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

Giant Steps Forward


Letter from the Dean

Two remarkable things have happened since the last issue of Brown Medicine. Both involve the BrownTogether campaign, and both will forever change research at Brown.

In February, the Warren Alpert Medical School received a $50 million gift to support the Brown Institute for Translational Science (BITS) from Brown Chancellor Samuel Mencoff ’78, P’11, ’15 and his wife, Ann S. Mencoff P’11, ’15. As you know, we established BITS in 2015 to create an infrastructure for translational science at Brown. We’ve had success building integrated teams in areas that affect millions of people around the world including respiratory disease, autism, the biology of aging, and bioinformatics. We also kickstarted the MD/PhD training program to augment the education of physician-scientists who play critical roles in this type of research, and recruited researchers and master clinicians who complement the talent that was already here.

But this gift from the Mencoffs is truly a game changer! It will allow us to recruit a director of BITS who will help expand our research teams. We will also be able to expand our research foci to include Alzheimer’s, neurodegenerative diseases, and vaccine biology, and recruit more translationally focused physician-scientists and PhDs who will add impressively to our research enterprise. These researchers also will participate in all levels of training at the Medical School and affiliated hospitals. This will enhance the translational focus of the education that we provide while improving health care for Rhode Islanders. We are incredibly grateful to the Mencoffs for this transformational gift and their belief in our vision for disease-focused science at Brown.

In April, Trustee Robert J. Carney ’61 and his wife, Nancy D. Carney, gave $100 million to the Brown Institute for Brain Science. The gift positions the institute, which has been renamed the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science, to build upon years of important work by our faculty and students, to establish greater understanding of the brain, and develop treatments for brain-related disease and injury. The Carneys’ gift will bring extraordinary new opportunities to advance knowledge and discovery that will translate into therapies for patients in need.

You’ll read more about these exciting developments in this issue of Brown Medicine. This is a great time for research at Brown, and I appreciate your interest and support.

Jack A. Elias, MD
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences


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