The gift includes $5 million in support of collaborative research projects focused on sensory disorders — which affect tens of millions of people globally — and to bolster core facilities that can serve as technology incubators for the development of new instruments and methods. The remaining $1.35 million will support the continuation of an international fellows program, enabling five graduate students from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to complete year-long academic projects in labs at HMS and its affiliated hospitals.
The gift builds on previous support from the Bertarelli Foundation, which in 2010 established the medical school's Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, a joint program between HMS and EPFL designed to help bridge the gap between basic and translational neuroscience and address important issues that, when solved, will result in life-changing outcomes for patients.
"The Bertarelli Program embodies our quest as physician-scientists to catalyze discovery from bench to bedside," said HMS dean George Q. Daley. "The scientists funded over the past eight years have pinpointed some of the most fundamental aberrations at the root of sensory and neurologic disorders, and they are developing treatments that promise to transform the lives of countless patients, thanks to the foresight and generosity of Ernesto Bertarelli and the Bertarelli Foundation."