The Linda Burnley Fund for MD-PhD Education at Harvard and MIT


Linda BurnleyHOW TO DONATE:

Visit to donate online. Under the “Select a Fund” drop down menu, be sure to click MD-PhD Fund or type in the designation text box “The Linda Burnley MD-PhD Fund”.

Or, you can send your donation by mail to:
The Linda Burnley Fund for MD-PhD Education
Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program
Daniel C. Tosteson Medical Education Center
260 Longwood Avenue, Suite 168
Boston, MA 02115






We recently celebrated 40 years of MSTP support for the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD program.  More than 300 alumni, students, faculty, staff and guests - many from out of state - joined us to celebrate this very special occasion.

One of the highlights of the event was our announcement of the Linda Burnley Fund for MD-PhD Education at Harvard and MIT.  Our purpose in establishing this special donor Fund is to honor the fundamental influence Linda has had on the lives and careers of our MD-PhD students and alumni.  All donations will support the educational mission of the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD program, which is squarely focused on providing unparalleled, world-class training to cultivate the next generation of Harvard/MIT physician-scientist leaders.  Your donation will ensure that Linda continues to impact the direction of the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD program by enabling the expansion of our program, providing critical funding support of non-MSTP MD-PhD students (who now comprise ~50% of our trainees), and promoting innovative educational programming and community-building events for our students.

Linda Burnley was a pillar of our MD-PhD program for nearly 30 years.  She is currently Associate Dean of the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her inimitable contributions are best conveyed by your outpouring of testimonials since my announcement of the Fund:

“As an MD-PhD student, Linda Burnley was the person who was always there for us. Linda was the ‘rock of the program’-- the one constant person associated with the program, even as everything else changed. Her friendship was and continues to be precious.”
                                                                                                        Chinfei Chen, MD, PhD, ‘91 

“Linda was the heart and soul of the MD-PhD program. Directors came and went, students of course passed through, but Linda provided that invaluable continuity, that institutional memory, and the passionate dedication that assured the program ran effectively, efficiently, and with a personal touch that made it more than just another MD-PhD program.”
                                                                                                        Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, ‘87

“Linda served many roles in the early days of the Harvard MD/PhD Program.  To all students she was a great advisor but perhaps most importantly she was a great friend.  Linda was the life blood of the program with limitless enthusiasm.”
                                                                                                        Barry Sleckman, MD, PhD, ‘89

“It was clear since the first day that I arrived on campus as an MD PhD student that Linda was the key person to ask all questions to (and get answers). Linda was committed to excellent standards and inspired us to do the same in all we did.”
                                                                                                        Kari Christine Nadeau, MD, PhD, ‘95

"Linda knew and cared about every student in the program, and gave freely of her own time to provide help and wise advice to us all."
                                                                                                        Joel N. Hirschhorn, MD, PhD, ‘95

“Linda added a special touch to the program.  As a student, I remember that Linda’s acknowledgements and recognition of my performance (achievements) was very motivational and significant to me.  Her smile and gentility will always be remembered.”
                                                                                                        Marc E. Rothenberg, MD, PhD, ‘90

“In addition to everything she did for the Harvard/MIT MSTP, she was nationally recognized for her contributions to the national organization of MD/PhD programs. She was often called a queen for her rank in the organization.”
                                                                                                        Bert Shapiro, PhD, NIH/NIGMS
                                                                                                        MSTP Director, 1994-2011

The Harvard/MIT MD-PhD program has ambitious goals. We aim to be the premier source of the world's physician-scientist leaders.  We are strengthening ties between our students, faculty, and alumni across all Harvard and MIT institutions.  We have unified the basic and social science tracks to honor all MD-PhD careers with the same level of MSTP funding support. Next year, we hope to create additional events that foster peer-to-peer and faculty-student mentorship opportunities across science, clinical, biotechnology, and educational realms. With your help, we can accomplish all of this and more. 

Please support the new Linda Burnley Fund as generously as you can.  We will keep you posted regularly regarding the direct impact of your financial support and we hope that donating to the Linda Burnley Fund will become a yearly demonstration of your ongoing support of our mission.


Loren D. Walensky, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program


See MSKCC article featuring Linda Burnley