Richard Blumberg

Richard Blumberg

The Brigham Research Institute has announced that Richard Blumberg, MD, chief of BWH’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy, has assumed the mantle of BRI director with Elizabeth Henske, MD, of BWH’s Pulmonary Division, stepping into the role of co-director. Christine Seidman, MD, of the BWH Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, who served as BRI director from 2012 to 2014, will continue to advise and offer leadership in her formal role as past director.

“Dr. Blumberg is not only a renowned researcher who is highly regarded in the field of mucosal immunity, but is also a proven innovator with a track record of translating basic discoveries into therapeutic agents that benefit patients.  Likewise, Dr. Henske, who founded and directs the Center for Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) Research and Clinical Care, had taken groundbreaking discoveries about pathways involved in LAM and translated those into new treatments for patients. As such, both are well positioned to help the BRI achieve its goal of bringing the BWH research community together to accelerate discoveries to improve human health.” said Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, chairman of the Department of Medicine, who recently rotated off the BRI Executive Committee after nine years of service.

Each leader of the BRI makes a six-year commitment to serving on the BRI Executive Committee, first as co-director for two years, then director for two years and finally as past director for two years. “This helps preserve continuity and institutional memory,” said Jacqueline Slavik, PhD, BRI executive director.

The BRI is organized around ten disease-focused research centers and three resource- and technology-based programs and serves the entire BWH research community; all BWH researchers are members. It sponsors a variety of events to encourage collaboration and communication among investigators from across the BWH community, including the annual Research Day, Clinical Innovation Day,  Research Connection LIVE Lunch Series, and more with an average of eight  to 10 events per month. In addition, the BRI offers funding opportunities such as the Health & Technology Innovator grants, BRIght Futures prize, bridge funding and more.

The BRI is governed by the Research Oversight Committee (ROC), which is comprised of department representatives, co-chairs of the BRI centers and programs, the BRI Executive Committee, elected representatives and ad hoc members. Established to foster transparency and accountability, the ROC meets monthly and serves as a conduit for all BWHers interested in the BRI’s strategic initiatives. To find out more or to contact your department’s representative, please visit the BRI Leadership web page.