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January 2017

David S. Stephens, MD  
The Most Important Link

I’d like to take the opportunity to share an exacting priority of the School of Medicine as we head into the new year.

As many of you are well aware, basic science research is fundamental to our academic success, and I have dedicated much of my career to linking laboratory research findings to clinical practice. I feel strongly that seamless collaboration between basic science research and translational medicine is what makes an academic medical institution robust and complete.

Emory is in a unique and advantageous position to excel in the full research life cycle, from the laboratory to patient care, because of resources such as our basic and clinical departments, Yerkes, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, and the entire Woodruff Health Sciences enterprise.

Before my tenure as interim dean began, the school's leadership identified as a priority growing and supporting the fundamental sciences through recruitment, space organization, and investment in research cores.

We are conducting national searches for 14 new faculty members in basic science departments. In addition to these critical searches, we are investing the resources necessary to improve the facilities and resources available to our current faculty in basic science departments, laboratory-based scientists in clinical departments, and staff members.

We have worked with the departments to identify areas of strategic focus, including the following:
• Expanding collaborations and enhancing translational research capabilities across our patient areas of excellence, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurosciences
• Continuing to increase our expertise in areas of immunology and microbiology
• Increasing our capabilities in statistical and computational sciences
• Improving our core capability.

We have a great deal to celebrate in the area of basic science research at Emory, but we realize there is still work to be done for Emory's health sciences, and the School of Medicine specifically, to reach its full potential.

I look forward to working with each of you on this significant focus area and as always, I encourage your feedback and ideas.

Best regards,


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