Harvard President Drew Faust and Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber formally welcomed George Q. Daley as dean of Harvard Medical School at a celebration in the Tosteson Medical Education Center on Jan. 4. Daley officially took the reins on Jan. 1.
In a room crowded with faculty, students and staff, including many leaders from across the Harvard community, Daley noted with gratitude that his mother, wife, two sons, and his five brothers and sisters were all in attendance, along with all of the members of his lab and many close colleagues from his nearly four decades at Harvard.
Daley is a research superstar, an admired teacher and mentor, and an eloquent advocate for the importance of biomedical science to society at large, said Faust in her introductory remarks.
“George radiates a spirit of optimism, energy, dedication and ambition that is contagious,” Faust said. “We may all join in hoping that this contagion will frequently and rapidly spread.”
Daley said he was humbled and honored to be chosen to lead one of the world’s foremost medical education and research institutions.
“At Harvard Medical School, each of us is entrusted with making a difference, whether through biomedical research, education or patient care,” Daley said. “Each of us is charged with upholding the highest standards of rigor, excellence and service, no matter what your role. “
Daley outlined his thoughts on how the School may best take advantage of the current wave of transformative advances in medicine while confronting the challenges of reduced funding in research, broader cost cutting in health care and the need for HMS to more fully embrace diversity. He emphasized the importance of collaboration and a deeper focus on therapeutics.
Noting that the order of the day was celebration, Daley said he would outline in more detail his vision for the future of HMS at an all-school community meeting and reception on Jan. 17.
“At Harvard Medical School, each of us is entrusted with making a difference, whether through biomedical research, education or patient care. Each of us is charged with upholding the highest standards of rigor, excellence and service, no matter what your role." — George Q. Daley
Daley thanked everyone in the community for their dedication to the mission and values of the School, expressing gratitude to Faust and Garber for giving him the opportunity to lead an institution with such an unparalleled potential to deepen our understanding of biomedical science and to improve human health.
“I am fiercely committed to our collective mission—to advance fundamental research, to translate basic biology into new insights about disease and novel treatments, to educate the next generation of leaders in science and medicine, and to work tirelessly and selflessly to improve the health and vitality of patients here in Boston and all across the globe,” Daley said. “For me, this deanship is a call to service.”
Daley also acknowledged the vital contributions made by his immediate predecessor, Dean Jeffrey S. Flier, who served for the past nine years, and Barbara McNeil, the Ridley Watts Professor of Health Care Policy and head of the HMS Department of Health Care Policy at HMS, who served as acting dean from July to December 2016.
In a toast to the new dean, Garber said that one essential characteristic that defines Daley is that he is a “both-and” person: at Harvard, he has been both a student and an educator, both a researcher and a clinician. As someone who “doesn’t willingly concede that he must choose between two options,” Garber said, “Daley is the ideal candidate for this moment of “significant challenge and extraordinary opportunity.”
“Let us join him in making the greatest biomedical institution in the world even better,” Garber said.