Department of Medicine Research

The Department of Medicine at BWH continues to cultivate a rich tradition of translating bench discoveries to clinical applications by fostering a collaborative research environment designed to strengthen our efforts in tackling the world’s most challenging human diseases. Its success in biomedical research can in large part be attributed to the quality of its scientists and the commitment and support of departmental and hospital leadership in providing resources, space, and facilities to develop first rate research programs. Particular research strengths in the department include translational and clinical research involving disease-oriented research, patient-oriented research and population science.

The department's research community consists of more than 400 research faculty and more than 300 research fellows. Our investigators are nationally and internationally recognized for their achievements and are represented in some of medicine’s leading honorific societies such as:

  • American Society of Clinical Investigators
  • Association of American Physicians
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
  • Academy of Arts and Sciences

The department continues to be among the most accomplished research enterprises in the country across all types of biomedical research, and is among the largest recipients of sponsored funding of any academic department.  The department’s success in biomedical research can in large part be attributed to the quality of its scientists and the commitment and support of departmental and hospital leadership in providing resources, space, and facilities to develop first-rate research programs.  Particular research strengths in the department include translational and clinical research involving disease-oriented research, patient-oriented research, and population science.  

The department’s research programs consists of more 1,400 active projects – basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiological – with approximately 54% of these being funded by the National Institutes of Health.  Between 2005 and 2013, research expenditures in the department have grown by more than 90%, from $230 million to $422 million, comprising 66% of the overall BWH research enterprise.  The department currently utilizes over 445,000 net assignable square feet of research space throughout the BWH campus.

The department is the home of the Nurse’s Health Study, the Physician’s Health Study, and Women’s Health Study, three world-renowned and long-running epidemiological studies.  The department is also home to such groundbreaking clinical research studies as the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Trials, founded by Dr. Eugene Braunwald in 1984.  Initially sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and later by major industrial partners, the TIMI trials focus on various thrombolytic and anti-thrombotic treatments for patients with acute myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome, and have dramatically altered and improved the care of cardiac patients.  

In early 2013, the department announced the creation of the Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism Unit, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, led by Dr. Shalender Bhasin.  Dr. Bhasin is an internationally recognized reproductive endocrinologist with expertise in anabolic therapies, androgen biology, and clinical trials of testosterone.  

Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at BWH and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is Principal Investigator and Chair of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Network. The ACTG is an international consortium of clinical research sites conducting clinical trials in HIV-infected adults to test novel therapeutic interventions focused on HIV-associated inflammation and resulting end-organ disease, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and HIV cure. In December 2013, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarded two seven-year grants to BWH to re-fund the ACTG Network. The grants support the ACTG’s Leadership and Operations Center (LOC) and Laboratory Center (LC). The core funding totals $20 million annually or $140 million over seven years. Together, they are the largest awards at BWH.