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Director’s Reflections: Discovery Partnerships in Science

The role of science is interwoven in all things we do—from training to research to the development of new therapies. It is woven into our DNA as the nation’s first research university. Each year, we celebrate this tradition of discovery with a day dedicated specifically to the projects and passions of our scientists. It is a day I look forward to at the start of each year, and my excitement has only grown as we interface with colleagues from engineering. This year, we will revel in the discoveries of 159 unique principle investigators, and hundreds of trainees, as we browse the bulletin boards in Turner Auditorium during the Department of Medicine/Whiting School of Engineering Research Retreat on Friday, February 28.

This season’s excitement is particularly intense following the announcement of the winners of the of latest Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. William Kaelin, a former Osler resident and ACS, Sir Peter Ratcliffe (Oxford), and Gregg Semenza from the Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering were recognized “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.” By winning this award, Kaelin has set the bar high for us as internal medicine doctors. It is my hope that his winning such a prestigious prize will spark renewed interest in discovery among students and trainees, and raise awareness that our trainees are well-positioned to make outstanding contributions to research and discovery now and throughout their careers. Our own residents will benefit from his presence on the Osler Board, which aims to help them catalyze grant-worthy discoveries during training, and launch the next generation of physician-scientists.

Science is what drives us forward into the future, and it often cannot be done in a vacuum. Many of the world’s most beneficial discoveries have come out multidisciplinary teams, as proven by these newest Nobel Prize laureates, whose specialties span oncology, cell biology, genetics and physiology. Further proof is how our partnership with the School of Engineering for our annual research retreat has inspired innovative, collaborative projects between both departments. I invite you to come take part in the future discoveries of our institution on Feb. 28, and to leave inspired by the breadth of what we are capable of accomplishing together.


Register for the retreat by Friday, February 7 to receive a lunch ticket.


Mark Anderson