Inova Health System and George Mason University: Research projects and shared facilities

George Mason University, the largest public research university in Virginia, and Inova, a health system in Northern Virginia that serves 2 million people annually, are combining their extensive and complementary resources to conduct personalized medicine research. This work will lead to new patient cures and treatments for a variety of diseases and groundbreaking disease prevention strategies.

These discoveries will also generate new business opportunities, creating new companies and jobs and contributing to a robust economy focused on biomedical research, personalized medicine and health care.

Specific research collaboration projects

Cancer: At the Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute, world-class clinicians and researchers deliver innovative treatment and conduct research. Inova will contribute a seed investment of $500,000 over five years and will work with Mason to raise additional funding to support the Inova-Mason personalized medicine cancer research.

Heart Disease: The Inova Heart and Vascular Institute delivers sophisticated surgical and nonsurgical cardiac care, including a ventricular assist device program and a heart transplant program. Inova is donating a $500,000 initial investment over a five-year period. Inova and Mason will work together to raise money to support heart disease research that focuses on personalized medicine.

Metabolic Diseases: These diseases include diabetes, obesity and liver disease. Inova has been a leader in providing treatment for metabolic diseases. Inova and Mason will collaborate to raise money to support a personalized medicine approach to metabolic disease research.

Structure of the partnership – The structure of the partnership will have four key components:

  • A Joint Steering Board that will include key administrators from both institutions, as well as representative research collaborators.
  • A Joint Fellowship Program to recruit internationally recognized researchers and clinical investigators.
  • Joint Research Innovation Centers to pool a broad range of experts from both organizations and achieve market impact that a traditional research model rarely allows.
  • Research-driven Education Programs designed and administered by Mason for health care professionals, including a Graduate Certificate Program in Personalized Medicine. These programs are designed with flexible meeting times and can be offered on-site at Inova.

Shared Facilities – An integral component of the partnership is an agreement that allows experts to work side by side at facilities at both the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Merrifield and at Mason’s Science and Technology Campus in Manassas. These include: 

  • A Scientific Connector Facility that Mason will establish at Inova’s site.
  • Mason Animal Facility, where Inova researchers will be allowed access for drug development and biomarker test development projects.
  • An Inova-Mason Proteomics Center, which Mason will establish at the Inova Center for Personalized Health campus. Inova will contribute a seed investment of $1 million over five years and will work with Mason to raise additional funding for the project.
  • The Mason-Inova Institute for Personalized Medicine Public Policy and Ethics, which will address public policy and ethical issues related to personalized medicine. Specifically, Inova will contribute $500,000 over five years and will work with Mason to raise more money to endow a chair at Mason.


About Inova Health System

Inova is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that serves more than 2 million people each year from throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area and beyond. Governed by a volunteer board of community members, Inova has grown from one hospital in 1956 to a nationally recognized, comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient services and facilities, primary and specialty care physician practices, and health and wellness initiatives.


About George Mason University

George Mason is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 34,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.


For more information contact:

Kelly Schlageter

(571) 241-6342