The Division of Interdisciplinary Medicine and Biotechnology (IMBIO) is organized under the leadership of Dr. Vikas Sukhatme as division director and Dr. Ary Goldberger as the associate director. The Division has both research and educational missions at BIDMC, at Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals and with Harvard University, especially the Allston initiative. It anticipates many interfaces with other institutions both locally (such as MIT) and nationally.
IMBIO believes that we are at a unique juncture in medical history. The deciphering of the human genome affords an unprecedented platform for basic science discoveries in biology. This "genomics revolution" coupled to the information technology revolution and certain technological advances (such as robotic methods for high-throughput screening, developments in mass spectrometry, novel imaging modalities, etc) will make medicine an information-rich discipline in which health and disease will be assessed increasingly by multi-parameter data that will be easy to gather, transmit and mine. Such information - if properly extracted and analyzed - will inexorably shift healthcare from a "one size fits all" paradigm to "individualized care". Additionally, there will be more emphasis on preventative and predictive care and less on "symptomatic" care. In turn, biomarkers will streamline the drug development process and a subset of them will be linked to the pathophysiology of a disease process, thus providing novel therapeutic targets. Finally, the ability to view disease as a "systems problem" will lead to new insights with diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Thus "hardware" to elicit and detect "signals" from biological systems including humans ("translational technologies"), both in vivo and ex vivo, and analysis using sophisticated computational methods of the data obtained will lead to novel insights into disease pathophysiology - a central goal in IMBIO.
Moreover, IMBIO's mission is to initiate and facilitate linkage from BIDMC to university departments in engineering, computational sciences, physics, and chemistry. Insights from public health, law, and business will also be welcome. IMBIO will also facilitate interactions within the Department of Medicine by helping identify clinical or scientific problems that may benefit from such interactions or from methodologies that cross divisional lines. IMBIO will build a cross-departmental think-tank of fellows and faculty to accomplish this goal.