Teaching a New Collaboration Model

To achieve the Longfellow Project’s mission of continuing to find new treatments and cures for major diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital’s top biomedical investigators need to understand the process by which discoveries become new, effective therapies. To this end, the Bridging Academia and Industry educational program was launched 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: Fundamentals of Translation, Research and Development (Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Intellectual Property), Business Development and Commercialization (Go-to-Market Planning, Exit Strategies), and Translation Stories (Therapeutics, Diagnostics).

Inspiring the trainees to enter the field of translational sciences; learning the academia-industry language; and understanding what it really takes to go from an idea in the lab to a diagnostic or treatment are our overarching goals.

Gabriela Apiou, PhD
Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair in Translational Sciences

Project Competition

For the project competition, each trainee identifies and presents a novel research question to be addressed to develop new cures and diagnostics. They are then grouped into teams designed to bring together people with skills and expertise relevant to one another’s work.

Together, the teams refine the challenge they hope to address and work with faculty members from industry and academia to outline clear research and development plans. Each team makes a final presentation to a panel of industry and academic experts. The winning project team receives a one-year, $150,000 award to perform relevant research experiments and develop a sound go-to-market plan.

Our goal for the next five years is to train more than 100 promising biomedical and physician-scientists through Bridging Academia and Industry, helping these Mass General Research Institute trainees understand the path to translating their science to new diagnostics and therapeutics through impactful collaborations.