In addition to MRI’s own recognized research team, the Institute has developed academic and practice partnerships with colleges, universities, and corporations nationally. The Institute attracts attention as a clear leader in research on toxicology, pharmacy, pain management and practice management. MRI research probes the boundaries of pain medication metabolism, pharmacogenomics, and pharmacodynamic effects. In addition, the Institute collaborates with clinical investigators at other major patient care institutions.
In addition to Millennium Laboratories scientific team headed by world-renowned toxicologist Amadeo Pesce, PhD, MRI works with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and heads of major university departments, hospitals, and clinics. These collaborations provide valuable support to industry-leading researchers while training the next generation of clinicians, pharmacologists and scientists.
MRI collaborates and partners with, as well as funds a broad network of scientists, researchers and clinicians working to alleviate pain and suffering.
MRI Academic Partnerships
UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) was founded in 2000 and admitted its first class in 2002. The SSPPS is the only public school of pharmacy in Southern California, and one of only two public pharmacy schools in the state. Its four-year program leads to a doctorate in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree and offers unique classroom and clinical training in conjunction with UCSD’s School of Medicine. Second-year pharmacy students in the SSPPS share the same classes with the first-year medical students, and in their fourth year, pharmacy students participate in clinical rotations and advanced practice experiences with medical students. The School also offers a joint PharmD/Ph.D. program that is closely aligned with the drug discovery and development process, therapeutic practices, and outcomes, as well as post-graduate residencies for the Pharm.D. graduates.
In addition, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty mentor Ph.D. students through joint programs with the School of Medicine and several main campus departments, and train post-doctoral fellows. The School was named in recognition of a $30 million gift from The Skaggs Institute for Research.
The mission of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is to provide the highest quality pharmaceutical education, pharmaceutical sciences research, and public service programs in Southern California, and to advance the pharmaceutical sciences, and the clinical care and therapeutic counseling provided by the faculty and the Pharm.D. and Ph.D. students and the post-doctoral fellows and residents.
University of Washington Division of Pain Medicine
C-PRIME the University of Washington’s Center for Pain Research on Impact, Measurement and Effectiveness.
UW’s C-PRIME is a patient-centered outcomes research institute, as defined in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more commonly referred to as healthcare reform. Its goal is to determine the best course of care and to function as an integrated center of excellence dedicated to leadership and innovation in outcomes research. The institute is headed by internationally recognized anesthesiologist and pain specialist, Dr. Alex Cahana. A faculty member of the UW Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Cahana is chief of UW’s Division of Pain Medicine, where he is also leading the creation of the National Pain Registry and is developing the Washington State Opioid Reform Initiative.
UW’s C-PRIME aspires to increase the understanding of pain, to improve pain management and to develop new methods to prevent suffering and pain-related disability through comparative effectiveness research (CER) of treatments.
About UW Medicine
The UW Medicine health system includes Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics, UW School of Medicine, UW Physicians, Airlift Northwest and the UW’s partnership in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. UW Medicine has major academic and service affiliations with Seattle Children’s Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle and the VA Hospital in Boise. The UW School of Medicine is the top public institution for biomedical research in funding received from the National Institutes of Health. Among its 2,002 regular faculty and 4,874 volunteer and part-time faculty are four Nobel Laureates, 32 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 33 members of the Institute of Medicine.
Tufts Health Care Institute Program on Opioid Risk Management
The mission of the Tufts Health Care Institute (THCI) Program on Opioid Risk Management is to address challenges in the development and utilization of opioid analgesics, by engaging a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to focus on optimizing the benefits of opioids for pain management, while minimizing their risks, including abuse and diversion. The Program is administered by Tufts Health Care Institute staff under the leadership of Nathaniel Katz, MD, MS, as Program Director.
Through a series of summit meetings and special projects, the THCI Program on Opioid Risk Management provides a neutral educational forum to foster an exchange of ideas among diverse attendees, who review and discuss scientific and public health findings relevant to opioid risk management and recommend future initiatives in this field. It also seeks to engage the wider medical and scientific communities in understanding and addressing opioid risk management by publishing syntheses of observations arising from this exchange in peer-reviewed journals and through postings on the THCI Opioid Risk Management website (www.thci.org/opioid). Ultimately it is hoped that this summit series will be recognized as a pre-eminent national forum for the translation and dissemination of academic, industry, and other research concerning the risk management of prescription opioids and the implementation of effective interventions in clinical and public health practice.
Following each meeting, THCI coordinates a project related to meeting outcomes. Projects include: developing provider and/or patient education tools; writing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals; evaluating the impact of materials developed at summit meetings on provider practice; and/or producing a white paper on the topics reviewed.
The THCI Program on Opioid Risk Management has conducted 13 summit meetings between March 2005 and June 2010, with a total conference attendance of 669. Summit meetings are attended by representatives from multiple stakeholder groups; participants have included representatives from government regulatory agencies, academia, health care delivery organizations, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, and law enforcement.
The Program has a track record of innovations stemming from these summit meetings. The two meetings that THCI organized and hosted earlier this year provide examples of innovation and impact:
Prescription Opioid Abuse: Challenges and Opportunities for Payers (June 2010)
First collaborative meeting with payers and industry experts on the impact of prescription opioid fraud and abuse on health insurers, other payers, and their customers. Attendees developed recommendations for payer-based approaches to decrease health consequences and costs associated with prescription opioid abuse. A manuscript from this meeting is currently in development.
The Role of Dentists in Preventing Opioid Abuse (March 2010)
First inter-disciplinary meeting to review available data on the role of dentists in opioid prescribing and the prevention of opioid abuse and diversion; and to develop recommendations for dentists on safe and effective use of opioids in dental practice. To support this effort, the Program conducted a survey of West Virginia dentists on prescription opioid patterns, with results presented at the summit meeting. An American Dental Association news release (www.ada.org) publicized the survey findings to the broader community of dentists. A manuscript on the development of recommendations for dentists on treatment of acute pain has been accepted for publication in a dental journal in 2011.
Innovations stemming from prior years’ meetings include:
- First-ever collaborative meeting among academia-industry-regulatory stakeholders on scientific issues involved in developing abuse-deterrent formulations, resulting in a guidance document and background paper.
- Incorporation of innovative and state-of-the-art approaches in industry risk management plans, and collaboration among stakeholders to support risk management.
- First meeting on typology of prescription opioid abuse.
- First multidisciplinary meeting on urine drug monitoring in pain management.
- Shortened cycle time for identification and development of interventions to address public health issues related to prescription monitoring.
Long-term goals of the Program include identifying a research agenda and knowledge gaps, based on the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.
The Program’s ultimate aim is to translate these research findings into practical applications for effective pain control while preventing and treating prescription opioid abuse, addiction and diversion.
Tufts Health Care Institute, the sponsor and convener of the meeting, is a not-for-profit educational organization established in 1995 by Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts Health Plan to develop, implement, and disseminate educational programs and activities that promote the practice of high quality, cost-effective, evidence-based care. The Institute’s overarching goal is to contribute to the improvement of health outcomes through education.
University of South Florida
The Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-life Studies
The Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-life Studies at the University of South Florida is a unique, interdisciplinary partnership center that connects academic faculty and research expertise with community provider research and clinical expertise to identify best practices and disseminate the latest research on a wide range of End-of-life issues. The Center supports research collaboration, funds pilot research grants to faculty, graduate students and provider researchers, graduate fellowships, and sponsors national educational conferences and seminars.