Strategic Plan

The medical school's vision aims to maximize Brown's capacity to conduct groundbreaking translational research.

The Dean's strategic plan for the Division of Biology and Medicine fills out key areas of President Christina Paxson's Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown. The plan calls for investments in physician-scientists, new research initiatives, expanded medical education programs, and, possibly, a new research facility — all with an eye toward maximizing Brown's capacity to conduct groundbreaking translational research.

    Advancing Scientific Discovery

    The cornerstone of the strategic plan is the Brown Institute for Translational Science (BITS). BITS  embraces the University’s culture of interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together clinicians and researchers focused on urgent problems in healthcare.

    Basic scientists make lab- or data-based discoveries and then work with master clinicians and physician-scientists to evaluate the importance of their findings in well-characterized patient populations. Other investigators then look at the policy consequences of these findings, and focus on ways this knowledge can be used to generate companies and commercial products for patients.

    Collaborative Research Teams

    A Launchpad for Ideas

    The endpoint on the continuum is the translation of discoveries into real, marketable therapies or diagnostic tools that help patients. The Division partnered with Brown's Industry Engagement and Commercial Venturing office to launch a translational commercial development program, Brown Biomedical Innovations to Impact (BBII). Its primary goal is to help bridge the “valley of death”—the gap between federal funding for research and when private investors are willing to invest—for biomedical research projects led by Brown faculty, both to benefit patients and to expand the University’s impact on economic growth across Rhode Island. BBII funds up to five faculty projects per year, connects them with mentors, and explores commercial development opportunities. The first five BBII projects, awarded up to $100,000 each, were announced in July 2019.

    Learn more

    Connecting to the Medical School

    Three new sections have been established within Alpert Medical School:

    • Medical Education
      All medical education activities will be consolidated into one cohesive academic unit. The section will launch new master’s programs, and will restore and grow Brown’s MD/PhD program.

    • Human Genetics, Genomics, and Personalized Medicine
      Human genetics has become a fundamental aspect of modern biomedical research. The section will build expertise in diseases, applied approaches, and algorithms, statistics, and quantitative methodologies for genetic analysis.
    • Translational Medicine
      This section brings together physicians and scientists who are focused on pursuing new lines of translational research to increase our understanding of disease and create new therapies.

    Connecting to Brown and Beyond

    President Paxson’s Building on Distinction was formulated with the express intent to unite expertise from across the University and its professional schools in solving problems that plague our society. The horizontally integrated research teams within BITS will do the same and will provide opportunities to connect the Division with experts in: