Accelerating Science-to-Solution Through a New Model of Collaboration

The Longfellow Project bridges the divide between academic research and industry-based research and development, bringing together leading biomedical researchers and physician-scientists at Mass General to work with one another and with their peers in industry.

Launched in 2015 by the Mass General Research Institute Office of the Scientific Director, The Longfellow Project includes the Bridging Academia and Industry educational program, a year-long course on the multifaceted practice of translational science, and the Challenge-Driven Research Programs focused on specific health issues and disease areas.

The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is an example of what can be accomplished through focused collaboration between academic science and the biopharma industry. The Longfellow Project has established these same types of collaborations across the major health challenges that threaten humanity today.

The Bridging Academia and Industry Educational Program

To achieve our mission of continuing to find new treatments and cures for major diseases, our top biomedical investigators need to understand the process by which discoveries become new, effective therapies. To this end, we launched the Bridging Academia and Industry educational program in 2019 to teach Mass General Research Institute faculty the “art” of translating science to patient care while catalyzing the development of new diagnostics and treatments.

This year-long program is taught by more than 40 expert faculty from academia and industry. It begins with a course on the strategies and tactics of translation and culminates in a solution-driven project competition with a $150,000 award for the winning team. Experienced leaders from academia and industry work together using case studies to illustrate the fundamentals of translation, research and development, business development and commercialization, and translation stories.

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Challenge-Driven Research Programs

The Longfellow Project’s Challenge-Driven Research Programs take a comprehensive approach to identifying and designing solutions to important healthcare problems. We have instituted a new model of collaboration that leverages fundamental and translational research, clinical care, and access to high-quality patient samples, enabling bench-to-bedside-to-bench translation, while taking into consideration market drivers.

To establish these Challenge-Driven Research Programs, the Strategic Alliances team in the Office of the Scientific Director worked closely with investigators and leadership across Mass General and with external advisors from the pharma, biotech, and venture communities, including members of the Research Institute Advisory Council.

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The Translational Sciences Fellowship Program

As a companion to the Bridging Academia and Industry educational program, we seek to launch this fellowship program to provide promising scientists, PhDs or MDs, with support and mentorship to perform original research in a leading academic medical center while gaining hands-on experience on how to translate new discoveries to clinical practice.

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