Reports to the President 1994-95
The Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), established
in 1970, provides a means of collaboration between Harvard and MIT that makes
available educational and research opportunities that could not be exploited as
effectively by either institution through its own independent efforts. Its MD
curriculum produces physicians who have a deep and quantitative understanding
of the underlying science of medicine and biomedical research. The PhD
programs combine rigorous scientific or engineering graduate training with an
in-depth exposure to the biomedical sciences and clinical medicine. Both
programs seek to prepare students for leadership roles in medicine and
The HST Division facilitates and administers programs in research which are
concerned with important biological and health problems which can be addressed
in a multidisciplinary manner through the collaborative efforts of biomedical
scientists, physical scientists, engineers, and clinicians from the two
The Division is administered by two Co-directors who report to J. David
Litster, Professor of Physics and Vice President and Dean for Research at MIT,
and S. James Adelstein, Professor of Medical Biophysics and Executive Dean for
Academic Programs at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Roger G. Mark, Grover
Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology is the MIT Co-director, and
Dr. Michael Rosenblatt, Robert Ebert Professor of Molecular Medicine is the
Harvard Co-director. Dr. Joseph Bonventre, Associate Professor of Medicine at
HMS, serves as Associate Director of HST and Director of Student Affairs for
HST-MD students. Dr. Mark announced his desire to step down as MIT Co-director,
and a Search Committee for a replacement was established by Dr. Litster in
January. It is chaired by Professors Richard Cohen and George Benedek.
A total of 279 graduate students were registered in HST degree programs during
the academic year. There were 178 MD candidates of whom 89 were
simultaneously pursuing PhD degrees. HST doctoral programs registered 101
students: 72 in the Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) track, 22 in
the Speech and Hearing Sciences (SHS) track, and 7 in the Radiological Sciences
Joint Program which is sponsored jointly by HST and the Nuclear Engineering
HST offers approximately 70 courses in the biomedical sciences and biomedical
engineering, a number of which have been developed jointly with other MIT
departments. More than 150 faculty members at MIT and at Harvard Medical
School contribute significantly to the academic programs of HST. The Division
has a "core" faculty numbering ten individuals (including the directors). HST
is spearheading a major upgrade to the Medical School's clinical course in
internal medicine, and will place particular emphasis on optimal use of
technology in patient care.
The new training program for clinical investigators, launched last year under
the direction of Dr. Robert Rubin, is centered in the MIT Clinical Research
Center, and is run jointly with a similar module at the Beth Israel Hospital.
Under sponsorship from Pfizer, Inc., the training program provides two-year
fellowships for physicians who have completed specialty training, and who wish
to prepare for careers in clinical investigation. There are now eight such
fellows at HST who engage in both didactic instruction and clinical research
projects under the mentorship of faculty members from MIT and HMS.
The Clinical Investigator Training Program is the largest of its kind in the
country, is meeting a major
national need for highly skilled clinical investigators, and is creating new
between MIT and HMS faculty.
The MD degree was awarded by Harvard Medical School to 26 HST students this
year, of whom four received honors. Five students received MEMP doctoral
degrees from MIT.
An objective of HST from its inception has been to foster development of
interdisciplinary, inter-institutional collaborative research between the
faculties of MIT and Harvard. The research of the HST core faculty and
research staff covers a wide spectrum of biomedical areas including: auditory
physiology (including therapeutics); pathophysiology, epidemiology, and therapy
of atherosclerosis (including diagnostic instrumentation); biological response
of tissue such as cartilage to mechanical, chemical and electrical factors;
fundamental biology of translation-level control of gene expression;
structure-function analysis of interleukin I-B; cryobiology; hyperthermia for
cancer therapy; biomedical instrumentation; tissue engineering; systems
physiology and modeling; physiological signal processing; vascular biology and
pathophysiology; and fundamental pathophysiology of bone. Their research links
include a number of HMS teaching hospitals (MGH, BWH, BIH, NEDH) and the HMS
We are particularly pleased that Elazer Edelman, MD, PhD, Helmholz Associate
Professor of HST won a $750,000 Special Opportunity Award from the Whitaker
Foundation. The grant will provide funds to support a modular teaching
facility in tissue engineering and microscopy for the new Whitaker College
Center for Biomedical Engineering .
HST also administers a number of research programs for affiliated faculty. The
total projected fiscal year `94 research volume is $7.5M (including
subcontracts). The research activities of the Clinical Research Center,
organizationally part of HST, are reported separately.
Robert Rubin was appointed as Associate Professor of HST at HMS, and occupies
the Gordon and Marjorie Osborne chair. He is the HST director of the Clinical
Investigator Training Program, and of the new Center for Experimental
Pharmacology and Therapeutics centered in the Clinical Research Center. He is
responsible for a highly successful HST course in Clinical Pharmacology, and is
an active clinician in transplantation and infectious disease at MGH.
Dr. Richard N. Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical
School, was chosen to receive the 1995 Irving M. London Teaching Award,
recognizing the excellence of his teaching in HST 030 Human Pathology.
The HST Division endorses the affirmative action plan at MIT, and continues to
make every effort for equality in employment, promotion, and education
regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or handicap.
Roger G. Mark and Michael Rosenblatt
Reports to the President 1994-95