beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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History

This Division of Translational Research at BIDMC was initially integrated with the Harvard-Thorndike General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the product of a merger of the clinical research activities of three institutions, the Beth Israel Hospital, the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory of the Harvard Medical Unit at Boston City Hospital, and the New England Deaconess Hospital. At the time of its dedication in 1923, the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory at Boston City Hospital was unique in concept and in function. The original four-story Thorndike Building was designed to house research laboratories for the full-time staff of the Harvard Medical Unit at Boston City Hospital in very close proximity to a research ward where patients could be observed for long periods, free of charge. Thus, the Thorndike served as a prototype of patient-oriented research not only for hospital-funded units devoted to clinical investigation but also, in a very real sense, for general clinical research centers themselves. This prototypic role of the Thorndike Laboratories was transformed into formal participation in the GCRC Program with the permanent funding of the Unit in 1964 and its transfer to BIDMC. There were two satellites of the GCRC, the Joslin Diabetes Center and The Forsyth Dental Institute. They are world leaders in diabetes and dental research, respectively. With the transformation of the GCRCs to be funded under the NIH CTSA, this is now under the umbrella of the Harvard CTSC/Harvard Catalyst.