The USC Iovine & Young Academy received a $425,543 grant from the Phase ONE Foundation to increase the academy’s interdisciplinary model by expanding to the health care field, particularly health innovation in cancer care. The grant aims to fund the development of a full-scale four-year undergraduate track set to launch as early as Fall 2019, according to Market Insider.
The Phase ONE Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer clinical research, education and treatment programs as well as funding leaders in the scientific and medical community.
With the foundation’s seed funding, the school will expand its interdisciplinary academic curriculum and co-curricular offerings in partnership with the Convergent Science Initiative in Cancer led by Peter Kuhn, a founding faculty member of the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
“We are emboldened by Phase ONE’s commitment to education and innovative research,” Erica Muhl, founding executive director of Iovine and Young and dean of USC Roski School of Art and Design, told Markets Insider. “Their gift ensures we have the resources to continue to provide best-in-class education and develop innovative, agile thinkers who will help to shape the future of the health industries.”
The health innovation track will allow undergraduate students to interact with teams of physicians, scientists, cancer patients, user experience and user interface designers and graduate students to develop health solutions to improve patient outcomes.
In 2016, the pilot cancer module was created in collaboration with CSI-Cancer and Kuhn’s laboratory. Students from the academy worked with members in Kuhn’s lab as part of CSI-Cancer to develop CancerBase, an online platform that allows cancer patients to track real-time biometric data and measure the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
“By blending the Academy’s human-centered design methodologies with biosciences, we can leverage the power of convergence to spark innovative approaches to the most intractable health problems,” Kuhn told Markets Insider.
Phase ONE Foundation Board Chair Royce Bergman said the collaboration between Kuhn, the Academy and the Foundation has already yielded results for the future of cancer care.
“The USC Iovine and Young Academy is clearly becoming a hotbed of ideas and innovation due to its collaborative and convergent framework,” Bergman told Markets Insider. “We are confident this new program will open new possibilities for future cancer researchers and transform patient experiences for generations to come.”