Technology industry leaders today announced several major new research alliances with QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research, at the "inaugural event" celebrating the opening of the Institute's new headquarters on the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
Focusing on the theme "Nurturing Biomedical Innovation," the program featured several major announcements:
* General Electric board chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt described for the first time a new research partnership with QB3 scientists to develop a new type of magnetic resonance (MR) technology for clinical use.
The GE technology will be refined and advanced by UCSF computational and clinical scientists in order to prepare it for clinical trials. The new MR capability is expected to allow studies of tissue metabolism with greatly increased sensitivity to improve disease prediction, screening, diagnosis and treatment. The sensitive measures of tissue metabolism are also expected to improve the ability to tailor therapy to individual patients.
* Genentech's CEO Arthur Levinson announced an agreement to simplify and speed collaborations between his company and QB3 scientists. The agreement clarifies at the outset the types of issues that tend to slow and sometimes block productive collaborations between industry and university scientists.
* Nikon Instruments and QB3 announced a new facility to provide a platform for developing new microscopy techniques, software, analytic techniques and imaging methods. The Nikon Imaging Center will be equipped with advanced light microscopy systems and will be housed in UCSF's Center for Advanced Technology in Genentech Hall on the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
* University of California President Robert Dynes discussed a new research agreement forged by QB3 and Peking University leaders to assure increased collaborations between the two institutions and to help integrate QB3's powerful computational approaches in data analysis with advances in theoretical biology made by scientists at Peking University's Center for Theoretical Biology. Dynes also discussed collaborations being developed between other UC campuses and Chinese institutions.
* Other collaborations celebrated at the event included the first offering of incubator research space at QB3 to start-up companies, and a new QB3-led research effort in synthetic biology and nanomedicine that is funded by NIH.
QB3 is one of four California Institutes for Science and Innovation and the only one devoted to biomedical research. It brings together scientists from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UCSF to apply intensely quantitative techniques to solve complex biological problems critical to advancing human health.
The institutes were conceived by the state of California to improve collaborations between university research scientists and those in the state's technology industries in order to accelerate the "translation" of basic biomedical research discoveries into diagnostics, products and treatments to improve health and assure the growth of the state's economy.
UCSF is a leading university that consistently defines health care worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences and providing complex patient care.