Thoughts from the Dean

Reflecting on a New Year

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January 11, 2016
Reflecting on a New Year

Expressing gratitude for efforts over the past year and some intentions for 2016

Welcome to a new year at HMS--one that holds the promise of continued success in all your endeavors, both professional and personal. I want to extend my deep gratitude for your outstanding efforts over the past year. Your many contributions continue to advance the excellence of this exceptional School.

As we enter this new year, many of us are embracing resolutions to achieve more, to reach farther and to make positive changes in our lives. In that spirit, I invite you to view this new year's video in which a few of our colleagues here at HMS, myself included, share some of our best intentions in a lighthearted spirit.

As I reflect on the past year, I want you to know I am so proud of all we have achieved together.

In education, our Program in Medical Education successfully launched its Pathways curriculum, beginning an exciting new era of teaching and learning. Our graduate education program continues to evolve and expand. It now offers five MMSc degree programs and last year initiated a new Master of Bioethics degree program. Our Office for External Education made great strides, creating a transformative HMX online education experience and developing our global courses portfolio to extend learning opportunities to students worldwide.

In science, HMS researchers continued to make remarkable discoveries. Whether providing a better understanding of how RNA synthesis works or enhancing the use of powerful CRISPR gene-editing tools, our scientists continued to illuminate the causes of disease and point the way to new treatments and therapies. We also established our first new academic department in several years, the Department of Biomedical Informatics, which will train future scientists in the acquisition and interpretation of the big data that will enable us to more closely study and understand health and disease.

In recognition of our faculty's remarkable contributions, several members were elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Academy of Engineering. Also, among the honors bestowed upon faculty members were the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship and, most recently, a National Medal of Science. I congratulate each of these faculty members on their extraordinary achievements.

HMS would not be able to accomplish all that it has without the many devoted individuals who have supported our fundraising initiative, The World is Waiting: The Campaign for Harvard Medicine. I am pleased to report that the Campaign has now raised more than $500 million, bringing us two-thirds of the way toward our ambitious $750 million goal.

I invite you to learn more about the School's achievements this past year in my most recent Dean's Report. We will, of course, continue our pursuit of ambitious initiatives in 2016. As always, it is a privilege to work with you and an honor to serve this superb institution. Best wishes for a happy and successful new year.

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