John Hancock

I’m pleased to introduce the latest IMMpact report for The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM). The IMM is a stand-alone research institute that is embedded within McGovern Medical School. Our mission is to deliver translational outcomes from research in molecular medicine that benefits patients. Inside the report you will find in-depth articles on four of our faculty and highlighted donors, plus an account from each IMM faculty member describing their research programs and recent progress.

There are many metrics that can be used to quantify research and institutional success, including grant funding, scientific publications, spin-off companies, and the capacity to recruit and retain stellar scientists from around the world. By all these metrics the IMM excels; I am especially pleased to report that once again IMM faculty had remarkable success in garnering new grants from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), and other extramural funding agencies. Over the financial year just ended, our new grants and contracts increased again, capping increases in our extramural grant funding for each of the last eight years. It is a testament to the outstanding quality and creativity of our scientists that the IMM remains so successful in attracting research funds. There also were some major research breakthroughs resulting in high-profile publications from our faculty, including Dr. Kolonin on a new class of anti-diabetes drugs, and Dr. An on novel anti-COVID antibody-based drugs, to cite just two that attracted much press attention.

Nevertheless, full implementation of our mission remains heavily dependent on attracting support from alternative sources, including research charities and foundations, industry collaborations, and, most importantly, the continuing generosity of our friends and donors. Such funding is critical to allow our faculty to start innovative new projects and generate preliminary results that will in turn lead to new grant proposals. In this context, we are as always deeply appreciative of the strong work and dedication of the IMM advisory council, which plays a key role in the continued growth and development of the IMM.

This brings me to our annual IMM symposium. An illuminating and entertaining evening where you can hear exciting research stories directly from our faculty and discuss the implications for the future of medicine and health care. This year the symposium will be held will be held at IMM on April 26 and will feature two talks on some very recent new insights into the cellular mechanisms of aging. If you want to hear more about this fascinating science and how IMM researchers are at the forefront of the emerging field of aging research, then please attend the symposium. The work to be presented has important implications for treating degenerative diseases of the nervous system, including Alzheimer’s disease. The talks will be followed, as in years past, with a reception in the Dr. J.T. Willerson Discovery Hall. Full details can be found in this IMMpact report. I look forward to seeing you all there. On a final personal note, I was appointed Executive Dean of McGovern Medical School on September 1, but I will be continuing in my role as Executive Director of IMM.

John Hancock, MA, MB, BChir, PhD, ScD
Executive Director, Institute of Molecular Medicine
John S. Dunn Distinguished University Chair in Physiology and Medicine



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