Neurological disorders, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune diseases are just a few examples of the daunting challenges to human health that we face today. How can cost-effective diagnostic tools, therapies, and vaccines that will overcome these challenges be developed? The clinicians, engineers, and scientists at MIT and MGH believe that this can be achieved by bringing together approaches from engineering and basic science with clinical medicine—toward this end these organizations have entered into a strategic partnership that brings together their uniquely synergistic and complementary strengths. MGH’s clinical mission and MIT’s focus on engineering, science, and entrepreneurship will home the research agenda on rapid translation from bedside to bench to bedside. Combing deep knowledge derived from patient care and research in human disease with facing up to clinical challenges using cutting-edge approaches in engineering and basic science promises to be transformative.
GRAND CHALLENGES TO BE CONFRONTED AND OVERCOME
Clinicians, engineers, and scientists from MIT and MGH have been working together on three grand challenges:
Grand challenge #1:
Make diagnosis cost-effective and accurate and guide individual clinical decisions based on real-time monitoring and massive patient data sets.
Grand challenge #2:
Enable systematic design of vaccines and therapies for existing and emerging infectious and autoimmune diseases. The partner institutions are also collaborating through the Ragon Institute to develop an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine.
Grand challenge #3:
Enhance human cognitive function by developing more accurate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Devise novel approaches to controlling the brain’s arousal states (sleep, pain, sedation, general anesthesia, and coma recovery).
Most recently, the two organizations have partnered to create the Center for Microbiome Informatics and Theurapeutics.