Dear Mass General Research Community,

A key goal of the Mass General Research Institute is to increase the number of productive interactions our researchers have with industry.

The Strategic Alliances Initiative represents an innovative new programmatic approach to research. We have convened researchers from a variety of disciplines around key areas of scientific interest, such as epigenetics, cancer immunotherapy, neurodegeneration in neuroinflammation and the microbiome.

By working closely with a team of advisors from the biotech and venture capital community, we are shaping these programs to better promote our research capabilities to industry—and identify key areas for collaboration.

In the coming year, we are launching “Navigating the Translational Pipeline,” a new translational research training program that will be open to researchers from Mass General and industry.

The program will train our investigators to think about commercialization early in their research, and will build a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist in industry-academia collaboration.

Gabriela Apiou, PhD, the Director of Translational Research Training and Development at the Mass General Research Institute, is leading both of these efforts.

I also want to mention that the Translational Research Center (TRC), part of the Division of Clinical Research, is now open on White 12 and 13 on the Mass General main campus.

The TRC, which is directed by Mason Freeman, MD, shares a recently renovated and expanded space with the hospital’s existing Clinical Research Center. The facility includes 18 beds, four infusion chairs and an on-site laboratory and kitchen.

What makes the TRC unique is its ability to conduct first-in-patient clinical trials in partnership with industry. Many industry-sponsored clinical trials begin in healthy patient volunteers, which can prove the safety of the drug but doesn’t help to measure its effectiveness as a treatment.

By starting new drug trials in the patients that the drugs are intended to treat, we should be able to develop more targeted and effective therapies in less time.

If you are wondering how to get involved with these outreach efforts, I have a question for you:

Have you sent us your research outline?

Your outline lets us know about a problem you are working on and how you are trying to solve it. It also helps to raise your visibility with our commercialization and fundraising teams.

If you are a PI, fill out your outline today. We’re waiting to hear from you!

Until next month,

Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD
Scientific Director,
Mass General Research Institute


Fortune brings valuable experience to his role connecting Mass General researchers to industry

Patrick Fortune, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Market Sectors at Partners HealthCare Innovation, is part of a team that helps protect and develop Mass General Hospital’s research discoveries into commercial products to improve care for patients.

He has been an invaluable resource to the Mass General Research Institute, helping us strategize and build new academic/industry collaboration pathways.

In this interview, Pat shares with us his insights and advice to help our investigators position their research and innovations to have the best chance for commercial success. After all, without commercialization our science will never help patients.   


In Depth

Site-specific chemotherapy treatment could bring new hope to pancreatic cancer patients

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT are working on an innovative new approach to treating pancreatic cancer that involves surgically implanting a drug-infused patch at the tumor site.


(Photo at right courtesy of Bryce Vickmark)

Signs of Support
Thanks to all those who visited the Research Institute table at the Mass General Summer Picnic last week and left notes expressing your support for science! The photo above shows how our message board looked by the end of the day. Below are a few of our favorites.
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