BWH President Betsy Nabel welcomes Research Day attendees and introduces the plenary session panel members.

BWH President Betsy Nabel welcomes Research Day attendees and introduces the plenary session panel members.

BWH’s annual Research Day is all about sharing and celebrating the exciting, innovative and transformative work of hospital researchers with the broader BWH community, patients, families, visitors and the public.

This year’s daylong event was no exception. Hosted by the Brigham Research Institute on Nov. 20, the third annual Research Day kicked off with its characteristic air of energy and excitement. Opening the event, BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, welcomed BWHers and guests to a plenary session in Bornstein Amphitheater, moderated by former chairman and current Board of Trustees member Marshall Moriarty.

“Our theme for today is ‘Our Commitment to Innovation and Discovery,’ and I want to thank each and every one of you for your tireless efforts and dedication to your work,” said Nabel.  “Because of you, we are able to fulfill this commitment and transform the future of medicine.”

During the session, Nabel made two big announcements: her establishment of a research endowment of $10 million, using discretionary funds, to help support research at the hospital; and the implementation of a Scientific Advisory Board for the Brigham, chaired by BWH trustee Jeff Leiden, MD, PhD, and tasked with providing strategic counsel and vision to further enhance research at BWH. The board is comprised of basic scientists, venture capitalists and pharmaceutical leaders.

Leiden, president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, shared the reasons why he is excited to be part of such an important project.

“Medicine and science are changing at an incredible rate,” he said. “Ten years from now, everyone’s genome will be sequenced at birth, which means we’ll be dealing with risk early on in life and revolutionizing the way we care for patients.”

Leiden said he believes that only a select group of institutions will be doing this groundbreaking work, and that as a global leader in linking specific areas of basic science to clinical care, BWH will be among them.

The rest of the plenary session included comical musings and thoughtful questions posed by Moriarty to panelists Richard Blumberg, MD, Christine Seidman, MD, Paul Anderson, MD, PhD, Chris Coburn, Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, and Leiden, as well as a few questions from attendees.

“I have one three-fold charge for you all today,” said Nabel. “I hope you learn something new, meet someone new and come up with a new idea.”