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AAMC awards Emory Integrated Core Facilities

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Holly Korschun

The Association of American Medical Colleges has selected Emory University as one of six winners nationally in its 2017 research program awards, recognizing exceptional initiatives that enhance rigor and reproducibility or research sharing in biomedical research.

The Emory Integrated Core Facilities (EICF) was the third-place winner in the Sharing Research Resources Awards. The award winners "demonstrated successful sharing of research resources between institutions and campuses, including medical schools, teaching hospitals and other academic institutions."

Michael Zwick, PhD, director of the Emory Integrated Core Facilities, was recognized for directing the reorganization of EICF, not only in support of Emory faculty, but also as a resource for institutions across Georgia. Zwick is assistant vice president for research in the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center and associate professor of human genetics in Emory University School of Medicine

"The mission of the EICF is to accelerate discovery for our investigators," says Zwick. "We conceived of our core facilities as 'Force Multipliers,' organizations that can dramatically increase the effectiveness and impact of the investigators we support. We carry out this mission by providing access to the latest cutting-edge platforms and sharing knowledge of their effective use at Emory University. Our knowledge sharing acts to break down traditional silos and we strive to never solve a problem more than once."

Awardees will share further details and answer questions about the winning projects during a webinar on Oct. 16, 2017 from 2:30-3:30. Online registration is available.

Emory's Integrated Core Facilities were designed to provide access to the latest cutting-edge platforms across the university. In 2015, to increase the impact of EICF, Emory and the University of Georgia agreed to allow investigators from both institutions to access each other's core facilities at their internal rates. This policy avoids duplication of unique services that exist at each institution.

Based on the increased interaction from this arrangement, Emory has just approved a state-wide agreement that allows reciprocal use of core facilities for investigators from all eight Georgia Research Alliance partner institutions. These include Emory, the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia State University, Augusta University, Mercer University and Clark Atlanta University.

In a nomination letter to the AAMC, Kathy Griendling, PhD, Emory professor of medicine, vice chair for research and faculty development in the Department of Medicine, and associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development, said "The reorganization of EICF under the direction of Dr. Michael Zwick has not only improved its support of our faculty, but through memorandums of understanding has become a resource for institutions across Georgia. We believe that this model could be emulated by other regional consortiums to improve collaboration and provide state-of-the-art support for diverse investigators."

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