The Translational Medicine Division of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a non-traditional entity for an academic health center, is the result of a random walk taken by the career of its Director since the early 1970s. Trained as a hematologist and cell biologist, he served in administrative roles in hematology and oncology while running a basic research program concerning cell movements. Through this journey, he accrued trainees in cell biology and medicine, some of whom have gone on to research, clinical and administrative positions around the world, and a few of whom have stuck with the Director, achieving leadership status and senior academic rank in their fields of interest, described on this site. Dr. Hartwig started working with the Director in 1971 and Dr. Kwiatkowski joined in 1982. The senior faculty also attracted research trainees, some of which have also stayed on and formed their own research groups within the Division: Dr. Falet trained with Dr. Hartwig, and Drs. Hoffmeister and Nakamura with Drs. Hartwig and Stossel. This group collaborates on many projects while pursuing independent ones. The group has thrived due to sharing of expertise and resources, collegiality, pursuit of external collaborations, and a diverse support portfolio including government, health agency and corporate funding.