BUMC Faculty Promotions to Associate Professor Announced

in Announcements, Featured
May 15th, 2019

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The following Medical Campus faculty have been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor:

Candice Belanoff, SPH, Community Health Sciences, is a maternal and child health epidemiologist who focuses her teaching and research on the relationship of systems of oppression to inequitable patterns of population health. Her recent research has addressed health outcomes related to structural racism, cesarean delivery, substance use among women of reproductive age and health outcomes related to assisted reproductive technology. Dr. Belanoff designed and is the founding director of the Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation (CAPDIE) certificate program, which strives to prepare MPH students for equitable, collaborative community health practice work.
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Jasvinder S. Bhatia, MED, Medicine/Nephrology, specializes in chronic kidney disease and is director of the DaVita Boston Dialysis Center (DBDC), the largest in-center and home dialysis program in eastern Massachusetts, which serves many of the region’s most vulnerable patients. He co-created an end-stage renal disease (ESRD) task force and collaborated with Vascular Surgery, Interventional Radiology and the DBDC on successful clinical and educational programs for the transition of patients with advanced kidney disease to dialysis. Dr. Bhatia was an advisor for the development of a Best Practice Advisory for primary care physicians to establish a pathway for referral of patients at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease. He serves on the Medical Advisory Boards of the National Kidney Foundation of New England and the ESRD Network of New England.
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Sandra R. Cerda, MED, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, focuses on cytopathology with particular expertise in the molecular diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Molecular testing is rapidly emerging to determine the need for surgical resection. She is a co-investigator on the ANCHOR Core grant and directs the cytology laboratory and the cytopathology fellowship at Boston Medical Center (BMC), and has trained medical and master’s degree students in addition to pathology residents at BUSM.
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Douglas W. Comeau, MED, Family Medicine, focuses on concussion management. He serves as medical director of the Department’s sports medicine division, head team physician and medical director for BU’s athletic training and physical therapy services, housed at the BU’s Ryan Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, which also is BMC’s sports medicine clinic. Dr. Comeau directs the Boston University Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship. He and his group have assisted with providing free pre-participatory sports physicals to Boston Public Schools through the Boston Scholar Athletes program.
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Laurie M. Craigen, MED, Psychiatry, is a counselor-educator who focuses on clinical interventions for youth engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), the concept of vulnerability within clinical supervision, and clinical educator pedagogy. She has served on three national examination committees and is responsible for creating and editing the examinations that lead to licensure for the field of mental health counseling. Dr. Craigen received Diplomate Status from the American Mental Health Counseling Association for her work with children and adolescents. In 2017, she received the Educator of the Year award from Graduate Medical Sciences.
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Tracey Dechert, MED, Surgery/Trauma & Critical Care, develops national and international standards for trauma and acute care surgery patients. She studies the complex management of trauma patients to optimize the standard of care. She is a sought-after speaker on her experiences during the Boston Marathon bombing incident and subsequent scholarly work on leadership in crisis management. Dr. Dechert leads the Socially Responsible Surgery program.
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Hui Feng, MED, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Medicine, established the Zebrafish Genetics and Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory using zebrafish to genetically screen for potential therapeutic targets for human cancers, based on tumor suppressive phenotypes. Her research studies how cancer cells adapt to cellular and microenvironmental stress and evade immune surveillance in zebrafish. She also collaborates with chemists to develop small molecule compounds to inhibit MYC-driven cancer aggressiveness. Her extramural funding includes a current R01 and foundation grants (including one from the American Cancer Society). Her publications include articles in high-impact journals such as Nature, Nature Cell Biology, Cancer Cell and Leukemia.
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Rafael Mauricio Gonzalez, MED, Anesthesiology, focuses on difficult airway management, with particular expertise in cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesia. His interest in patient safety is evidenced by his integral participation with BMC’s Emergency Airway Response Team, Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program, Universal Protocol in procedural settings and blood transfusion reductions in the operating room, among other efforts. His many honors and awards include the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching and the Ellison Pierce Safety Award for clinical safety.
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Jacey Greece, SPH, Community Health Sciences, designs and evaluates environmental interventions focused on ultimately changing behavior in underserved populations. She has developed a framework and website for practice-based teaching and teaches courses focused on this pedagogy – partnering students with community agencies to create innovative, evidence-based and actionable public health solutions to current problems. For this work she was the recipient of BUSPH Education Innovation Award. Dr. Greece serves as the evaluator for a CDC grant to assess system-wide approaches to alcohol use, is working with the GBFB to develop a measure of hunger in communities, and is actively involved in various education evaluation initiatives across BU/BMC.
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Natasha Hochberg, MED, Medicine/Infectious Diseases and SPH, Epidemiology, focuses on the interaction between tuberculosis, parasitic diseases and malnutrition. Although these conditions are often considered independently, Dr. Hochberg’s innovative work addresses the fact that they often are coincident and interact clinically and immunologically. She also has made major contributions to the epidemiology of parasitic diseases. She is the PI of three grants, co-PI/co-investigator on four and recently was awarded a prestigious five-year, $2.2 million grant from the Warren Alpert Foundation to study the impact of nutrition and parasites on tuberculosis in India.
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David K. Jones, SPH, Health Law, Policy and Management, is a health policy scholar focused on the connections between politics, policy and health. He has been awarded AUPHA’s John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators, Academy Health’s Outstanding Dissertation Award, and the BUSPH Excellence in Teaching Award. His book, “Exchange Politics: Opposing Obamacare in Battleground States” (Oxford University Press 2017), examines how states made decisions about implementing key components of the Affordable Care Act. His work has appeared in high-impact journals and he has been cited in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets.
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Natalie Joseph, MED, Pediatrics, works to continue reducing disparities in adolescent prenatal care, birth and child health outcomes, and injury prevention between low-income and minority pregnant and parenting teens. She serves as medical director for BMC’s Teen and Tot Program, a national model of how to provide bi-generational, family centered pediatric care to a particularly vulnerable population, and has developed novel educational programs for medical students interested in learning about adolescent pregnancy and parenthood. Her research focus is in human papilloma virus (HPV) prevention, and she received two prestigious American Cancer Society Awards to continue her work in HPV vaccination.
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Robert M. Joseph, MED, Anatomy & Neurobiology, is a scientist, educator and mentor who studies the developmental neuropsychology and neuroscience of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and neurodevelopment in children born extremely preterm. He directs the neurocognitive and neurobehavioral outcomes component of the NIH-funded Extremely Low Gestational Newborn (ELGAN) Study. He has been continually funded since his initial appointment to the department in 2001.
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Hasmeena Kathuria, MED, Medicine/Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care, studies lung cancer prevention and treatment interventions for tobacco dependence in underserved populations. She is considered one of the American Thoracic Society (ATS)’s leading experts on implementation of tobacco treatment programs in various clinical settings and is Vice-Chair elect of the ATS Tobacco Action Committee. She has been selected by the American College of Chest Physicians to chair a committee to develop a clinical guideline on implementing inpatient tobacco treatment services. She is PI on a grant from the American Lung Association, co-investigator on an NIH R01 and a PCOR1.
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Christina A. LeBedis, MED, Radiology/Body Imaging, studies emergency computed tomography (CT) of liver, spleen, hepatobiliary, bowel and pelvic trauma. Her imaging study of bile leaks following hepatic trauma has influenced the evaluation of patients with high-grade hepatic injuries at US hospitals. In addition to publishing seminal studies on emergency CT imaging, she has been asked to contribute to radiology guidelines, certification, and best practices in her clinical field. Dr. LeBedis has received numerous teaching awards and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society as a faculty member in 2014.
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Baojun Li, MED, Radiology, is an established academic medical physicist and imaging scientist. In his professional capacity as an employee of Radiation Safety, and with his vast experience at lowering CT dose through technology refinement, Dr. Li has served as a singular proactive champion for radiation safety. He has been issued 23 U.S. patents and is an associate editor for Medical Physics and the OMICS Journal of Radiology.
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Honghuang Lin, MED, Medicine/Computational Biomedicine, a bioinformatician with extensive experience in the analysis of genetics and genomics data, works with the Framingham Heart Study and several large consortia such as the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium. Dr. Lin and his colleagues have identified hundreds of genetic loci associated with complex diseases including atrial fibrillation, inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease. He also develops machine learning models for the early diagnosis of diseases using a large collection of blood biomarkers, images and genomics data. Dr. Lin has served on multiple study sections, program committees and editorial boards.
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Sandra Looby-Gordon, MED, Medicine/GIM, specializes in the field of addiction medicine. The recipient of the Department of Medicine’s Evans Clinical Excellence Award, she serves as an addiction specialist in Faster Paths Clinic at BMC, an opioid urgent care center that aims to give patients faster access to substance use disorder treatment; is a methadone provider at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and medical director at the BPHC Bay Cove Treatment Center.
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Shruthi Mahalingaiah, MED, Obstetrics & Gynecology, focuses on air pollution exposures and gynecologic disease incidence, particularly the association of air pollution exposures, incident infertility and menstrual irregularity. She was selected for the prestigious Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH K12) from 2011-14, and created the Ovulation and Menstruation (OM) Health Study and the Boston Medical Center Polycystic Ovary Syndrome cohorts (~68K women). This work received the Early Investigator Award from the Endocrine Society in 2016. Dr. Mahalingaiah has been continuously funded since 2011. She collaborated on a menstrual tracker application for use in the OM health study, which has a global user base of 12 million women. With this breadth of data, she is developing predictive models to identify women with early stage gynecologic disease. Her lab collaborated with director Phyllis Ellis on the documentary “Toxic Beauty,” featuring one of her students.
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Christopher Manasseh, MED, Family Medicine, focuses on hospital medicine. As director of the Family Medicine/Boston HealthNet Inpatient Service, he implemented a variety of initiatives to improve patient care and throughput within the hospital. He also initiated a true team-oriented care model on the floor by implementing the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) TeamStepps (Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) curriculum for all clinicians and staff. In addition, Dr. Manasseh pioneered the 2×10 rule (discharging two patients each day by 10 a.m.), designed to reduce the average time of discharge by one hour.
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Gesine Meyer-Rath, SPH, Global Health, works on economic analyses that change public policy. One of the models she built, the National ART Cost Model, has been used to inform HIV policy and guidelines in South Africa for the last decade, including two national HIV strategic plans, four sets of ART guidelines and numerous national budgets and proposals to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Her work on the South African HIV Investment Case has changed allocative efficiency optimization modelling globally.
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Suzanne Mitchell, MED, Family Medicine, studies health disparities in care transitions and relationship-centered care; specifically, how communication with patients and families influences medical decision-making, health behaviors and health outcomes. Her research has contributed to the redesign of care transitions for vulnerable populations. Her NIH-funded projects include development of care transition programs for patients with chronic disease and depression, and a social needs screening tool for discharge planning. Dr. Mitchell’s work in relationship-centered care includes an AHRQ career development award in shared decision making and an NIDDK R01 to study the comparative effectiveness of a virtual world social gaming platform for diabetes education. She received a 2017 article impact award from the NAHQ for work studying the dissemination of evidence-based care transition programs.
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Peter Morin, MED, Neurology, studies the cell biology of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, with a focus on Wnt signaling pathways. He also engages in clinical program development for dementia management for patients and caregivers. A service chief at the Bedford VA Hospital, Dr. Morin is the chair of the hospital Ethics Committee. He is the founder and director of the geropsychiatry unit and is leading a VA national effort to launch a web application for caregivers of community-dwelling dementia patients. In addition, he started the VA’s first Home-video Telehealth Clinic for dementia care.
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Monica Adhiambo Onyango, SPH, Global Health, focuses on managing disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies, specifically sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in disaster settings, vulnerable and marginalized populations at high risk of HIV, and strengthening health systems in low- and middle-income countries. Her recent research projects include evaluation of access to SRH services among Syrian refugees in Jordan, South Sudan refugee camps and in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. Dr. Onyango also is the founding faculty member of the Program on Global Health Storytelling, a partnership between SPH, COM and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
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Ashvin Pande, MED, Medicine/Cardiovascular Medicine, specializes in complex coronary and structural interventions. Director of Invasive Cardiology and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at BMC, he directs the multidisciplinary structural heart disease program, performing percutaneous interventions for mitral and aortic valve disease, atrial septic defect closures and the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) at BMC. Dr. Pande also has partnered with Pulmonary-Critical Care, Radiology and other stakeholders to lead the development of BMC’s Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT). He is a frequently invited faculty to national meetings, including the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific sessions.
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Valentina Perissi, MED, Biochemistry, is a molecular and cell biologist whose NIH- and DOD-supported work investigates the interplay between inflammation and metabolism in the context of breast cancer and obesity-induced insulin resistance and diabetes.
Robert W. Pistey, MED, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, specializes in breast, head and neck, and genitourinary pathology. Medical director for the Biospecimen Archive and Research Core (BARC), he trains medical, dental and graduate students, as well as pathology and surgery residents on general pathology including tumors of the breast, prostate and genitourinary tract. His responsibilities include providing frozen section diagnoses as well as general surgical pathology and cytology services, earning him a reputation as a go-to pathologist.
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Elissa Schechter-Perkins, MED, Emergency Medicine, focuses on the intersection between public health, infectious diseases and emergency medicine. She implemented public health screening programs for HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the Emergency Department (ED). The HCV program, now a model nationwide, was revolutionary because ED physicians focus on acute care and hadn’t considered screening a function of their Department. Dr. Schechter-Perkins is PI on an industry-sponsored grant that supports the HCV screening and linkage initiative, and co-investigator on a large state grant on infectious disease prevention, linkage and retention in care.
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Jeffrey I. Schneider, MED, Emergency Medicine, a nationally recognized leader in medical education, studies graduate medical education and is the recipient of numerous local, regional and national teaching awards. He serves as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education at BUSM and as BMC’s Designated Institutional Official (DIO) for ACGME where he oversees 60+ training programs that involve more than 700 residents and fellows. He has been an invited speaker by national organizations such as the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and he serves as an Oral Boards Examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine.
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Neelam A. Vashi, MED, Dermatology, is one of a small group of dermatologists whose research and clinical work focuses on disorders that affect patients with darker skin. Dr. Vashi also has  significantly contributed to the study of body dysmorphic disorder. She is the author of two textbooks, Beauty and Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Clinician’s Guide and Dermatoanthropology of Ethnic Skin and Hair, and has been featured extensively in the media.
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Elisha Wachman, MED, Pediatrics, focuses on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and perinatal substance use disorder, specifically clinical and genetic predictors of infant opioid withdrawal severity. She has participated in NAS medication trials and long-term outcome studies, and her R01 was recently funded to study buprenorphine vs. naltrexone, a multi-centered cohort study of the Safety, Efficacy, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacogenomics of Naltrexone in Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder. She provides technical support on NAS management to hospitals around the country. In addition, her NAS quality improvement work was recognized with a national Gage Award by America’s Essential Hospitals.
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Katharine O’Connell White, MED, Obstetrics & Gynecology, is focused on women’s reproductive health, by increasing access to contraception, enhancing abortion techniques and evaluating training programs in family planning. In addition to her peer-reviewed publications, she has contributed to four national guidelines and practice recommendations (CDC, WHO and Society for Family Planning). Her survey of National Abortion Federation Members on first- and second-trimester surgical abortion practices has been used to inform Society of Family Planning Clinical Guidelines. Her study on oral contraceptive side effects and depression was cited by the WHO to establish medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use. Dr. White has had continuous funding since 2006, and has turned the OB/GYN fellowship into one of the preeminent family planning fellowships nationwide.