Groundbreaking Discovery

Building a world-class research facility in the heart of Detroit

The new facility will further fuse our basic and translational research, serving as an epicenter for innovation and discovery, with a special focus on ending health disparities.

Creativity and possibilities multiply when researchers from renowned institutions come together. Since achieving recognition as an aligned research organization by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2022, Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University (HFH + MSU) Health Sciences is advancing collaboration and discovery in ways that wouldn’t be possible as separate entities. We are committed to addressing cancer disparities that plague our most vulnerable communities across Michigan and beyond. Our new research facility will help advance this mission and drive new innovations in cancer care.

Highlights of the new research facility include:

  • Groundbreaking planned in 2024 and opening in 2027
  • Located south of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit
  • Seven stories, with approximately 335,000 square feet
  • More than 80 principal investigator teams
  • Dedicated neurofibromatosis research institute with support from the Gilbert Family Foundation
  • Expanding current partnership research to focus on the most pressing health challenges

The HFH + MSU research facility is a critical component in the “Future of Health: Detroit,” a nearly $3 billion development plan that includes a Henry Ford Hospital expansion and commercial development planned in partnership with the Detroit Pistons.

Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences partnership receives first NCI R01 grant

The groundbreaking project, titled “VPS72 Controls Treg Cell Stability and Adaptation to Tumor Microenvironment,” will delve into the intricate ways in which the tumor environment affects the stability of regulatory T cells, also known as Treg cells, which are immune cells known to suppress unwanted immune responses. The study aims to pinpoint a potential target for immunotherapy against an array of cancer types, such as brain, liver, colon, lung and melanoma.

Since achieving recognition by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a single, aligned research organization, the partnership’s researchers have submitted more than 200 NIH grant proposals totaling nearly $500 million in funding requests. In addition, they host the Henry Ford + MSU Cancer Research Symposium, which encourages collaboration and innovation within the scientific and clinical community at Henry Ford and MSU. Established by the partnership in 2021, the multidisciplinary cancer symposium features Henry Ford and MSU speakers and external keynote presentations on basic, translational and clinical trials to reduce cancer health disparities.

Grant studying liquid biopsy for glioma brain tumors

A new NCI R01 grant of nearly $2.9M from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support a research project for detecting gliomas, the most common type of primary brain tumors. Gliomas often progress or recur in a more aggressive form, such as glioblastoma, which has a five-year survival rate of only 6.9%, according to the National Brain Tumor Society. Current methods of monitoring recurrence and progression rely on imaging, which has limitations. The study focuses on a non-invasive approach known as “liquid biopsy,” which utilizes DNA methylation to improve detection and surveillance of gliomas from a blood test.

Study aims to improve body image among head and neck cancer survivors

Henry Ford Health is the first healthcare system in Michigan to join a multi-center study led by Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center aimed at improving the body image of head and neck cancer survivors. Known as the Building a Renewed ImaGe after Head & neck cancer Treatment (BRIGHT) trial, the study was developed with extensive input from survivors of head and neck cancer, caregivers, oncologists and psychologists to help identify the most effective ways to manage concerns about body image among survivors of head and neck cancer.

Individuals who have undergone treatment for head and neck cancer often experience changes to their physical appearance, independence and ability to do certain tasks, such as eating or speaking. The BRIGHT trial is studying two six-week telemedicine-based programs to help head and neck cancer survivors adapt their behaviors and coping skills to their new circumstances.


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