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Next Gen Strategic Planning

July 30, 2020

To the YSM Community:

In 2018, the University Science Strategy Committee (USSC) recommended five priority ideas for investment (Data Science and its Mathematical Foundations; Quantum Science, Engineering, and Materials; Neuroscience, from Molecules to Mind; Inflammation Science; Environmental and Evolutionary Sciences) and four cross-cutting areas for investment (Graduate Student Support in STEM Fields; Diversity throughout the STEM Pipeline; Instrumentation Development; Core Facilities). Since then, Yale School of Medicine has been actively engaged in addressing several of these priorities. We are investing in the build out of neuroscience research space in 100 College and conducting a national search for the new chair of Neuroscience. A cross-university group has begun to consider our needs in data science. We have leveraged the public interest in COVID-19 to promote research in inflammation. We are creating career development programs that will enhance diversity, and piloting tactics to promote multi-disciplinary research. Still, we need school-specific strategies to advance these goals, address additional scientific priorities identified by the USSC (Conquering Cancer; Precision Medicine; Regenerative Medicine), and shape vital cross-cutting investments in health equity.

Today I would like to review the research strategic planning process ongoing at Yale School of Medicine. Shortly after assuming his position in April, Deputy Dean for Scientific Affairs (Basic Science Departments) Anthony Koleske launched a listening tour of our scientific enterprise. He met with over 75 junior and mid-career faculty identified by chairs or center directors, Deputy Dean for Scientific Affairs (Clinical Departments) Brian Smith, and others.

On July 2, Deputy Deans Koleske and Smith invited all our faculty and trainees to participate in a survey on the school’s research goals and priorities. The survey addressed three of the five major elements of Donald C. Hambrick and James W. Fredrickson’s seminal “Strategy Diamond” model. (Hambrick, D. C., & Fredrickson, J. W. (2001). Are you sure you have a strategy? Academy of Management Executive, 19(4), 51–62)

They asked what differentiates Yale School of Medicine: “existing and emerging research strengths?” They asked respondents to identify arenas where we need to be active: “… currently underdeveloped areas of research at YSM that you would like to see strengthened?” They inquired about the vehicles that will enable us to get where we want to go: “Are there major partnerships that you would like to see developed between disciplines and departments in the medical school and across the university, and between basic, translational, and clinical research efforts?” “What infrastructure would need to be further developed to support the priorities?”

Recognizing that our missions and values must guide our research strategy, Deputy Deans Koleske and Smith further asked: “How could our basic, translational, or clinical research better address health disparities and inequities in our patient population and local community?” and sought feedback on research strategic planning relevant to “all aspects of our educational, clinical, and community outreach missions.”

Almost 200 people responded. Based on these responses and the earlier conversations, themes emerged regarding our research mission, our differentiators, the arenas where we should be active, and the vehicles that will enable our strategy.

We have now tasked working groups to address these themes, listed in alphabetical order below and with group leaders identified in italics. The groups are comprised entirely of Next Gen leaders—energetic, innovative, and committed members of our community. We hope that the strategic planning process itself will bring together colleagues from multiple disciplines across the School of Medicine and the University. We expect that their ideas will inspire us.

When the groups have finished their work, we will integrate their ideas and ask leaders and the community to weigh in on priorities. We will then consider the final two elements of strategy in the Hambrick and Frederickson model, economic logic and staging.

I am grateful to Tony Koleske, Brian Smith, and these Next Gen leaders for guiding all of us on this journey. I cannot wait to see where it leads us.

Biomedical and Biological Imaging
Joerg Bewersdorf, Gigi Galiana, Katie Politi, Walther Mothes, Hesper Rego, Yong Xiong, Shawn Ferguson, Rick Torres, Jaime Grutzendler, Chi Liu

Clinical Trials
Miriam Treggiari, Stuart Weinzimer, Uma Reddy, Daniel Petrylak, Eric Velazquez, Stephanie O'Malley, Onyema Ogbuagu, Eugene Shapiro, Gerard Sanacora

Developmental Brain Disorders/Autism/Schizophrenia
Yong-Hui Jiang, Jess Cardin, Ellen Hoffman, Mike Higley, Jamie McPartland, Tom Fernandez, In-Hyun Park, Tony Koleske

Health Equity
Marcella Nunez-Smith, Saad Omer, Emily Wang, Andrea Barbieri, Megan Smith, Suzi Ruhl, Kieran O'Donnell, LaRon Nelson

Inflammation, Metabolism, Cancer, and Disease
Rachel Perry, Marcelo Dietrich, Yajaira Suarez, Deep Dixit, Andrew Wang, Ranjit Bindra, Stephanie Eisenbarth, Andy Goodman, Carla Rothlin

Matching Researchers with Collaborations Across Disciplines/Clinical/Basic Divide
Stephanie O'Malley, Ed Kaftan, Nik Joshi, Jeanne Hendrickson, Kasia Lipska, Lauren Sansing, Sam Katz, Paul Aronson, Robin Whittemore (YSN)

Nuclear Cell Biology/Epigenetics/Single Cell Biology
Qin Yan, Shangqin Guo, Peggy Myung, Yajaira Suarez, Andrew Xiao, Steven Wang, Patrick Lusk, Christian Schlieker, Zachary Smith, Brian Hafler, Lauren Sansing

Technology Development, Bioengineering
Noah Palm, Erica Spatz, Mark Saltzman, Rong Fan, Chenxiang Lin, Kathryn Miller-Jensen, Tarek Fahmy

Translational Medicine
Uma Reddy, Mustafa Khokha, F. Perry Wilson, Charles Dela Cruz, Jeanne Hendrickson, Jon Leventhal, David Assis, Serena Spudich, Peter Gruber, Miriam Treggiari, Cary Gross, Monique Hinchcliff


Nancy J. Brown, MD
Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine
C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine