Allina Health joins Guardian Research Network to drive Translational Research

MINNEAPOLIS (February 2, 2023) — Allina Health announced today that it has joined the Guardian Research Network® (GRN), a nationwide, non-profit, research healthcare network focused on advancing technology to accelerate cures for life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

The relationship is part of Allina Health’s commitment to expand its research program to grow translational research, linking research with clinical activities. The new affiliation also contributes to GRN’s real world data (RWD) that has the potential to improve the health of millions of patients across the country.

Translational research uses observations from trial science and patient studies to learn more about a disease, uncover powerful treatment alternatives, and move targeted therapy forward.

“Specifically, GRN is relevant for the Allina Health Cancer Institute (AHCI) and for other areas of non-cancer research, including cardiovascular and neuroscience,” said Badrinath Konety, MD, president of AHCI and chief academic officer at Allina Health. “Cancer is primarily a disease of genetic abnormalities. GRN has the data and tissue for potential research that can drive precision medicine and help to recognize disease-causing variants.”

As not-for-profit community-based organizations, both entities come together to provide innovative research opportunities for patients of Allina Health’s diverse communities right in their local area where they have the support of family and friends.

“GRN helps us keep patients close to home by offering our patients a chance to participate in trials that are unique, including those complementing Allina Health’s Population Health strategy,” said Mike Koroscik, vice president, oncology at Allina Health. “GRN will accelerate needed precision medicine and translational trial access, broadening our research offerings. These novel clinical trials are usually only available in major academic medical centers, but GRN makes them accessible at all of our AHCI sites in the region.”

GRN organizes highly complex RWD to answer research questions in oncology, rare diseases, diabetes, and other genetic diseases nationwide. Research teams like Allina Health’s can bring pharmaceutical and diagnostic development studies to patients who may benefit from early detection and new therapies.

“We’re excited to bring Allina Health into the GRN network,” said Shirley Trainor-Thomas, vice president, Partner Network of GRN. “The oncology efforts of the AHCI combined with Allina Health’s research expertise in other areas is a testament to their commitment to improving patient outcomes, promoting health, and raising awareness about the importance of genetic data and diagnosis in healthcare.

”GRN and its other member health systems are committed to following the data and pushing science forward by finding new medical procedures, medications, and treatments based on aggregate RWD and data analysis that accelerates cures for diseases.

Entry into GRN’s network of health systems, with patients in more than 32 states, offers Allina Health the potential for more patient treatment options and high-impact study participation. New projects, including those with Allina Health patients, are expected to drive healthcare benefits to patients across the country.


About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A nonprofit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospital campuses, 14 retail pharmacies, and many specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at and join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.