About a century ago, major advances in understanding the role of microbes in human diseases led to the field of microbiology and the development of vaccines to control or eradicate many diseases that had long plagued humankind. At mid-century a few scientists cracked the code of life itself, and the discovery of the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) gave rise to research enterprises and industries in the fields of genomics and proteomics. These events show how one pivotal discovery can set scientists on a new trajectory of research that results in critically important new knowledge about human biology, health and disease.
The beginning of this new millennium promises to be another era of breakthroughs in medical knowledge, as the recognition of the role of stem cells in the development of organisms leads medical researchers to believe that stem cell research will result in therapies that can be used to treat a wide variety of diseases, including cancer. Lifespan's scientists and physicians are committed to being at the forefront of our time's most dynamic and promising areas of research, and three highly competitive and substantial grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) attest to our researchers' reputations and successes and to the importance of the research in which they are engaged.