Scientific research, medical education and health care delivery are changing at a rapid clip, and Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley is examining the best path forward to ensure that the School maintains its centuries-long reputation as a world leader in these fields.

“We’re on the brink of a sweeping transformation of the human condition,” Daley ’91 told a gathering of alumni, faculty and friends on May 3. “Medical breakthroughs in the next 50 years will dwarf those of the last 1,000.”

“Our mission at Harvard Medical School is to lead the way toward that new era of possibility.”

Daley spoke at the Harvard Club of Boston in the first installment of an interstate tour intended to introduce the extended Harvard community to the new dean and his vision for HMS.

He said that forging the path to the future of medicine will require embracing innovation in research and therapeutics, committing to campus revitalization, and expanding access to medical education.

Innovation includes translating HMS laboratory discoveries into new treatments and cures for diseases, whether widespread or rare, local or global, Daley said.

Seizing the future of science requires rethinking how research is conducted, he added, from recognizing the value of technologies such as bioinformatics and cryo-electron microscopy to forming new collaborations across the School and its affiliates, the thriving Boston biotechnology and pharmaceutical communities and other industries and institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

To ensure that HMS continues to cultivate future generations of leaders in research and health care delivery, Daley emphasized the need to foster diversity and free exchange of ideas and to make medical education as debt-free as possible. One of the goals he described was to double the number of fully funded MD-PhD students accepted to the School.

“Students entering HMS today bring with them a fierce passion to both heal and innovate,” Daley said. “If we can couple that idealism to today’s cutting-edge technologies, then I believe the work we are doing will revolutionize the quality and richness of human life.”

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