BIDMC launches new Translational Research Hubs to bolster bench-to-bedside innovation

Written by: Jacqueline Mitchell Contact: Chloe Meck, cmeck@bilh.org

OCTOBER 04, 2021

Multidisciplinary hubs aim to accelerate the development of new treatments and therapies

BOSTON – Leveraging Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s (BIDMC) existing strengths in leading edge biomedical research and extraordinary patient care, BIDMC leadership launched a new initiative designed to speed up the discovery of novel treatments and advance personalized medicine. Known as Translational Research Hubs, these interdisciplinary research communities will maximize collaboration among researchers and clinicians and will focus on therapeutic areas that align with the needs of BIDMC’s patient population.

"The overarching mission of our Translational Research Hubs is to prevent, cure and eradicate human disease through the accelerated translation of research from bench to bedside for the benefit of patients at BIDMC and beyond,” said Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, Chief Academic Officer of Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) and an internationally recognized leader in the field of liver diseases at the hybrid in-person/virtual launch event. “A major strength of BIDMC is our patient care and, in fact, our patients themselves, who create a tremendous opportunity for advancing research by presenting new questions that we can bring back to our basic scientists. By increasing the collaboration between these two institutional powerhouses, Translational Research Hubs create the environment to allow us to move toward discovery and implementation of new therapies and precision medicine for our patients and our entire community.”

“As an academic medical center, research is a core component of everything we do,” said BIDMC President Peter J. Healy. “When I began my term as president of BIDMC, I stated that among my priorities were advancing exceptional care and elevating our academic and research mission. By fueling the innovation that will lead to new therapies and personalized medicine, Translational Research Hubs will help us fulfill our mission of providing extraordinary patient care.”

Conceived and developed by a task force comprised of BIDMC lead scientists and clinical experts, the Hubs are open to any BIDMC investigator, clinician, student or trainee doing relevant research and/or clinical work. BIDMC clinicians with related expertise who are not currently involved in research are welcome as members as well. Membership will also be extended to the BILH community and selected industry partners.

“By bringing together clinicians, researchers and trainees from departments across BIDMC, the Hubs are designed to give members the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with experts within and outside of their field,” said Szabo. "Joining a Hub can maximize research opportunities and provide vital resources for investigators, which in turn may lead to improved grant opportunities and enhance a member’s individual research progress.”

Szabo announced the official launch of two Hubs, one focused on Systemic Effects of Metabolic Disease and the other dedicated to Pathogens, Immunity and Inflammation. A third hub, Neuroscience Connections, is planned for late 2022.

“Hubs represent an especially unique opportunity for new investigators, providing collaborations and pilot projects that can be leveraged as a vital resource for future larger program grants,” Szabo said. “Early-stage investigators just establishing their research programs will find support through the Hubs in the form of networking, mentorship, collaboration and community among their colleagues in scientific and medical discovery.”

The Translational Research Hubs are key pillars of BIDMC’s five-year Institutional Strategic Plan for Innovation, Research & Education (InSPIRE) designed to reimagine and support a modern, vital research enterprise that Szabo rolled out last year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for agility at leading medical research institutions — the need to be prepared to mount rapid responses and accelerate discovery to fight emerging public health crises,” said Szabo. “By bringing together BIDMC’s world renowned scientists and clinical experts, BIDMC’s new Translational Research Hubs will accelerate the clinical translation of enhanced treatment options for patients.”

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.