Cleveland Clinic Florida has opened a research and innovation center in Florida that will complement and expand research underway in the clinic's five hospitals in the state, as well as research at the Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland.
The 107,000-square-foot Florida Research and Innovation Center in Port St. Lucie aims to advance translational research, focused on immuno-oncology and infectious diseases, including COVID-19, according to a news release, which notes that philanthropic funding of this research program will support the new center's efforts.
It will be closely integrated with the clinic's Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens, which the system established in April to bring together research experts in virology, immunology, genomics and population health to better understand emerging pathogens (from the Zika virus to SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19) and expedite treatments and vaccines that are critically needed, according to the release.
Researchers will also collaborate with drug developers at Lerner Research Institute's Center for Therapeutics Discovery to speed discoveries' path from the laboratory to the clinic for patient care. The Lerner Research Institute, located on Cleveland Clinic's main campus in Cleveland, is home to 190 laboratories.
The clinic has recruited a team of scientists to the Florida facility, which features biosafety level 3 facilities for work with infectious agents and a training environment for researchers, according to the release.
"We are pleased to be moving forward with our vision to create a world-class research program in Florida," said Dr. Joseph Iannotti, interim CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida and chief academic and innovation officer, in a provided statement. "We are confident that the collaboration between our scientists and partners will ultimately result in the development of therapies that address some of the most challenging medical conditions we face."
Michaela Gack, a virologist with background in microbiology and infectious disease who joined Cleveland Clinic Florida this month from the University of Chicago, will lead the Florida Research and Innovation Center as scientific director.
"Cleveland Clinic opens research and innovation center in Florida" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.