Perfect Match: FAU And Memorial Healthcare System Establish Research Partnership

FAU and Memorial Form Research PACT (Partnership to Advance Clinical Trials)


BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- South Florida giants in higher education and healthcare have joined forces to form an alliance that will advance clinical research and clinical trials in the region. Florida Atlantic University and Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County have formed a "Research Partnership to Advance Clinical Trials" (Research PACT), which combines their expertise and resources in clinical research, clinical trials, basic research and translational biomedical research. Its mission: to develop state-of-the-art research tools and discover new knowledge to benefit patients and lead advances in patient care.

"Florida Atlantic University's Board of Trustees and all of us at the University are very excited to collaborate on this important initiative with Memorial Healthcare System. Together, we will propel the development and delivery of potential breakthrough discoveries in treatments and technologies that will benefit this region's diverse patient population," said FAU President John Kelly. "FAU and Memorial Healthcare System share similar goals, as well as values and culture in research excellence and serve the same communities, which make this partnership a perfect match."

The new research affiliation brings together the scientific expertise of FAU researchers and the clinical expertise of Memorial physicians. The coordinated effort also will leverage the two organizations' state-of-the-art facilities, as well as proficiency in various areas from cancer to cardiology and biomedical engineering to big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

"The Memorial and FAU research affiliation will usher an era of innovation in South Florida's healthcare industry that will greatly impact our community and the lives of many patients for years to come," said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System. "Through thoughtful and purposeful research, we will be pioneers on many fronts while also advancing scientific knowledge."

FAU and Memorial will work to develop new drugs, medical devices, software applications, and other novel treatments for diseases and disorders that affect both children and adults. The scope of the agreement, limited to research and research-related education, is designed to enable clinicians and researchers from each institution to more effectively collaborate with their peers and access available resources at each partner institution. The goal of the partnership is to facilitate expanded clinical trials research activity involving both FAU and Memorial researchers. The partnership will involve a multi-disciplinary approach, attracting faculty across FAU's 10 colleges and will include nurses, social workers and other allied health specialists.

"Our partnership with Memorial Healthcare System is a 'win-win.' Memorial Healthcare System has a robust patient population and more than 130 clinicians who participate in more than 150 open clinical trials and clinical research studies, which are supported with a strong research infrastructure," said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., FAU vice president for research. "We have complementary research infrastructures and research expertise that span a multitude of disciplines from neuroscience to business to computer science and engineering, which are mutually advantageous for our joint research efforts."

FAU has a robust culture of research and inquiry, which leverages regional assets, such as the ocean, patient populations, and culture and business, to advance scientific understanding, discover new technologies, and contribute to the economic vitality of the region. FAU has established research pillars focused on institutional strengths: the Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH); the Brain Institute (I-BRAIN); the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE); and ocean science and engineering/environmental sciences, FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

Memorial Regional Hospital, the flagship facility of Memorial Healthcare System and one of the largest hospitals in Florida, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and Memorial Hospital West are located in Broward and offer a variety of medical and surgical services with related clinical trials. Memorial's comprehensive clinical research infrastructure offers patients the opportunity to participate in innovative research studies, including many treatments that would otherwise not be available locally. Among the many trials being conducted at Memorial include COVID-19, adult and pediatric oncology, adult and pediatric cardiology, stroke, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and sickle cell.

"Memorial Healthcare System is a major Public Academic and Research Clinical Enterprise and this partnership will allow all patients in our communities to receive and benefit from the highest caliber cutting- edge therapies available," said Candice Sareli, M.D., chief medical research officer for Memorial Healthcare System. "Memorial's clinicians and scientists are pleased to be able to work alongside basic science researchers and the full complement of academic scholars at FAU to enable this community opportunity."

FAU and Memorial will engage in joint intellectual property and technology transfer, joint training, and collaborative research projects and programs to include bench-to-bedside research for both drugs and devices. Areas of mutual research interest include cancer - FAU and Memorial researchers have already submitted joint research grant proposals. There also will be opportunities to collaborate on research projects in Alzheimer's disease and other dementias as well as various diseases that affect cognitive impairment.

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU's world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU's existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

About Memorial Healthcare System:

Memorial Healthcare System is one of the largest public healthcare systems in the U.S. and a national leader in quality care and patient satisfaction. It is highly regarded for a patient and family-centered approach at facilities that include Memorial Regional Hospital, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar, Memorial Hospital Pembroke, Joe DiMaggio Children's Health Specialty Center in Wellington, and Memorial Manor nursing home.

Among the many awards and recognition it has earned are Modern Healthcare magazine's "Best Place to Work in Healthcare," Florida Trend's "Florida's Best Companies to Work For," and Becker's Hospital Review's "150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare." In a recent report ("Humanizing Brand Experience"), the Denver-based consulting firm Monigle named Memorial the top health system brand in America, based on consumer surveys. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts: Gisele Galoustian
Media Relations Director, Research
Phone: 561-985-4615

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SOURCE Florida Atlantic University

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