A collaboration of three prestigious institutions for pediatrics research

Nov. 11, 2013

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia CEO Steven M. Altschuler, Drexel University President John A. Fry, and Hebrew University of Jerusalem President Menahem Ben-Sasson signed a research agreement today 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 of Jerusalem 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, president of Drexel University. “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 Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “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, director of the Hebrew University’s School of Pharmacy and head 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 7th as part of a trade mission to the United Kingdom and Israel. The signing on November 11 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.”

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program receives the highest amount of National Institutes of Health funding among all U.S. children’s hospitals. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 527-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.

About Drexel University

Founded on the premise that it is the role of the university to innovate to address the needs of society, Drexel University conducts use-inspired research that has led to an array of innovations, including bar codes and the use of ultrasound in biomedical imaging. The CHOP, Drexel and Hebrew University collaboration reaffirms Drexel’s commitment to international academic and research collaborations, which include recent partnerships with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as Drexel’s emphasis on translational research. For more information, visit: http://www.drexel.edu.

About The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ranked among the top academic and research institutions worldwide, is a leader in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development. At the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy is among the world's leaders in carrying out research in drug science and delivery. The School recently announced plans to establish a Center for Pediatric Therapeutic and Pharmaceutical Research, to conduct research into pharmaceutical and drug therapy in children. The new Center will be unique in its highly interdisciplinary approach and its focus on novel pediatric delivery systems and finding replacements for clinical pediatric research. For more information, visit: http://new.huji.ac.il/en/.