A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

A History of Research


From the early days of the Medical School, scientific discovery that will improve human health has been part of its reason for being.

Imagine you are an established medical researcher at an internationally renowned institution. You’re invited to join a new program that’s not exactly a medical school yet, with no buildings, no accreditation, and no guarantees. Would you take that leap? Fortunately for Brown, many such researchers did take that chance and moved their careers just as the Medical School was getting started. As part of our ongoing series celebrating 50 Years of Medicine at Brown, we look at some of the research milestones in the Division of Biology and Medicine, from its inception to where it is headed in the future.

1960The NIH awards Rhode Island Hospital a grant for postgraduate training, increasing the hospital’s ability to support young physicians in their pursuit of clinical research.
1965The Division of Medical Science is replaced by the new Division of Biological and Medical Sciences, administered by an executive council led by Paul F. Fenton, PhD, a cancer researcher. Mac V. Edds, PhD, is appointed director of medicine, and Herman B. Chace, PhD, is named director of biology. This organization was something of an experiment, designed to bring biological investigation closer to the realm of medicine, where the findings could be applied. When the Pembroke Record asked Edds and Chace whether this approach had worked elsewhere, Chace “admitted that it has never before been tried. Dr. Edds conjectured that ‘many would like to try it, but won’t dare or can’t.’”
1967 Lewis Lipsitt, PhD, establishes the Child Study Center, which he directed until 1991. His studies follow individuals for decades, and he gives particular attention to those who experienced learning disabilities as young children.

1967Fiorindo A. Simeone ’29 ScM’30, MD, a nationally known researcher in the areas of circulation and shock, becomes the first chair of surgery and surgeon-in-chief at The Miriam Hospital, which is building a new research facility

1967Henry T. Randall, MD, whose research made crucial contributions to the understanding of surgical physiology and metabolism, fluid, and electrolyte balance, joins the Brown faculty and Rhode Island Hospital as head of the Division of Surgical Research. His appointment is one of several made jointly with Brown over the next several years to stimulate research at the hospital.

1968Pierre Galletti, MD, PhD, is appointed chair of the Division of Biology and Medicine. During his career at Brown, he not only assisted at the birth of the medical school and shepherded it through its first two decades, but he continued to break new ground in research in physiology and biophysics and helped establish Brown as a center for biomedical engineering and translational research.
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