PHASE ONE Grants USC Iovine & Young Academy Visionary Gift to Develop New Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Track with Focus on Health Innovation

Seed funding will expand experiential cancer module to a four-year undergraduate track with emphasis in health innovation

LOS ANGELES, Nov.28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Southern California's Iovine and Young Academy (Academy) has received a $425,543 grant from Phase ONE Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer research, to expand the Academy's innovative immersive cancer module to a full-scale four-year undergraduate track that applies the Academy's proven interdisciplinary educational model to the field of health to drive innovation in patient care. The undergraduate track is looking to launch as early as Fall 2019.

With seed funding from Phase ONE, the Academy will build on the success and momentum of its immersive cancer module and broaden its interdisciplinary academic curriculum and co-curricular offerings in partnership with USC'sConvergent Science Initiative in Cancer (CSI-Cancer) led by Dr. Peter Kuhn and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students will be immersed in an information-rich, hands-on learning ecosystem where they interact with teams of physicians, scientists, cancer patients, UX/UI designers, and graduate students to develop innovative health solutions to improve patient outcomes.

"Phase ONE's generous gift will help us equip and empower students and faculty to develop disruptive ideas to tackle our most challenging health problems," said Erica Muhl, founding executive director of the USC Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation and dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design. "We are emboldened by Phase ONE's commitment to education and innovative research. 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 future of cancer research rests on interdisciplinary innovation and collaboration," said Dr. Peter Kuhn, a dean's professor of biological sciences for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, professor of medicine for the Keck School of Medicine, professor of biomedical engineering and professor of aerospace & mechanical engineering for the Viterbi School of Engineering, and founding faculty for the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. "Academy students are nonlinear thinkers who are mentored by faculty and industry experts to disrupt the status quo in meaningful ways. 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."

The pilot cancer module was developed last year in partnership with CSI-Cancer and Dr. Kuhn's laboratory. Academy students worked with teams of faculty, physicians, and patients in Dr. Kuhn's lab as part of CSI-Cancer to help develop CancerBase, a revolutionary new online platform that allows cancer patients to track real-time biometric data and measure the effectiveness of cancer treatment. CancerBase was featured at former Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot in June 2016, as well as former President Obama's White House South by South Lawn Festival in October 2016.

"It is Phase ONE's mission to invest in cutting-edge research that will significantly impact and improve the patient experience," said Royce Bergman, board chair of the Phase ONE Foundation. "The USC Iovine and Young Academy is clearly becoming a hotbed of ideas and innovation due to its collaborative and convergent framework. Dr. Kuhn's work with the students has already yielded immediate and startling results. We are confident this new program will open new possibilities for future cancer researchers and transform patient experiences for generations to come."

About USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy
The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy was founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Andre "Dr. Dre" Young to teach critical thinking, complex problem solving, and nurture unbridled creativity at the intersection of three essential areas: art and design; engineering and computer science; and business and venture management. The Academy program is an integrated, four-year Bachelor of Science degree that follows a cohort-based collaborative educational model. Students are trained to think seamlessly across disciplines and have access to cutting-edge creative spaces, industry experts, and unconventional learning opportunities. 

About Convergent Science Initiative in Cancer (CSI-Cancer)
The Convergent Science Initiative in Cancer (CSI-Cancer) at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Biosciences is focused on improving the lives of cancer patients through scientific insights relevant to individual patients. The initiative focuses on three areas: 1) quantifying the time evolution of the disease; 2) forecasting patient pathways; and 3) quantifying health. CSI-Cancer at USC is led by Dr. Peter Kuhn and each project is led by a team comprised of patients, medical doctors, scientists and students focused on solving the clinical challenge through basic science breakthroughs that can be translated into real world solutions.

About Phase ONE Foundation
PHASE ONE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting groundbreaking Phase I and Phase 2 cancer clinical research, innovative education and treatment programs, while funding forward thinking leaders in the scientific and medical community.