Research Investment Fund are also encouraged to participate. One of the objectives of the new ICPH campus is to facilitate broad and collaborative partnerships among and between universities, academic medical centers, and commercial entities with similar research, prevention, treatment and commercialization goals.  Last year Inova announced an important research partnership with George Mason University focused on a number of disease areas, including the creation of a joint center for applied clinical proteomics, as well as joint efforts to help define the policy ecosystem for personalized health.

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