Support from members of the Brown Medical community is expanding the University’s capacity to advance biomedical research and scholarship.
Flexing Our Strength: Supporting Innovation
Brown University has set forth an operational plan to significantly grow research over the next five to seven years. To achieve this goal, it is essential to expand our ability to capitalize on timely opportunities.
Innovative research funds are a powerful tool as we move forward with our plans to hire new faculty and grow our research enterprise. They provide start-up funding for new scientists and support teaching and mentoring at all levels, from undergraduate through PhD students. They also provide support for faculty working in Brown’s most promising areas of research like aging, infectious diseases, immunology, and RNA biology. In support of this mission, a recent anonymous gift from non-alumni parents established a new, flexible, innovative research fund.
To advance research in biology and medicine toward meaningful interventions for patients, researchers and clinicians must work together to translate scientific knowledge. In order to accelerate the translation of cutting-edge biomedical research, both funding and targeted expertise are paramount.
Top priorities for Mukesh K. Jain, MD, senior vice president for Health Affairs and dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences, include supporting the recruitment of diverse scientists in Brown’s focus areas and working with our affiliated hospital systems to align research efforts. “Universities are engines of innovation,” Jain says. “Before, we may have shared those innovations with students, but now society is looking to us for impact beyond just education.” Gifts like these allow Brown to enhance collaborations and jointly advance a shared research vision across the entire biomedical ecosystem.
Advancing Diabetes Research: Supporting Faculty
A steadfast goal of the BrownTogether campaign has been to raise endowed professorships. These positions allow the University to recognize, retain, and recruit outstanding faculty who support our teaching efforts at the highest level. They also help us push the boundaries of our research programs and encourage new discoveries.
In support of that mission, parents of two Brown undergraduates were inspired to make an anonymous gift to establish the Aqua Clinical Professorship in Medicine in 2021.
In addition to their respect for Brown and gratitude for being a part of the University community, these parents share a firm belief that education is a means to change one’s life and to give back. In an email, they wrote: “We want to be a living example for our sons and impart to them the idea that the advancement of humankind is only possible, and at its best, with collective participation. And we want to encourage them to do their share.”
With this gift, they also hope to contribute to a broader understanding of diabetes and to support breakthrough research leading to the prevention, reduction, and reversal of the disease in patients of all ages. This hope took flight in October when the Brown Corporation named Jose Bernardo Quintos, MD, the inaugural chairholder.
Quintos joined the Brown faculty in 2007 and serves as chief of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and director of the Outpatient Diabetes Education Center at Rhode Island/Hasbro Children’s Hospital. His clinical interests include congenital adrenal hyperplasia, pubertal disorders, growth hormone deficiency, thyroid disorders, and diabetes mellitus in children.
Planning for Future Generations: Supporting Students
In March 1972, the Brown Corporation voted to establish a four-year program in medicine to train future generations of physicians in the Brown ethos. In September of that same year, Daniel S. Harrop ’76 MD’79 RES’83 arrived on College Hill as an undergraduate and stayed at Brown for over a decade to complete his medical degree and residency training.
Harrop went on to be an active member of our alumni community for nearly 40 years, serving in numerous volunteer roles, including as a member of the Brown Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015. Harrop also showed his love for Brown through his philanthropy. Wanting to make sure the University continued to be a place where deserving students could learn the art and science of medicine, Harrop set up a series of charitable gift annuities in support of financial aid at The Warren Alpert Medical School. Harrop, who died in September 2022, was the epitome of ever true. Thanks to his generosity, others will be able to follow in his footsteps.
A Legacy of Kindness: Supporting Research
Anthony “Tone” J. Chirico (1948-2013) was well known for making a difference in the lives of others. For many years, he volunteered in his community and was a beloved teacher and guidance counselor in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Schools area in New York. When considering what kind of legacy to leave in his family’s name, he thought again about how he might make a positive impact.
Chirico lived with a long-term spinal injury, so a gift to orthopedic research was a meaningful option. With the support of longtime friends, Rocco A. Montesano Jr. and Maureen A. Conley, Esq., the Chirico Orthopedic Spinal Trauma Research Fund was established at The Warren Alpert Medical School, to build upon Brown’s long-standing reputation for excellence in orthopedics research and training. “Tone channeled all his energy and talents into impacting the lives of thousands of students and adults,” says Montesano. “No one would ever be the same after an encounter with Tone. But none of that would have been possible without the love and dedication of Mary.”