New research partnership to speed medical advances in northern Colorado

Note to Reporters: Broadcast-quality video and high-resolution photos are available at

Patients will see direct benefits from a new agreement connecting physicians with university researchers in northern Colorado.

Joint research at Colorado State University, Poudre Valley Hospital and the Medical Center of the Rockies already has spawned development of several medical improvements, including a new arterial stent that helps prevent blood clotting and a hernia patch that fights infection.

Now, as part of a newly signed memorandum of understanding, the organizations have agreed to combine resources and personnel to bring CSU research to patients faster and more efficiently. The entities will collaborate in several areas, including clinical trials, funding opportunities, technology transfer, employee education/training and marketing.

A full multimedia package that includes profiles of joint research projects as well as video and photos is available at

“We’re translating academic research into real-world solutions,” said Melissa Reynolds, an associate professor of chemistry at CSU who is collaborating with local physicians on products that promote healing. “We get to have discussions about what the actual needs are at the clinical level. And that’s a value that can’t be replaced by anything else.”

Dr. Gary Luckasen, medical director of research at the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and a CSU alumnus, added that the agreement promotes new partnerships between CSU and the two hospitals’ parent organization, University of Colorado Health. Luckasen said that the organizations need each other: The hospitals rely on the research that is done at CSU, whether it be with animals or in a chemistry lab, and CSU requires access to the doctors and human patients who will use the products and treatments that emerge from the research.

Reynolds said the agreement improves the entities’ chances of landing research grants and speeds the process for launching new initiatives.

“It really breaks down a lot of barriers to interdisciplinary and translational research,” Reynolds said. “When you bring this group together, you break down the obstacles and merge the academics with the clinical side. It benefits students, too, because they’ll have access to the end users of what their research is focused on.”

Kevin Unger, president and CEO of Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies, said the agreement is a step forward in the progression of a long-standing relationship between the hospitals and university.

“Northern Colorado and, for that matter, the nation have greatly benefited from research projects that we and CSU have done together over the years,” he said. “Our fruitful collaboration has enhanced the quality of care for our patients while helping CSU continue to be successful with its research.”

“CSU has a longstanding commitment — crossing many disciplines and academic colleges — to transformational research that advances our understanding of human health and well-being,” said CSU President Tony Frank. “This agreement builds on that strength, laying the groundwork for important advances in treatment and patient care. We’re proud of what we’ll be able to achieve and grateful to Kevin Unger for his willingness to explore new ways for us to work together to serve our community.”