Erica P. Johnson

The marble Harvard Medical School quadrangle sits up on a slight plateau, like an ancient temple, rising above Boston's busy Longwood section. Inside, glass windows soar above well-worn staircases. Persian carpets cover the floors. Slim, antique lockers line the halls of the lower floors. The quad is like an island of antiquity, surrounded by bustling medical complexes specializing in futuristic high-tech medicine. Here in the temple, there is little bustle. Decisions evolve slowly here, and then only after a long and careful academic debate. This is, after all, Harvard.

Perhaps no US institution remains as entrenched in the traditional academic research mode as does Harvard University. A generation after the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 spawned a rush of industry-academic partnerships imitated around the world, Harvard keeps a tight rein on faculty relationships with industry. Yet, as the genomics revolution creates vast new opportunities for researchers to work...

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