Medical Discovery Teams Update

Brooks Jackson
September 24, 2015

During the last legislative session, the final budget agreement included annual funding to develop Medical Discovery Teams (MDT). That money is to be used to recruit faculty considered to be national leaders in their fields to lead teams focused on solving health issues important to Minnesota and the nation. In order to identify initial focus areas, we pursued both an internal and external strategy. We solicited ideas from our faculty and from an external review panel. Those discussions have resulted in four areas for investment.

  • Addiction – The search will be led by Tim Ebner.
  • American Indian/Rural Health Disparities: Advancing the Science of Individualizing Patient Health Care – The search will be led by Paula Termuhlen and Jim Allen.
  • The Biology of Aging – The search will be led by David Bernlohr.
  • Imaging Across Multiple Scales of Neuronal Organization in the Brain: Circuit Based Approaches to Neuropsychiatric Disorders – The search will be led by Kamil Ugurbil.

I am confident that these focus areas build on our strengths, have great potential for NIH funding, and can make us world class in several areas. We intend to start searching for MDT leaders immediately and to begin connecting across the Academic Health Center and the University to ensure we are leveraging our breadth and depth to the fullest.

Thank you to all of you who offered thoughts and ideas during this process. I am impressed with your talent, enthusiasm, and willingness to help move this project forward. This initiative offers enormous potential to elevate the Medical School and to benefit our health sciences enterprise as a whole.

I hope that you will continue to be involved in this and other opportunities. I would also like to thank the AHC’s Associate Vice President for Research and Medical School Vice Dean for Research Tucker LeBien, PhD, for his work in developing and driving this comprehensive selection process. It was a good experience and we have a great outcome.