(Cleveland Jewish News/JNS.org) The Cleveland Clinic and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem plan to form the Center for Transformative Nanomedicine, a virtual incubator designed to lead to breakthroughs in health care. The idea is to marry research skills available at the clinic to the nanotechnological work for which The Hebrew University is known.
The potential innovations, various institutional spokesmen suggests, could trigger a sea change in health care delivery—and cures for illnesses that at present seem intractable. The alliance took form over little more than a year, and a fundraising effort with an initial target of $15 million began Oct. 12.
“The way patients are treated today hasn’t really changed a lot in many years,” Dr. D. Geoffrey Vince, chair of the department of biomedical engineering at the clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, told the Cleveland Jewish News Oct. 7.
Currently, he said, “There’s no way of really targeting a particular drug to a particular disease or type of cancer. With nanotechnology, we have ways of administering doses of potentially harmful drugs to specific sites without any real side effects. Whatever we inject in a patient’s arm won’t be released until it reaches its target, which is exciting from a medical standpoint….From a collaboration standpoint, we’re really getting in on the ground floor. Not many places have the capability of doing this.”
The driver of the partnership is Victor Cohn, a retired real estate developer and member of the board of American Friends of The Hebrew University. Cohn said Oct. 9, “I was so impressed by Hebrew University’s development of nanotechnology that I wanted to connect the university with a Cleveland hospital and research center working on developing drug delivery through nanotechnology….I realized that great things would happen if I helped to make this incomparable alliance.”
—With reporting by Carlo Wolff and Kristen Mott