Friday, October 7, 2016

Celebrating research contributions

LEADERS OF COLLABORATION: From left, Potts, Okabe and Mannstadt

The MGH Endocrinology Unit hosted a special reception on Sept. 29 to commemorate a 28-year collaboration with the Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, of Japan. “I am really pleased to celebrate this unusual, unique and happy relationship that we’ve been in,” said John Potts, MD, physician-in-chief emeritus. “We appreciate the funding support – but the loyalty, the trust and the friendship are really what make it so special.”

Since 1989, 10 scientists from Chugai have come to spend two to three years each as visiting research scientists in the hospital’s endocrinology laboratories. This has resulted in 31 published papers and 16 patents issued and has set the stage for the development of drugs to treat hypoparathyroidism and osteoporosis. In recognition of these successes, Potts presented a plaque to Hisafumi Okabe, senior vice president and general manager of Chugai’s research division, which also will be displayed in the library.

During the reception, Henry Kronenberg, MD, chief of the Endocrine Division, held up a thick binder containing the papers and a list of the scientists who have participated in the program, which will now be housed in the Thier Building’s Fuller Albright Library. “It would be fortunate for the world if others could have this mutual, cordial and wonderful relationship,” he said. “The contributions have been extremely valuable.”

The ceremony came on the heels of a daylong scientific meeting between the two organizations, as well as a historical overview and tour of the Ether Dome presented by Susan Vassallo, MD, of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine.

“It’s amazing to think about how scientific work can be done in such a disciplined way,” said Michael Mannstadt, MD, chief of the Endocrine Unit. “This all comes down to modesty, discipline and hard work.”  

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