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Spectrum Health and Van Andel Research Institute Announce Cardiovascular Research Program

Partnership Brings Renowned Physician-Scientist to Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Van Andel Research Institute and Spectrum Health announced today that they have collaborated to bring world-renowned cardiovascular researcher and cardiologist Stefan Jovinge MD, Ph.D., to Grand Rapids.   

Jovinge, of Sweden, will lead teams of researchers and clinicians at the Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute and Van Andel Research Institute in an effort to stimulate regenerative medicine for heart disease. The joint effort is made possible by a significant donation from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation. 

The DeVos Cardiovascular Research Program will be comprised of four areas of focus: cell engineering; multi-center patient treatment and clinical trials; cell source identification and scientific training; and development for future researchers including interns, fellows, and graduate students. Dr. Jovinge will lead teams at both institutions to further collaborate on basic, translational and clinical research studies.

In addition to basic science research, Jovinge said he also sees opportunities for the program to participate in multi-center clinical trials, including a focus on the development and implementation of investigator-initiated trials in Grand Rapids. He also will work with physicians at the Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute to assist with their own development of clinical and translational research, including opportunities to publish and present on a national level. 

Jovinge comes to Grand Rapids from Lund University in Sweden, where he was a professor in cardiology.

About Spectrum Health:

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 11 hospitals including Helen DeVos Children's Hospital; 170 ambulatory and service sites; 1,050 advanced practice providers and employed physicians including members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a 537,000-member health plan. Spectrum Health is West Michigan's largest employer with 20,900 employees. The organization provided $250 million in community benefit during its 2013 fiscal year.

About Van Andel Institute:

Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute (VAI) is a world-class independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process.  Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI's research arm, is dedicated to studying the genetic, cellular and molecular origins of cancer, Parkinson's and other diseases and working to translate those findings into effective therapies. This is accomplished through the work of more than 200 researchers in on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Find out more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting www.vai.org. 100% To Research, Discovery & Hope®


Nancy Kooienga

Bruce Rossman

(616) 234-5763

(616) 391-3706

[email protected]

[email protected]

SOURCE Van Andel Research Institute

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