And so it begins again, a new year, fresh with promise, anchored in the past but striving toward the future.
This year will see great things for the School, beginning with the much-anticipated move into the Health Education Campus. The vanguard will be the PA program in early May, followed by the MD program before the Fourth of July. It will be a major change – from sometimes dark and windowless spaces to areas filled with light and primed for collaboration.
Inevitably, there will be lumps and bumps; the thought experiment is never as accurate as the actual run. That means some things won’t work the first time, won’t fit, won’t connect, or otherwise will act stubbornly. But in the end, this, of course, will prove to be a marvelous opportunity. We will be engaged in heavy-duty planning and communicating from here on in. Stay tuned!
Separately, we are seeking new chairs for Biochemistry and Pharmacology. The search for the former is barreling ahead, and the department has been contributing its wisdom as well as sprucing up the space to make things even more attractive to the top candidates. Second visits have already begun. I am impressed with the field of candidates and proud of the consistently warm welcomes from the department and the diligence of the search committee. The Pharmacology search team is now collecting a promising list of nominees and will launch in earnest in the new year.
Our research programs are developing new collaborations and new excitement. Under Jon Karn’s leadership, CFAR is cementing an alliance with the University of Pittsburgh. Excellent progress in the Ohio consortium working on control of hypertension, led by Mike Konstan, gives hope for reducing the downstream complications of high blood pressure. A collaboration between the RNA Center and MIT represents the potential to develop new therapeutic approaches for addressing devastating genetic diseases.
We are licensing our technologies for commercial development at an impressive rate, and some of last year’s licenses have already attracted follow-on funding.
Forward, always forward. 2019 brings promise and excitement. As always, we’re looking to you to help write the next chapter for the School.
Happy New Year!