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Detroit: America’s Hottest Biomedical City?

            Chances are when you think of Detroit, the last thing you think of is biomedical research.  You probably have visions in your head of broken down factories, poverty, crime, and general ruin porn photography.  But what if I told you that Detroit was quickly becoming one of America’s hottest new biotech hubs? Would you be shocked? 

If you are, you’re not alone.  Many people don’t realize just how important of a city Detroit is to the biomedical community.  Detroit has many unique partnerships and faculties that make it a world class leader in medical and biotech research.  Here are a couple of awesome examples of what makes Detroit such an amazing biomedical and biotech city.

Michigan’s University Research Corridor is a research sharing alliance between Michigan’s top 3 performing universities.  The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan State University in Lansing and Wayne State University in Detroit participate in collaborative research projects.  This partnership has allowed not only Michigan’s research profile to increase, but also Detroit’s.  In 2016 the three URC schools conducted over 2.3 Billion dollars’ worth on research and development.  They also enrolled over 155,000 new students and graduated over 35,000 students from various research programs.  

Detroit’s very own Wayne State University is a major partner in this program. Wayne State University itself has recently received $85 million in awards from the NIH (Nation Institute of Health) support its research efforts. (http://research.wayne.edu/news/nih-in-your-state-wayne-states-pure-michigan-research-impacts-health-around-the-world-30988) Wayne State is also one of only 11 medical centers in North America to be part of the NIH’s SIREEN Program.  SIREEN (https://siren.network/) is a collaboration program the executes pre-hospital and acute care clinical trials, recruits and retains difficult to reach emergency care patients and collaborates with investigators from major U.S. population centers, health care systems and academic environments.

Detroit is home to the Detroit Medical Group.  The Detroit Medical Group, also known as Detroit’s famed “Medical Mile”, is a one mile stretch of hospitals and research centers all located in the heart of downtown Detroit.  Among them are Karmanos Cancer Center, DMCs Children’s Hospital, DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, and many others.  Together this “medical mile” shares information, transports patients, and is awarded grants for their successful cooperation.  

The automotive industry of Michigan is also fully committed to supporting the medical mile.  Each year the automotive industry offers millions in grants, helps support fundraising efforts, and contracts research from the medical mile year after year. This allows the auto and the medical industries to work on transportation issues such as vehicle safety, auto related injuries, and rehabilitation. Together, this collaboration is helping make car and vehicles safer for generations to come.    

With so much biotech research happening in Detroit, it’s easy to see how Detroit is quickly becoming a major biotech hub.  As Detroit continues to be awarded with more and more grant money, the city will need more and more talent to be part of the action.  So if you haven’t considered Detroit as a place to move to in the past, I would highly recommend visit the city and see it for yourself.  

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