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A book for and about leaders in development of biomedical research institutions

The Biomedical Research Institute: A Perspective on Alternative Paradigms for Research Development by Paul E. Neiman, MD.   free digital copy HTTP://authors.FHCRC.org/1101 (also hard copy, 22pages available at Amazon about $6)

In 1972 the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle Washington opened it’s doors, and, in a few short decades, developed from the dreams of its founders into one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutes. This record of accomplishment was not underwritten by a major philanthropic endowment, nor driven primarily by high profile celebrity leadership.  This Perspective generalizes from one cornerstone of the success of that adventure, the nurturing of a widely admired and effective scientific culture, to describe some principles of scientific program development illustrated in particular cases by the success of the FHCRC. I define two alternative organizing paradigms for developing research activity at biomedical research institutions and compare the implications of each of each across spectrum of elements that comprise the operating structure of the enterprise.

Faculty-based development is driven by the perceived talent and productivity of individual independent faculty members within broad goals for the group and institution. The specific program of selected faculty is secondary. Areas of research concentration are targeted by faculty interest. Faculty members are grouped in broad scientific categories conducive to spontaneous intellectual interaction and collaboration. Governance is a shared responsibility, which includes selection and career development of faculty by peer review.

Program-driven development is focused on specific and more narrowly defined problems or fields lead by senior scientists. Programs are strongly vertically integrated, are specific goal oriented and frequently emphasize team rather than individual research.  Selection and retention of research faculty is made by program heads to meet specific technical and intellectual needs and program goals

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