About the Channing Division of Network Medicine

Research in the Channing Division of Network Medicine (CDNM) focuses on identifying the causes of diseases and developing new biomarkers for prevention, diagnosis, progression, and therapeutic intervention.

CDNM’s research applies novel systems biology capabilities to vast clinical databases and research studies with genetic, clinical, and epidemiological information on more than 300,000 subjects.

CDNM currently has more than 80 Harvard Medical School (HMS) faculty and 42 fellows and is supported by 160 non-faculty Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) employees, who are primarily in research and administration.

In fiscal year 2019, CDNM investigators received 54 new funding awards with an estimated total annual budget of more than $13 million, resulting in a total of 173 active grants. CDNM’s FY18 total research expenditures were $51 million.

CDNM Timeline

1857: Channing Street Home for Sick and Destitute Women founded

The Channing Street Home for Sick and Destitute Women was founded in 1857 by Harriet Ryan Albee as a refuge for poor women. A majority of the Home’s residents were sick with tuberculosis. Over the next century, the Home became nationally known as a center for the treatment of tubercular patients. After World War II, the widespread use of antibiotics for tuberculosis left the facility with empty beds, but ongoing endowment funds.

1958: Channing Laboratory formed at Boston City Hospital

After the closing of the Channing Home, the Trustees of the Channing Home used its endowment funds to establish the Channing Laboratory in the Harvard Medical Unit at Boston City Hospital (BCH) to research infectious and pulmonary diseases. Dr. Edward H. Kass, who had been a visiting physician at the Home, became the Channing Laboratory's first director. Dr. Kass, an eminent infectious disease researcher with a diverse range of interests that included pulmonary infection, urinary tract infection, antibiotic pharmacology, and the role of hormones in resistance to infection, expanded the Laboratory's activities to include epidemiology and chronic disease.

1975: Channing Laboratory moves to Brigham and Women's Hospital

With the closing of the Harvard Medical Unit at BCH in the mid-1970s, the Channing Laboratory moved to 180 Longwood Avenue in the Longwood Medical Area. Dr. Kass retired in 1989 and Drs. Dennis Kasper and Frank Spiezer became co-directors of the Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology units, respectively.

1996: A new home for the Channing Lab

The success of the Channing Laboratory led to a further need for expansion, and in 1996, it moved to a state-of-the-art location at 181 Longwood Avenue as a multidisciplinary research division in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

2012: Channing Laboratory becomes Channing Division of Network Medicine

Under the leadership of Dr. Edwin Silverman, a new Systems Pathobiology Unit was formed to join the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Unit and the Systems Genetics and Genomics Unit.