Impact at Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School (HMS) is accelerating the pace of therapeutic discovery and supporting initiatives aimed at solving some of humanity’s most acute biomedical challenges thanks to the landmark $200 million commitment from Len Blavatnik and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The largest commitment in the School’s history, it is propelling HMS's mission to transform health through curiosity-driven research that stimulates the development of new therapies and tools to diagnose and prevent disease.

The Blavatnik Commitment to HMS supports four key areas:

Therapeutics Initiative

The HMS Therapeutics Initiative, which is enhancing the impact of fundamental curiosity-driven research and catalyzing the development of new therapies.

Key Update: HMS is developing a complementary suite of programs designed to speed the transition from basic insights in the lab to lifesaving therapies on the clinical frontlines.

Two men looking a board of numbers

Fertile intellectual communities that integrate data science and artificial intelligence capabilities and applications. 

Key Update: Researchers at HMS and Oxford University have designed an AI tool called EVE (Evolutionary model of Variant Effect), which uses a sophisticated type of machine learning to detect patterns of genetic variation across hundreds of thousands of nonhuman species and then uses them to make predictions about the meaning of variations in human genes.

Collaborative Grants Program

A collaborative grants program that inspires cross-disciplinary research partnerships across the Harvard life sciences ecosystem. 

Key Update: Now in their third year, the 2022 Blavatnik Therapeutics Challenge Awards grants have been awarded to projects researching tremor and related disorders, targeting R-loop and mRNA repair pathways in cancer therapy, and pemphigus vulgaris.

Photo of Len Blavatnik and student at Blavatnik Life Lab opening event The Blavatnik Harvard Life Lab at Longwood is a 10,000-square-foot space that houses wet and dry labs and includes offices and collaborative workspaces designed to nurture nascent biotechnology and life science enterprises. Available for lease to early-stage, high-potential biotech and life sciences start-ups founded by Harvard students, alumni, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty, the lab can accommodate up to 12 companies.

Featured Stewardship Report

Blavatnik Institute at HMS - 2022 Stewardship Report for Blavatnik Family Foundation

Blavatnik Institute HMS Logo


Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School

In recognition of this commitment, HMS named the Blavatnik Institute—an umbrella research institute that encompasses the School’s 11 basic and social science departments. Led by HMS Dean George Q. Daley, the Blavatnik Institute is home to world-class faculty working to solve the greatest problems of human health through fundamental and translational biomedical science research.

Blavatnik Institute RSS News Feed:

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    Apr 27, 2023

    At a glance: Study reveals the atomic structure of a cell receptor that binds to relaxin, a hormone involved in pregnancy and in heart, lung, liver, and kidney function. Findings lay a foundation for developing drugs that act on the receptor to… Read More

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    Apr 6, 2023

    At a glance: Study unearths shared immune system architecture that causes different people to make similar antibodies that home in on the same region of a virus. This suggests viruses can make tiny changes to that region to generate new variants… Read More

  • Designing More Useful Bacteria

    Mar 15, 2023

    At a glance: In a step forward for genetic engineering and synthetic biology, researchers have modified E. coli bacteria to be immune to infection by all natural viruses tested so far. The team also employed two methods to prevent the bacteria… Read More