Annual Harvard Research Awards Aim to Propel Basic Discoveries into Clinic

Basic biology is the wellspring from which flow many modern clinical therapies used to treat diseases rare and common, ranging from immune deficiencies, blood malignancies, and epilepsy to hypertension, diabetes, and many types of cancer. Indeed, most life-altering medical treatments are rooted in curiosity-driven science that delves into the molecular inner workings of cells, tissues, and organs. However, with some notable exceptions, the process is fraught, protracted, and can lead to numerous — and often costly — dead ends. It could take several decades for a basic discovery to become a new medicine. The Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Therapeutics Challenge Awards (BTCAs) program, now in its fourth year, is designed to optimize this process and help push promising early discoveries toward clinic, said Ifat Rubin-Bejerano, PhD, Senior Director of Translational Research at HMS.

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