Brian Smith, MD, will be stepping down from the co-directorship of Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) to invest more time in his roles as deputy dean for clinical/translational research and chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine, effective February 1, 2023.
Since 2019, Smith, in partnership with John Krystal, MD, has overseen tremendous growth and progress in clinical and translational research at Yale, ranging from robust investments in the center’s informatics infrastructure to expanded training and education of the next generation of investigators. Working closely with its community partners, YCCI has continued to take innovative steps to involve the New Haven community and now leads the country in community-engaged research. People of color represent approximately 30% of clinical trial participants at Yale, an increase of ~900% over the past decade. YCCI was, and remains, critical in supporting the remarkable contributions of Yale investigators to delineating the biology of COVID-19 and ameliorating the multiple challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Smith and Krystal successfully guided YCCI through the last renewal of the Yale University-wide NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award supporting the science of translational research. Smith will continue to serve as co-principal investigator of this award with Krystal, as well as awards from PhRMA Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration. Krystal, who is Robert L. McNeil Jr. Professor of Translational Research, chair and professor of psychiatry, and professor of neuroscience and of psychology, will continue to serve in his leadership role in YCCI.
The school has announced that David Coleman, MD, will be rejoining Yale to serve as interim co-director of YCCI, also effective February 1, 2023. Coleman returns to Yale following a 16-year tenure as chair of the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and chief of the medical service at Boston Medical Center. Prior to that he served as chief of medical service at VA Connecticut for 10 years and interim chair of the Department of Medicine at YSM for nearly four years.
Coleman served as co-chair with Richard Lifton, MD, PhD, of the committee that recommended the establishment of YCCI in 2004. In recognition of the growing complexity of today’s clinical and translational research landscape, Coleman, Smith, and Krystal engaged in a review of YCCI this past fall. The review identified significant areas of strength in the center’s portfolio, as well as some opportunities to deepen and extend the impact of YCCI across its spectrum of programs and offerings.
During his interim term, Coleman will focus on further enhancing YCCI’s responsiveness to the Yale research community and to institutional stakeholders. Important areas of focus will be center operations, including research support services, finances, risk management, and communications. He will also collaborate closely with organizational partners, including the new Section for Biomedical Informatics and Data Science and Yale New Haven Health System.
A national search for a new co-leader of YCCI is anticipated within the next two years.