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An air of energy and excitement was palpable as BWHers filled the Bornstein Amphitheater Thursday morning for the start of the first BWH Research Day.
A plenary session titled “BWH’s Strategic Commitment to Innovation and Discovery” served to welcome researchers, physicians, patients, staff, donors, media, industry partners and community members to the day-long showcase of the hospital’s thriving research community. It also served as the kick-off event for BluePrint, BWH’s multiyear celebration of its rich roots and history of achievements and innovation.
BWH Board of Trustees Chairman Marshall Moriarty moderated the panel, which consisted of BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD; Senior Vice President of Research Barbara Bierer, MD; Anne Klibanski, MD, Partners chief academic officer and chief of the Neuroendocrine Unit at MGH; Christine Seidman, MD, BRI director and director of the BWH Cardiovascular Genetics Center; and Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, past director of the BRI and chairman of the Department of Medicine.
“Today is a day to celebrate our success,” Nabel told attendees. “It is your day to talk about what you love to do.”
Guided by Moriarty, whose lighthearted and self-deprecating humor warmed the room, these physician leaders explored BWH’s position as an academic medical center and research “powerhouse,” its collaborations and its vision for the future of research.
“Innovation and discovery are the foundation and fabric of everything we do here,” said Nabel. “This is a place of innovation, relevance and passion for caring for those in need.”
Moriarty highlighted the adventure and romanticism of research. “It is an act of faith,” he said. “You can’t see the results ahead of time. You will in fact make the world better in ways that you can’t ever know when you are starting out on the journey.” His questions to panelists ranged from the importance of BWH’s partnerships with other institutions to the “coolest” things happening here in research.
Bierer briefly spoke about the “Brigham Building for the Future,” a proposed 12-story building that will integrate clinical and research floors, slated to begin construction in 2014. “This will be a real home for collaboration and multidisciplinary efforts,” she said. “It will house musculoskeletal and neuroscience research and clinical areas, integrating clinical and basic research.”
Loscalzo, who is part of the team compiling a history book of BWH for the upcoming BluePrint celebration, reminded attendees of the crucial role research has played throughout the course of the hospital’s history.
“We’ve grown so much, as you’re hearing today, and the glue that holds this institution together is research and always will be,” he said.