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The Iowa Impact

UI Carver College of Medicine research impacts the lives of Iowans

Pat Winokur, MD, reviewing large data array

In a recent $20 million NIH renewal grant, the college’s associate dean for clinical and translational science, Patricia Winokur, MD, (shown above) documented her team’s research efforts as “stretching ourselves beyond our borders.”

Like many medical research programs at Iowa, Winokur’s focus is local as well as global.

“We are moving data collection outside the laboratory and into the lives of Iowans and enlisting the help of more community caregivers in research,” Winokur says. “The goal is new delivery models for coordinated care solutions.

“We will deliver health care in the future in a high-technology environment that captures real-time, real-life data. For many health interactions and interventions, we will use telemedicine and other technological advances. Today, using new technologies, we can help rural populations benefit from research and the new methods of health care delivery.”

Laura Rogers and George Weiner

Similarly, research at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center impacts lives locally and globally. Holden’s director, George Weiner, MD, (in photo above) recently established a groundbreaking cancer collaboration among his colleagues at Iowa and animal science researchers at Iowa State University. 

Weiner says the goal of this new Side-by-side in Cancer Research Collaboration is simple: “We will explore how cancer research in pets can be used to help people, and cancer research in people can be used to help pets.

“Humans and companion animals share a common environment. Can this information be used to understand cancer clusters?,” he asks. “Lung cancer in both humans and dogs is more common in areas with high radon, like many places in Iowa. Can we use this information to raise awareness about radon abatement?”

Doctor using eye exam scope

Economically, UI Health Care has a large impact on Iowans, from the more than 10,000 jobs in our hospitals, college, and research labs, to the $250 million in external research funding received by UI Health Care on average in recent years. 

That impact grows incrementally as the University of Iowa Research Foundation works with Carver College of Medicine researchers to protect and license their medical discoveries and bring them to market.

Ophthalmology professor Michael Abramaoff, MD, PhD, (pictured above) is the developer of an artificial intelligence system that helps make clinical decisions on serious eye conditions. The technology produced by his company, IDx, has been introduced recently in Iowa communities and around the globe.

The company’s planned scale up will reach about 165 employees. And, despite offers to relocate to Silicon Valley, its founder chooses to stay in Iowa’s entrepreneur-friendly environment. “This company is based here and will stay here to give something back to the people of Iowa,” he says.