University of Georgia
March 2015
GRU/UGA Medical Partnership translates research to the bedside

Dr. Melissa Davis, assistant professor of genetics, is among a growing number of GRU/UGA Medical Partnership faculty members conducting critical research in the medical field. Davis' current work focuses on tumors and breast cancer.

GRU/UGA Medical Partnership translates research to the bedside

While the medical partnership was founded to secure a new generation of doctors in Georgia, it now also facilitates groundbreaking research.

The Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens, created to help alleviate a statewide shortage of physicians that threatens the health of Georgians, now is facilitating research that impacts not just the lives of Georgians, but of people across the globe.

The medical partnership’s four-year medical education program in Athens combines the significant instructional and research resources of UGA, the state’s flagship land-grant research university, with the expertise of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, Georgia’s public medical school. The first class of the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership graduated in 2014.

But in addition to increasing the number of physicians in Georgia, the partnership is expanding research collaborations among faculty at GRU and UGA, and other institutions, creating new insights into the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

“Many of the colleges at the University of Georgia are invested in research that spans the definition of ‘clinical and translational research.’ With the development of the medical partnership campus in Athens, the community has attracted a growing cadre of outstanding young physician faculty with both cutting-edge clinical skills and research expertise.”

—Barbara Schuster, M.D., Dean, UGA Medical Partnership

Examples of research involving medical partnership faculty include:

—Barbara Schuster, M.D., Dean, UGA Medical Partnership

GRU and UGA are supporting these research efforts with funding and facilities. A seed grant program has provided up to $250,000 to inter-institutional teams to support research that translates findings from basic research to clinical practice. Over 40 proposals were reviewed and the first four successful teams began working on their projects in January.

A dedicated clinical research facility on UGA’s Health Sciences Campus is scheduled to open in the early fall of 2015. Faculty members from a variety of backgrounds, including UGA’s kinesiology department, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, the College of Public Health, and the College of Engineering, are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to work with clinical faculty members from the medical partnership on research efforts that will have an impact on the lives of Georgians.