You’ve heard me say many times that medicine is a team sport, and this is true in medical research as well. The importance of sharing knowledge is magnified in a small state like Rhode Island, so Lifespan has taken the lead in creating a partnership with other prestigious research organizations in the state. Our goal is to identify causes and potential treatments for a wide range of diseases and disorders of the brain.

The Rhode Island Neurosciences Leadership and Steering Committee is composed of researchers at five institutions: Lifespan, Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, Care New England, and the Providence Veterans Administration Hospital. We all signed a memorandum of understanding to commit to working together for rapid progress in neuroscience research. We plan to leverage our individual specialties and use our combined breadth of expertise to attract major research grants.

I’m pleased that Lifespan’s senior vice president and chief research officer Peter J. Snyder, PhD, was named the inaugural committee chair. Steven Rasmussen, MD, chair of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and also representing Care New England, will serve as vice-chair.

It’s unusual for academic and medical institutions to collaborate in research. Competition for research dollars is keen, but by sharing research and goals, we can advance the knowledge – and eventually the treatment – of Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epilepsy, stroke, and other brain diseases and disorders. I can’t think of a more compelling reason to work together as a team.

Timothy J. Babineau, MD

Timothy J. Babineau, MD

Prior to his appointment as Lifespan’s president and chief executive officer, Timothy Babineau, MD served as president and chief executive officer of Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. Before coming to Rhode Island in 2008, he was the senior vice president and chief medical officer for the University of Maryland Medical Center and School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. Before the 2005 appointment at the University of Maryland, Dr. Babineau held numerous administrative positions, including vice chairman of the division of surgery, surgical residency program director and director of the center for minimally invasive surgery at Boston Medical Center and surgeon-in-chief and medical director for the Boston Medical Center Surgical Associates at Quincy Medical Center. He has been a trustee for the University of Massachusetts and a member of its Audit and Finance Committee.