The Harvard School of Public Health yesterday launched a major attack on the problem of heart disease, with the establishment of its first coordinated, long-range program of research in that field.
The program of research, made possible by a gift of the John A. Hartford Foundation will concern arthrosclerosis--a type of hardening of the arteries--and related conditions of the heart and blood vessels. Dr. John C. Snyder, Dean of the School of Public Health, called the program "unique" in that it provided for continued research over a period of several years and would allow scientists "to pursue their studies with continuity."
The new program will function primarily in the School's Department of Nutrition and will be under the direction of Dr. Frederick J. Stare, the Department's head. "One of our main problems of present-day scientific investigation," said Dean Snyder, "is that most of our research funds are awarded on an annual basis. This makes it very difficult to develop long-range programs or to keep scientists of high ability on our staff."
The Hartford Fund, while giving a continuity and permanence to research, will also provide an opportunity to combine experimental, clinical and field studies in attacking the problem of heart disease.
The experimental work will concern animals, in an extensive laboratory study, while clinical observations will be made in the hospitals of Boston.