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Mayo Clinic/ASU Collaboration Announcement: Media Backgrounder

February 14, 2011

Under the leadership of Victor Trastek, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University (ASU), Mayo and ASU have been working together on a series of strategic collaborations since 2003.

Both organizations possess unique leadership qualities, creative energy and enthusiasm for learning and innovation. The combination of these qualities — along with several successful collaborations in the last eight years — has served to establish a solid foundation for a deeper and broader relationship. 

The enhanced collaboration between Mayo Clinic and ASU will draw from the major strengths of each organization — Mayo's extensive clinical experience, medical education programs and its vertical integration of research spanning basic science, laboratory-based clinical investigation, clinical trials and population sciences and ASU's recognized leadership as an academic institution in basic research and advanced programs in biodesign, biotechnology and biomedical informatics with the Arizona Biodesign Institute. Both organizations share similar values, and both are focused through this enhanced collaboration on transforming health and healthcare delivery.

The relocation of ASU’s Department of Biomedical Informatics to the Scottsdale campus of Mayo Clinic by late summer 2011 is the first significant component of the enhanced relationship. Biomedical informatics is a burgeoning field at the intersection of information science, computer science and health care. It deals with the resources, devices and methods needed to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of health and biomedical information with the goal of enhancing patient care and overall human health.

Mayo Clinic and ASU: A history of strategic collaborations
During the past eight years, several successful collaborative endeavors have been developed and implemented:

• ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation/Mayo Clinic Campus

Mayo and ASU have collaborated to create this unique program, which increases enrollment capacity for nursing students statewide. Students are taught, using ASU nursing curriculum, by a faculty of Mayo Clinic nurses in a classroom environment on the Phoenix campus. A clinical laboratory learning space opened at Mayo Clinic Hospital to further support this successful program.

• Mayo Medical School/ASU Dual Degree Programs:

- M.D./J.D.
- M.D./M.B.A.
- M.D./Biomedical Informatics
- M.D./Biomedical Engineering
- M.D./Communications

• ASU/Mayo Clinic Seed Research Grants

The ASU/Mayo Partnership for Collaborative Research offers a Seed Grant Program for new collaborative research projects between ASU and Mayo Clinic. Projects selected for funding involve hands-on roles of both ASU and Mayo investigators, and are pilot studies that have a high probability of leading to a later submission to the National Institutes of Health or other peer review, grant funding agencies for longer-term support.

• The Mayo-ASU Center for Cancer-related Convergence, Cooperation and Collaboration (MAC5)

Created to support jointly funded collaborative cancer research efforts between Mayo Clinic and ASU. This effort brought together Mayo physicians and ASU computing, engineering and informatics specialists.

Other collaborative initiatives include:

• Joint faculty appointments

• Sonata del Sol program, which involves ASU students writing personalized poems for end-of-life patients at Mayo Clinic Hospital

• ASU biomedical/engineering student innovations implemented at Mayo Clinic Hospital

• Summer scholars at Mayo Medical School

• ASU College of Law and Mayo Clinic Continuing Education together present Ethics and Personalized Medicine

Mayo Clinic and ASU: Prospects for the future

This new formal agreement will pave the way for Mayo and ASU to broaden and deepen their mutual engagement across a full spectrum of activities related to healthcare, medical research and education.

In the years ahead Mayo Clinic and ASU remain committed to building on the strengths of both organizations in exploring opportunities for collaboration.

Quotes from Elected Officials

"The Arizona State University Mayo Clinic partnership is a great example of the public and private sectors collaborating in the design, implementation and delivery of high value health care for the benefit of American citizens." – U.S. Senator John McCain

"This partnership has the potential to generate more jobs and opportunity for Phoenix as other medical and research organizations will no doubt take notice of the synergy that is beginning to take place on and around the Phoenix Mayo Campus." – Phoenix City Councilmember Peggy Neely