Friday, September 29, 2023


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Guardian Research Network® Forms Scientific Advisory Council to Ensure Real World Data Continues to Positively Impact Clinical Research

Physician council will lead recommendations and maintain medical guidance as clinical research drives improvements in patient diagnoses and precision medicine treatments within community health systems

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Guardian Research Network a non-profit community hospital research consortium, launched its new Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) with the council’s first meeting last week.

Made up of leading physician-scientists from Guardian Research Network’s national network of health systems, the group represents a collaboration between member physicians and GRN executives. GRN has developed expertise using real-world healthcare data to advance technology and clinical trials.

According to the Guardian Research Network council charter, the SAC is to “be the governance committee for providing medical judgment, expert advice, creative ideas, and best use of their resources to benefit network participants in the dual mission of hospital-led research and patient care.”

Initially, the council will include six scientific and population health leaders from GRN’s network members. The council will be led by Manmeet Ahluwalia, M.D., MBA, deputy director, chief scientific officer, and chief of solid tumor medical oncology at Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida.

“The formation of this Scientific Advisory Council underscores the commitment of GRN members to innovation. By facilitating connections to ground-breaking research, these health systems illustrate their dedication to continuously exploring improvements in patient care and playing a role in the discovery of new ways to diagnose and treat diseases,” said Dr. Ahluwalia, Guardian Research Network Scientific Advisory Council Chairman.

The following network physicians will serve a two-year term on the council, including:

Samir Dalia, M.D., Mercy Oncology and Hematology Clinic
Marc Bingham, M.D., system chief medical information officer at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Brett Oliver, M.D., chief medical information officer for Baptist Health
Tarek (Trey) Bishara, M.D., medical director of Clinical Laboratories at McLeod Regional Medical Center, and trustee on the McLeod Health Board of Trustees
Gian Varbaro, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, and assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

“We are excited and honored to welcome these hospital-based physician-research leaders who have agreed to serve as stewards for Guardian Research Network resources. It’s a testimony to their hearts for their patients and their desire to bring better treatments to serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Our SAC’s expertise combined with GRN’s growing Real World Data capabilities in the community settings where 84%1 of U.S. healthcare is delivered will create an exciting complement to the traditional, purely academic model,” says Mark L. Watson, M.D., Ph.D., chief operating officer for Guardian Research Network.

Guardian focuses on precision medicine and population health studies including better testing for early cancer diagnosis and evaluating high unmet medical need patient treatment options in community settings. New projects governed by the council are expected to drive the next generation of healthcare benefits to patients.

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