URC in the news

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Opinion: Michigan's three research universities fight the opioid crisis

Michigan’s three research universities presidents, M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State, Mark S. Schlissel, University of Michigan, and Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Michigan State, co-wrote an opinion piece about efforts among the University Research Corridor (URC) institutions to address the opioid crisis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 2,033 people in Michigan died of overdose deaths involving opioids in 2017, a rate of 21.2 deaths per 100,000 persons, higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000. Michigan now ranks in the top third nationally for drug-related deaths, with over half due to synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl. If Michigan is to reduce those numbers and save lives, it must continue to look for innovative and research-driven ways to take action. That’s why the three major state universities that make up Michigan’s URC have won millions of dollars in competitive federal funds and other grants to train more physicians and counselors statewide to become addiction medicine specialists who can treat patients. Researchers at the three universities also are investigating new ways to keep opioid users who have kicked the habit from taking up the drug again; addressing opioid addiction in jails; finding better ways to treat chronic back pain to lessen reliance on opioids; working with the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to develop a medical provider toolkit to help doctors follow safer opioid prescribing practices; and launching a free online course for health and social services professionals and graduate students examining ways to deal with the opioid epidemic through prevention, intervention, education and policy. As medical doctors and researchers, this is a cause we must win. We are pledging our three URC universities to the fight. 
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Roundup: OptimizeRx, Parabricks, URC

The University Research Corridor (URC), a partnership between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, has released its 2017 economic impact report. According to the report, the three universities contributed $18.7 billion to the state’s economy last year, up from $16.5 billion in 2015. The organization says that marks a 46 percent increase since 2007, the year it was formed and began benchmarking its impact on the state of Michigan. The URC also reported that it generated 78,845 jobs in 2017. Last year, the report says, the URC spent $2.3 billion on research and development, an increase of 54 percent since 2007. The URC also attracted 94 cents of every federal dollar spent on academic research in Michigan, and accounts for 92 percent of all R&D conducted at higher education institutions in the state.
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University leaders want higher ed on Schuette, Whitmer's agenda

M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State, said he wants the next governor and Legislature to scale back the performance-based funding model created under Gov. Rick Snyder that rewarded universities with more money for a higher percentage of undergraduate degrees and penalized more research-focused universities. It's one reason why Wayne State has not recovered nearly as much funding as UM and MSU, its counterparts in the University Research Corridor.  With medical, law and other graduate schools, Wayne State gets penalized for having too many graduate degrees and too few bachelor's degrees awarded each year, Wilson said. "If we weren't a research institution, we'd be getting much more (state funding)," Wilson said in an interview. "That doesn't make much sense.