Harvard Medical School Receives 4,5 Million Dollars For Research
Charles R. Broderick, a former student of Harvard University and MIT, made donations to the 2 universities to support basic research on 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 the science of cannabinoids.
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 is growing concern about critical gaps in the knowledge of the plant.
In 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine published a report asking philanthropic organizations, private companies, public bodies and others to develop a "comprehensive database" on short and short term effects. long-term, beneficial and harmful, of cannabis use.
"Our desire is to fill the void that currently exists in scientific research on cannabis," said Broderick, who was one of the first investors in the Canadian medical market.
Broderick is the founder of Uji Capital, a family office specializing in quantitative opportunities on the global stock markets. Identifying the growth of the legal cannabis market in Canada as a strategic investment opportunity, Broderick has acquired stakes in Tweed Marijuana and Aphria, which have since become 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, it means providing facts to the medical community, as well as to the general public," said Broderick, who argues that independent research should be the basis for political discussions , it doesn't matter if it's good for business.
“So we all work from the same information. We have 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 on 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, drawing on the combined expertise of some 30 basic scientists and clinicians from the Blavatnik Institute and its affiliated hospitals.
The epicenter of this research effort will be the Department of Neurobiology under the leadership of Bruce Bean and Wade Regehr.
"I am excited about Bob's commitment to the science of cannabinoids," said Dr. Regehr, professor of neurobiology at HMS. "The research efforts made possible by Bob's vision have opened the way to 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 brain receptors, and the biological effects downstream of this activation are surprisingly complex, varying by age and sex, and complicated by a person's physiological state and overall health. This complexity and the high degree of variability in individual biology have hindered scientific understanding of the positive and negative effects of cannabis on the human body.