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Transforming the Future of Medicine

As early as the 19th century, Sir William Osler, one of the founders of modern medicine, cautioned that while the good physician treats the disease, the great physician treats the patient with the disease. New insights into human biology, genetics, genomics, big-data science, clinical medicine, and computation have given Osler’s words new meaning and brought precision medicine ever closer to reality. 


Untangling the precise factors that underlie modern medical mysteries can illuminate individualized treatments based on a person’s genetic predispositions, immune profile, health history, and lifestyle. Such insights can propel the science and practice of precision medicine forward and have a profound effect on human health.

Made possible by a generous philanthropic gift by Ivan and Francesca Berkowitz and Family, the Ivan and Francesca Berkowitz Family Living Laboratory Collaboration is a collaboration between Harvard Medical School and Clalit Research Institute. These two institutions are uniquely positioned to accelerate the generation of valuable biomedical knowledge that will have the power to inform better treatments, care, and prevention, and improving the health and wellbeing of generations to come. Together, we will create an unparalleled Living Laboratory environment in which world-class biomedical researchers, clinicians, and data scientists will investigate important questions in the fields of precision medicine and predictive health. 

The research mission of this collaboration is to leverage this unparalleled living laboratory environment to investigate important biomedical questions in precision medicine and predictive health. 

 

The educational mission of this collaboration is to train the next generation of leaders in translational biomedical informatics, computational biology, and precision medicine research and practice.  

As a separate clinical effort, Clalit Health Services will establish The Ivan and Francesca Berkowitz Family Precision Medicine Clinic, also funded by a philanthropic gift by Ivan and Francesca Berkowitz and Family.  

Leadership

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Prof. Isaac S. Kohane

Co-Director

Isaac S. Kohane, MD, PhD is the Marion V. Nelson Professor of Biomedical Informatics and the Inaugural Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School.

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Prof. Ran D. Balicer

Co-Director

Ran D. Balicer, MD, PhD, MPH is the Chief Innovation Officer of Clalit Health Services, Founding Director of the Clalit Research Institute, and Professor at the Ben Gurion University School of Public Health.

Harvard Medical School

Department of Biomedical Informatics

Established in 1782, Harvard Medical School (HMS) is a global leader in medical education and biomedical research, with a deep and historic commitment to alleviating human suffering caused by disease. Its network of 15 affiliated hospitals and institutes and approximately 12,000 members of the Faculty of Medicine represents the greatest concentration of medical talent in the world.

 

Led by inaugural chair Zak Kohane, MD, PhD, the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) develops the methods, tools, and infrastructure required for a new generation of biomedical investigators and care providers to move biomedicine, writ large, rapidly forward by taking full advantage of the insight and precision offered by these enormous data resources. Kohane has extensive experience converting data rapidly to find new cures, provide new diagnoses, and deliver better care. After establishing the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) to bring together clinical and research experts to solve the most challenging medical mysteries, he supported the launch of the Network of Enigmatic Exceptional Responders (NEER) at DBMI. NEER currently works to understand why some patients have had a unique response to cancer treatments that were not effective for most other patients. Just as detailed study of rare diseases is illuminating basic biology in a way that informs larger disease populations, early study of exceptional responders promises to reveal new insights into tumor heterogeneity, overcoming heterogeneity-imposed therapeutic barriers, enabling more sophisticated pre-trial patient screening, and enriching genomic profiling studies.  

Clalit Health Services

Clalit Research Institute

Established in 1911, Clalit Health Services (CHS) is the largest provider of public and semi-private health services in Israel, covering approximately 4 million individuals—over half of the population of Israel. Clalit employs 40,000 people who operate 1,500 clinics, 450 pharmacies, 90 emergency medical centers, 14 major hospital centers, 40 children’s healthcare centers, 40 women’s healthcare centers, 58 infant healthcare centers, 55 alternative therapy centers and 90 dental-care centers. Clalit is a leading center for medical research and innovation, developing and implementing medical technologies and practices with worldwide impact.

 

In 2010, Clalit Health Services established the Clalit Research Institute (CRI), with the mission of turning Clalit’s unique comprehensive integrated lifetime electronic health record (EHR) data on 4.5 million individuals into decision-making insights that can be translated into policies for transforming healthcare delivery and clinical practice. Tools developed by CRI have enabled innovative clinical interventions and a shift in the focus of care to preventative and proactive initiatives. Led by founding director Professor Ran Balicer, MD, PhD, MPH, CRI’s goal is to move from reactive, therapeutic care to proactive, preventive care, and to replace a paternalistic paradigm with participatory and patient-centered care delivery. CRI has been recognized by the WHO and designated a WHO Collaborating Centre on Noncommunicable Diseases Research, Prevention and Control.

Institutional Partners