The Right Stuff
In this issue of Brown Medicine, you’ll read about new opportunities made possible through a gift from our partner, The Warren Alpert Foundation. I’m excited to tell you about the many ways this will benefit the Warren Alpert Medical School.
The foundation has been a fantastic partner and supporter of biomedical research and teaching here at Brown. One of the many reasons for that is that the foundation enhances the capabilities and resources of the whole school, not just efforts involving one disease or another.
The new gift will support the MD/PhD training program. While our peer schools also have MD/PhD programs, few of them have the culture of collaboration and the accessible biomedical community that Brown can offer. Research and education at Brown is characterized by following one’s curiosity wherever it may lead, even if it crosses traditional academic boundaries. New collaborations among faculty and students form all the time here in response to important research questions. Across our hospitals and academic departments, it’s never difficult to meet the right people. Neuroscientists work with engineers and biologists join forces with computer scientists. Infectious disease physicians collaborate with chemists and radiologists team up with biostatisticians. In the Brown Institute for Translational Science (BITS), we’re encouraging an integrated team-science approach to address the whole continuum between basic research capabilities and population health needs.
That’s why I’m so pleased that the gift will also support the first endowed professorship in BITS. It will allow us to recruit a leading scientist with an accomplished research program investigating the pathogenesis of important diseases. He or she will be someone working to develop new insights that will lead to new therapies for important disorders.
Sadly, in early January, we lost our great friend Herb Kaplan, president of the foundation. You’ll read about Herb’s life and accomplishments on page 14 of this issue. In my time as dean, I got to know Herb very well, and I appreciated his counsel. I will miss my dear friend, but his legacy and that of his uncle Warren Alpert will live on at the Warren Alpert Medical School.
Jack A. Elias, MD
Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences