Diseases that still have no cure. A critical shortage of primary care practitioners. Health disparities at home and abroad. Questions about the most basic biological processes that remain unanswered.

Harvard Medical School researchers, trainees and students have no lack of potentially transformative ideas to tackle these and other challenges in health care and basic biomedical science.

What is in ever-shrinking supply, however, is funding.

“There isn’t a day when I don’t see a proposal on my desk that promises to illuminate our understanding of some fundamental process or even save lives,” said Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University and the Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine at HMS. “Except for one thing: It probably won’t get funded.”

Against that backdrop, on Nov. 13 HMS officially launched a $750 million fundraising campaign that will empower its mission to alleviate human suffering caused by disease.

“Even at Harvard, this pulsing ecosystem of energized people able to educate, innovate and discover, we cannot fund everything we should — and must,” Flier said at the kickoff celebration and gala dinner at the Boston Park Plaza hotel.

“Through this campaign, we will use our most effective tools — education, discovery, service and leadership — to address the greatest health care challenges of our time,” he added.

The World Is Waiting: The Campaign for Harvard Medicine is part of the $6.5 billion Harvard Campaign, which launched last fall.

 

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