Lilly exec will explore links to industry at Harvard

An executive with Eli Lilly has accepted a job with Harvard Medical School that will entail studying the relationship between the school's researchers and the pharmaceutical industry.

William Chin, who for the last decade served as Lilly's senior vice president for discovery and research, also previously worked on the school's faculty for 25 years. He now takes over as executive dean of research at HMS, where he will be in charge of "designing and implementing a vision" for research at the school that will "cross departmental and institutional boundaries," according to the Wall Street Journal Health Blog.

"Bill will...develop a coherent strategy for the School's scientific interactions with industry, ensuring it is both aligned with the HMS Faculty Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment and is capable of advancing critical unmet needs," said Jeffrey S. Flier, MD, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, in a statement on Wednesday.

The idea of a pharma-medical school connection brought some unease last month when the Stanford University School of Medicine announced that it was accepting a $3 million grant from pharma giant Pfizer to back a new curriculum.

Chin also will be responsible for "moving research from the lab to the clinic."

To learn more:
- check out this Harvard Medical School statement
- read the Wall Street Journal article