Harvard Medical School Receives 4,5 Million Dollars For Research
Charles R. Broderick, a Harvard University and MIT alumnus, made donations to the 2 universities to support basic research into the effects of cannabis on the brain and behavior. The total donation of $ 9 million ($ 4,5 million to each institution) represents the largest donation to date to support independent research into cannabinoid science.
The donation will allow neuroscience and biomedicine experts from Harvard Medical School and MIT to conduct research that could eventually help elucidate the biology of cannabinoids and highlight their effects on the human brain, catalyze treatments and to inform evidence-based clinical guidelines, social policies and evidence-based cannabis regulation.
Lagging behind legislation
With the increasing use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, there are growing concerns about critical gaps in knowledge about the plant.
In 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a report asking philanthropic organizations, private companies, government agencies and others to develop a "comprehensive database" of short and long term effects. long-term benefits and harms of cannabis use.
“Our desire is to fill the void that currently exists in scientific research into cannabis,” said Broderick, who was one of the early investors in the Canadian medical market.
Broderick is the founder of Uji Capital, a family office specializing in quantitative opportunities in global equity markets. Identifying the growth of the legal cannabis market in Canada as a strategic investment opportunity, Broderick took stakes in Tweed Marijuana and Aphria, which have since grown into two of the most successful cannabis companies in North America.
Subsequently, Broderick made a private investment in Tokyo Smoke, a portfolio of cannabis brands that merged into 2017 to create Hiku Brands, of which he was president. Hiku Brands was acquired by Canopy Growth Corporation in 2018.
Thanks to Broderick's donations to Harvard Medical School, independent studies on neurobiology, its effects on brain development, the therapeutic context, treatment, and its cognitive, behavioral and social implications will be further developed.
"I want to destigmatize the conversation about cannabis - and, in part, that means providing facts to the medical community, as well as the general public," said Broderick, who argues that independent research must be the basis for policy discussions. , it doesn't matter if it's good for business.
“So we are all working from the same information. We need to replace rhetoric with research, ”he said.
Harvard Medical School : Mobilizing a community of basic scientists and clinicians to meet a biomedical challenge
Broderick's donation provides $ 4,5 million to establish the Charles R. Broderick Phytocannabinoid Research Initiative at Harvard Medical School, which will fund basic, translational and clinical research across the HMS community to generate knowledge fundamentals of the effects of cannabinoids on brain function, various organ systems and general health.
The research initiative will cover basic sciences and clinical disciplines, ranging from neurobiology and immunology to psychiatry and neurology, taking advantage of the combined expertise of some 30 basic scientists and clinicians from the Blavatnik Institute and its affiliated hospitals.
The epicenter of these research efforts will be the Department of Neurobiology under the direction of Bruce Bean and Wade Regehr.
“I am excited about Bob's commitment to cannabinoid science,” said Dr. Regehr, professor of neurobiology at HMS. “The research efforts made possible by Bob's vision have paved the way for unraveling some of the most confusing mysteries of cannabinoids and their effects on the brain and various organ systems. "
Cannabinoid compounds activate a variety of receptors in the brain, and the downstream biological effects of this activation are surprisingly complex, varying by age and gender, and complicated by the physiological state and overall health of the person. This complexity and the high degree of variability in individual biology have hampered scientific understanding of the positive and negative effects of cannabis on the human body.