About the Program

HiTS has two primary components, the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology (LSP) and the Harvard-MIT Center for Regulatory Science (HMCRS) engage academic institutions and companies from across Eastern Massachusetts.

Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology (LSP)

The Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology (LSP) is a highly interactive community of 150 scientists, engineers, and physicians that studies early and late-stage drug discovery using diverse highly-multiplexed measurement (omics) methods and mathematical modeling. Our focus on modeling methods draws on engineering and computer science and aims to construct a more quantitative and predictive approach to drug invention, testing, and use in patients. The lab focuses on serious diseases with unmet medical needs, such as drug-resistant cancers, chronic infections, neurodegenerative diseases, and chronic pain. LSP faculty have their primary appointments in hospitals and academic institutions in the Boston area but work together in custom-build labs located on the historic Harvard Medical School quadrangle.

Harvard-MIT Center for Regulatory Science (HMCRS)

The Harvard-MIT Center for Regulatory Science (HMCRS) is an interdisciplinary research and education program that focuses on improving how new therapeutic drugs, devices, and diagnostics are evaluated using clinical trials and real-world evidence. Our members also study the medical and economic impact of industry activities and regulatory policies and seeks more effective, equitable, and efficient ways to develop and use innovative medical products. The Center collaborates with the US Food and Drug Administration on a fellowship program designed to prepare PhD and MD PhD trainees for academic, industry and government positions at the intersection between science and regulatory policy. Our Center also sponsors an annual Global Conference in Regulatory Science and performs research in data science, real world data, clinical trial design and pharmaco-economics.

LSP Facts & Figures:
Participating Academic Institutions: 10
Faculty: 24
Trainees and Staff: 100
Research Budget: $15M USD
Research footprint: 15,000 ft2

HMCRS Facts & Figures:
Participating Academic Institutions: 10
Faculty: 14
Fellows: 6
Research Budget: $1.5M USD

Harvard Therapeutics Initiative

The LSP and HMCRS work closely with the leaders of the Harvard Therapeutics Initiative to accelerate the rate at which individual drug discovery projects transition from a discovery phase to a stage ready for the first steps of regulatory review (the investigative new drug phase). Ultimately, we expect methods developed in HiTS to accelerate these projects and provide more efficient means of conducting clinical trials.

HiTS Community

The HiTS community is committed to fair and equitable treatment, access, opportunity, and engagement for all. We strive for an inclusive research environment that is non-hierarchical, encourages innovation, and respects and values all perspectives, especially those of individuals from historically disadvantaged communities. To reduce economic barriers to access to our research we are strongly committed to open access licensing for our papers and open source software for our software.

Joining HiTS

The LSP and HMCRS provide an outstanding interdisciplinary environment for pursuing graduate and postgraduate research. Alumni of HiTS are professors or group leaders at leading institutions such as Columbia University and the University of Heidelberg, and many have gone on to start new companies or join the many dynamic pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the Boston area. Students and postdocs typically join HiTS by applying to labs of individual faculty. Individuals with exceptional qualifications are also encouraged to contact the Head of the Program to learn about possibilities for independent research. Visit the Opportunities page to learn about open positions.

All members of the HiTS community are actively engaged in career development and training and we provide multiple coaching and training opportunities in these areas. Many of our technical staff are also pursuing advanced degrees, including MSc degrees through the Harvard Extension School.