Innovative JI featured as a collaboration model in Academic Medicine

The Joint Institute (JI) for Translational and Clinical Research is touted as a successful institutional partnership in a paper recently published in Academic Medicine.

The article, written by leaders of the JI and e-published ahead of a future print edition of the journal, highlights best practices, lessons and significant outcomes to emerge from the University of Michigan Health Systems’ partnership with Peking University Health Science Center. Detailed are the leadership and governance models for the partnership.

“Institution-level collaborative partnerships across cultures are not without their challenges … including differences in governance structures, funding mechanisms … and intellectual property laws,” write the paper’s eight authors, led by Dr. Joseph Kolars, MD, U-M Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives. “One of the foundational aspects of the JI is that all decisions are made jointly … with a clear understanding that all decisions, including the dispersion of funds, will be agreed upon by both institutions.”

That approach, according the authors, has proven effective. Since established in 2010, the JI has funded 25 joint research projects involving more than 100,000 patients in both the U.S. and China. Those projects have produced 13 peer-reviewed publications and counting. In addition to research funding provided through the JI by the partner universities, principal investigators in various projects have secured more than $3 million in extramural funding. The partnership appears on track for long-term sustainability.

“We are optimistic about the future of the JI because this model has been deemed valuable by the presidents of both institutions and has gained wide support among faculty,” the authors note. “We aim to position investigators to compete successfully for funding opportunities within China and the United States and to advance … our mutual understanding of health and diseases that affect the populations of both countries.”

View the abstract and download a full copy of the report here.