The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Hebrew University launch research consortium initiative during Philadelphia delegation visit to Jerusalem

(From left) Prof. Simon Benita, Dr Steven M. Altschuler, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson and Drexel President John A. Fry. [Photo: Yonatan Sindel] November 12, 2013: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia CEO Steven M. Altschuler, Drexel University President John A. Fry, and Hebrew University President Menahem Ben-Sasson signed a research agreement this week as part of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s trade mission to Israel. The research partnership is designed to focus on pediatric translational research and to develop a collaborative platform for advancing pediatric medicine from the lab to the bedside.

The Hebrew University hosted the signing ceremony, which took place at Jerusalem City Hall in the presence of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Mayor Nutter.

“This international research consortium will leverage The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s success in medical innovation to treat pediatric diseases, with an emphasis on genetics and genomics,” said Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., chief executive officer of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "We are thrilled to collaborate with two exceptional institutions — Drexel University and Hebrew University’s School of Pharmacy — whose expertise in technology and drug delivery respectively will create a unique partnership that enables high-quality, rapid advancement of new treatments in pediatric medicine for children around the world.”

“This agreement sets the stage for a collaborative research consortium in fields of mutual interest, including pediatric translational research,” said John A. Fry, Drexel University President. “I’m glad to see our longstanding partnership with Hebrew University of Jerusalem expand, as we create a unique opportunity to address unmet needs in pediatrics through innovative commercial pediatric therapeutics and diagnostics.”

One of the first outcomes of the research collaboration will be a conference to be held in Philadelphia in January 2014.  The conference will provide the opportunity for investigators from the three institutions to find collaborators with whom to develop joint projects and proposals in pediatric translational research and for interested funders to learn more about the potential for discovery that this collaborative consortium holds.

“The collaboration between Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University and Hebrew University researchers will create an excellent environment for translating basic science into practical applications,” said Hebrew University President Ben-Sasson. “This important agreement will bring our institutions’ extensive and proven research capabilities to bear on developing real-world therapies that enhance the lives of young people everywhere.”

According to Prof. Simon Benita, head of the Hebrew University’s School of Pharmacy and director of its Institute for Drug Research, "This collaboration provides a unique opportunity to carry out complimentary interdisciplinary research that can lead to pharmaceutical pediatric research  breakthroughs and provide at least partial therapeutic solutions to unmet medical needs related to severe pediatric diseases.”

Nutter and his delegation arrived in Tel Aviv on November 7 as part of a trade mission to the United Kingdom and Israel. The November 11 signing was a focal point of the trip. “I am proud to see two great Philadelphia institutions, CHOP and Drexel University, expand their reach overseas,” said Mayor Nutter. “The partnership with Hebrew University will allow all three parties to share research and ultimately improve children’s healthcare."

Source: Marketing & Communication, Hebrew University