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From left, Masanori Aikawa, Torao Yamamato and Joseph Loscalzo cut the ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the grand opening of the Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences.
Scientists from BWH and a Japanese-based drug company will work side-by-side to promote discovery and advancement in cardiovascular research in the new Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS). BWH and Kowa Company, Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan, last month celebrated the opening of the 24,000-plus square foot, state-of-the-art research facility on the 17th floor of 3 Blackfan St.
“We are very pleased to be in a position to collaborate with scientists from one of the world’s best academic medical centers—the Harvard affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital—working together for the benefit of patients across the world,” said Kowa Executive Vice President Mr. Torao Yamamoto.
Kowa and BWH established a collaboration research agreement in July 2009 that enables the two institutions to focus on projects such as cardiometabolic diseases including atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Center activities will include basic research on the genesis of such diseases and translational research.
“We are pleased that Kowa established this center, one founded with a respect for the tenets of our academic mission,” said Barbara Bierer, MD, senior vice president of Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “This center will encourage collaboration among researchers across the globe to challenge science and advance medicine, as we try to improve the lives of people around the world.”
Masanori Aikawa, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine at BWH and HMS, a U.S.-based vascular biologist trained in Japan, was named director of CICS. “This international collaboration represents an exciting opportunity to promote a better understanding of the mechanisms of cardiovascular disorders that affect millions of people around the world,” said Aikawa, who is a member of the BWH Cardiovascular Division led by Peter Libby, MD.
While the agreement to build and staff the facility was finalized last year, the December ribbon cutting ceremony was the culmination of three years of work. “We had very strong support from Kowa and the leadership at BWH, especially Dr. Bierer, Dr. Libby and Dr. Loscalzo,” Aikawa said.
Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Medicine, credited Aikawa with overcoming many skeptics, including himself. “At the outset of this project, there were many road blocks,” he said. “Thank you for your hard work and what this means to BWH, the Department of Medicine and our research environment. With plans in place for a great team committed to developing the careers of young people and focused research, this certainly is an exciting opportunity.”