By Lisa Brown
More than 50 BUMC faculty, course and program directors gathered Dec. 21-22 in Hiebert Lounge to take part in the two-day joint faculty development program, “Critical Thinking Strategies for Health Professionals.” Led by Gerald Nosich, PhD, a noted authority on the subject, the workshop was designed to help teaching professionals engage their students in critical thinking within the discipline or subject matter they are studying.
“If you’ve been teaching a course three or four times and you get into a rut, these workshops help you think more creatively and critically in a variety of ways,” said Lance Laird, M. Div, Th.D, assistant director of the Master of Science Program in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice in Graduate Medical Sciences. “It’s a great way to review and revaluate how you are teaching and drawing your students into the course.”
Researchers from Boston University, the Cleveland Clinic, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, have been awarded a $16 million* grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS). This seven-year, multi-center grant will be used to create methods for detecting and diagnosing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) during life as well as examining risk factors for CTE.
CTE is a degenerative brain disease characterized by changes in behavior, mood and cognition, including the development of dementia. Currently it can only be diagnosed post-mortem through examination of an abnormal form of tau protein. CTE has been found most often in professional contact sport athletes (e.g., boxers, football players) who have been subjected to repetitive blows to the head resulting in symptomatic concussive and asymptomatic subconcussive trauma. Neuropathologically-confirmed CTE has been reported in individuals as young as 17 and in athletes who only played sports through high school or college. It also has been found in non-athletes who experienced repetitive head impacts, including military service members.
According to the researchers, although the neuropathological features of CTE have become further clarified in recent years, the clinical presentation of CTE is still not well characterized and there remains no method to diagnose it before death. “There are so many critical unanswered questions about CTE. We are optimistic that this project will lead to many of these answers, by developing accurate methods of detecting and diagnosing CTE during life, and by examining genetic and other risk factors for this disease,” explained lead principal investigator, Robert Stern, PhD, professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and anatomy & neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, where he is Clinical Core director of the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease and CTE Center.
Through this grant, NINDS is funding a longitudinal study of former NFL players, former college football players and a control group of individuals without any history of contact sports or brain injury. Participants will be examined at one of four centers across the country, including Boston University School of Medicine; Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas; Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City.
Participants in the study will undergo extensive clinical examinations, as well as state-of-the art PET scans, advanced MRI scans, experimental blood tests and other potential methods of detecting changes in the brain associated with CTE. Researchers also will refine and validate specific criteria for clinical diagnosis of the disease and will investigate genetic and head impact exposure risk factors for CTE in order to begin to determine why some people are more prone to get CTE than others. Project data will be shared with researchers across the country and abroad to facilitate a more complete understanding of this disease, ultimately leading to successful methods of preventing and treating CTE.
The other principal investigators are Jeffrey Cummings, MD, ScD, (director, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and Cleveland; the Camille and Larry Ruvo Chair of the Neurological Institute of Cleveland Clinic; and professor of medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University); Eric Reiman, MD (executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Phoenix) and Martha Shenton, PhD (director, Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory and senior scientist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; professor of psychiatry and radiology, Harvard Medical School). The project involves a group of approximately 50 investigators, representing 17 research institutions.
“There is an urgent need to clarify the clinical and biological consequences of repetitive head impacts in athletics and to use this information to find the best ways to treat and prevent those consequences,” said Reiman. “It is both a great privilege and responsibility to help in that endeavor.”
“This research is an exciting and important opportunity to acquire new information about the potential devastating consequences of repetitive head impact including CTE,” said Shenton. “We hope that by gaining this knowledge, new avenues of treatment will emerge for those who experience debilitating symptoms from repetitive brain trauma.”
“We currently have no method to diagnosis CTE during life and it is crucial to take the next steps to better understand this disease,” said Cummings. “This grant will allow us to take what we know about CTE and move to the next level of research, with the end goal of diagnosing these athletes at early stages of the illness when treatments may help prevent the progression of the disease.”
*Editor’s Note: NIH/NINDS Grant No. U01NS093334; the exact amount of the award is $15,859,906
All Students Now Training in Addiction Prevention, Screening & Treatment
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has expanded the content covering opioid dependence and overdose as well as the training in prevention, screening and multidisciplinary treatment of substance abuse over each of the four years of the medical school’s curriculum in response to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s effort to combat opioid addiction.
The four medical schools in the Commonwealth came together earlier in the fall and created 10 core competencies for the prevention and assessment of prescription misuse for all medical students in Massachusetts. BUSM immediately convened a group of faculty who teach students over the four years of the medical school curriculum led by Daniel Alford, MD, MPH, a national leader in substance abuse treatment and prevention, to expand its opioid curriculum linked to these core competencies.
The four-year integrated curriculum includes the biology of addiction, lectures and workshops on screening patients’ substance use and misuse, treatment strategies for substance misuse, and simulations where medical students work with standardized patients (actors playing the role of patients) modeling various substance use disorders to diagnose and develop treatment plans. Students are trained to use evidence-based counseling approaches for both patients who are hospitalized and those seen doctors’ offices.
All fourth-year BU medical students also are completing the BU-developed SCOPE of Pain program, a nationally recognized Continuing Medical Education course on treating chronic pain for US physicians and nurses that includes safe prescribing of narcotic medications. SCOPE of Pain received the 2014 National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Award for Outstanding Prevention Effort.
“Our faculty are national leaders in addiction medicine,” said BUSM Dean Karen Antman, MD. “We previously provided a curriculum that emphasized preventing and treating addiction, and now have integrated the 10 competencies over the four years of our curriculum. Opioid addiction and overdose is a public health crisis. We are responding to provide a stronger foundation for tomorrow’s physicians and scientists.”
Beginning in the summer of 2017, Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) and School of Medicine (BUSM) and will offer a new six-year program that combines the GSDM Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) residency program with an opportunity to earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.
Combining the OMFS residency program and MD degree is largely a result of overlapping scopes of practice in head and neck surgery. For example, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and OMFS all do procedures that involve areas of the head and neck. Combining the programs will allow OMFS graduates to perform more varied and complex surgeries, while augmenting inter-professional education between medical and dental students & residents, and expanding career opportunities to include OMFS or fellowships requiring an MD degree.
Many of the premier programs in the country offer the concurrent six-year MD/OMFS training program, either as a stand-alone program or in parallel with the minimum four-year residency track. The addition of the MD component to a traditional OMFS program provides select residents additional education, training and credentials commensurate with the expanding range and complexity of their surgical offerings.
“The proposed new program will benefit the entire BU community, including the university, both schools, the trainees and ultimately our patients,” said GSDM associate dean for Academic Affairs Cataldo Leone, DMD. He notes that adoption of such a program was one of the recommendations made by the site visit team during the Academic Program Review of GSDM in 2014 and was viewed as an opportunity to enhance the School’s standing among its peers.
Both the GSDM OMFS residency and BUSM MD each are four-year programs. The six-year combined program includes admission with advanced standing to the second and third year of the standard medical school curriculum. The third year would be a blend of fourth-year required medical school courses and the beginning of the OMFS residency. Candidates would then complete the remaining three years of the OMFS residency.
“Working with our colleagues at the dental school, we have designed a state-of-the-art OMFS/MD program that will provide our graduates with a stronger medical background and greater career opportunities,” said Karen Antman, MD, dean of BUSM and provost of the Medical Campus.
“The new combined OMFS and MD program will truly bring prestige to GSDM’s OMFS residency program and strengthen the position of GSDM as a leader in dental education,” said Jeffrey W. Hutter, DMD, Dean of GSDM. “This new program could not have occurred without the strong collaboration and support of the School of Medicine.”
After successful completion of the program, graduates will not only have an MD degree and be eligible for licensure as a physician, but also will be qualified in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. One to two candidates will be enrolled per year into the program.
The Boston University CTSI seeks to fund Mini-sabbaticals at other academic and research institutions. The Mini-sabbaticals are intended to encourage intellectual growth and multidisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration. The CTSI is planning to offer three (3) mini-sabbaticals annually.
Mentored faculty, post doctoral scholars, project coordinators and research staff are eligible to apply. Applicants are required to identify a sponsor institution or company where they are planning to take the Mini-sabbatical. The Mini-sabbatical has to be used to learn about a technique, method or a field different from their own and relevant to their mentored research and career development plan. Mini-sabbaticals up to three (3) months will be awarded, $6,000 is available for each mini-sabbatical.
The Mini-Sabbatical Award begins Jan. 1, 2016 and extends through March 31, 2016. Persons interested in the support should submit materials by Dec. 16, 2015 to Sharon Tomlinson at email@example.com. More information at http://www.bu.edu/ctsi/2015/12/03/mini-sabbatical-award/.
Three Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) researchers have been awarded $20,000 each in Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) pilot funding. The GSDM researchers are Research Associate Professor Dr. Manish Bais, Research Associate Professor Dr. Ann Marie Egloff, and Professor Dr. John C. Samuelson. All three researchers are in GSDM’s Department of Molecular & Cell Biology.
The pilot grant competition, led by the Boston University CTSI and financially supported by GSDM, funds innovative translational research intended to obtain preliminary data for federal funding applications. Many outstanding proposals were submitted, and a panel of faculty members reviewed the proposals to decide which to select for funding.
Dr. Bais received funding for his project, “Lysine specific demethylase 1 inhibitor for improved personalized oral cancer therapy.” In this project, Dr. Bais will investigate two effects of LSD1 on oral cancer. First, this project will determine if LSD1 sensitizes recurrent oral cancer stem cells to chemotherapy and radiation therapy in patient-derived primary cells. Second, it will evaluate if inhibition of LSD1 sensitizes oral squamous cell tumors to radiation therapy in PDOX mouse models. The results of this research have strong translational potential, and could identify LSD1 as a novel drug sensitive target in FDA approved combination therapies. This is the second year that Dr. Bais has been awarded a CTSI grant.
Dr. Egloff received funding for her project, “Improving upon EGFR targeting for head and neck cancer using relevant models.” This project will investigate the hypothesis that Her2 and ER signaling is vital for HNSCC growth and survival in the presence of the EGFR blockade. By developing and evaluating preclinical models, Dr. Egloff strives to improve assessment of candidate therapies and their potential for translation to the clinic. Dr. Michael Platt and Dr. Scharukh Jalisi, both members of the Department of Otolaryngology, will also be working on this project.
Dr. Samuelson received funding for his project, “Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers to kill oocysts of Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma.” The coccidian parasites Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma are important human pathogens, but in many situations hand washing—the most effective way to prevent infection—is not practical. Dr. Samuelson’s project will investigate whether alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which have been shown to reduce spread of many pathogens in hospitals and other public places, might be effective against these parasites.
“I would like to congratulate the recipients of the CTSI pilot grant awards,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “While only three projects could be selected, many outstanding projects were submitted, highlighting the breadth and depth of research excellence at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.”
Submitted by GSDM Communications.
The FedEx Office On-Campus Print Center is moving! The new print center will be located at 700 Albany St. (next to City Convenience). The existing print center, at 715 Albany St., will remain open for business through Nov. 30. The new print center location will be open for business on Dec. 2. Both print centers will be closed on Dec. 1, but print support will be available through the Charles River Campus Print Center, located at 115 Cummington Mall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-358-2679. If you have any questions about print support during this transition, please contact Robert Munstis at email@example.com or 339-832.8007.
Thursday, Dec. 12
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
700 Albany St.
Visit the new and improved FedEx Office On-Campus Print Center and learn more about products and services offered. The customer service team will be on site to discuss the details behind the 10+ year partnership with the Medical Campus, recent changes/upgrades to services and capabilities, and to answer any questions you have about pricing, capabilities, lead times and delivery options. Stop by and learn how the FedEx Office On-Campus Print Center can help your team reduce costs and improve productivity!
Big data is coming to global health.
But who should decide who lives and dies:
Doctors on the front lines or a mathematical formula?
Join emmy-winning filmmaker Rob Tinworth as he discusses the ethics surrounding data-driven health care. He will screen clips from his film ‘The Life Equation ‘ a documentary film that follows extraordinary people making impossible choices.
Watch the trailer
Attend the event
Monday, Nov. 16
BUSM Instructional Building, Room L-210
Light refreshments provided
Sponsored by the BUSM Office of Enrichment
Life is full of challenges. While we often have no choice over the challenges we encounter, we do have some control over how we respond. BUMC faculty and staff are invited to a free wellness workshop, Tuesday, Nov. 17. (Register at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This presentation will focus on cultivating psychological resilience – the ability to cope effectively with crises and bounce back quickly from setbacks.
In this interactive workshop participants will:
- Explore the concepts of resilience and of mindfulness and the ways in which mindfulness boosts resilience
- Sample mindfulness practices including mindful eating, meditation, and mindful stretching
- Learn about other simple activities demonstrated to boost resilience
- Identify free resources available for use in cultivating mindfulness and resilience
Nov. 17 Resilience and Mindfulness Workshop
Tuesday, Nov. 17
BUSM Instructional Building, Room L209
Please register at email@example.com.
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) hosted students and faculty from three Schools of Stomatology in China this summer, during three separate 14-day visits. The visits were part of an ongoing Global Externship Exchange with three Chinese institutions that began in October 2013. The exchange allows fourth-year DMD students to spend three weeks—guided by a GSDM faculty member—at three Chinese dental schools, gaining clinical and cultural experience as well as course credit. The exchange also allows for students and faculty from the Chinese schools to visit GSDM. These corresponding visits have been taking place each year since 2013.
The three groups of Chinese students and faculty that visited GSDM this summer were from Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Stomatology (SJUSS), Peking University School of Stomatology (PKUSS) and the Fourth Military Medical University School of Stomatology (FMMUSS). The visitors were each in Boston for 14 days this summer, touring GSDM and the city of Boston while observation all of GSDM’s academic and clinical programs, as well as the school’s other various scholarly and research activities.
The Chinese visitors participating in this cultural exchange program all specialize in postdoctoral programs, and many of the visiting Chinese students had specific interest in rotations of GSDM’s postdoctoral clinic such as Orthodontics, Endodontics, Periodontology, Prosthodontics, Oral Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry. Therefore, each 14-day schedule was tailored to the interests of the visitors.
Visiting first, from June 25 to July 7, were Dr. Ming Cai, Ying Chen (student), and ZhouXi Ye (student) from SJUSS in Shanghai.
Visiting second, from July 8 to July 19, were Dr. Yumei Zhang, Dr. Jing Gao, and Dr. Lingzhou Zhao from FMMUSS in Xi’an.
Visiting third, from August 24 to September 3, were Meili Dong, Keang Fan (student), Donghao Wei (student), and Jihao Zhang (student) from PKUSS in Beijing.
“I am delighted to see that this important cultural and academic exchange between GSDM and our partner institutions continues to be both immensely beneficial as well as enjoyable for everyone involved” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “It was a pleasure to get to know all of the visitors from SJUSS, FMMUSS, and PKUSS during their visits.”
The exchange program is overseen by GSDM’s Office of Global & Population Health. Dr. Laisheng Chou, Professor and Director of Oral Medicine and Professor of Biomaterials, and Consultant to the Dean on Far Easter Programs serves as the Program Director.
The exchange program started with SJUSS and FMMUSS in 2013 and expanded quickly to include PKUSS in 2014. In 2015, the program continues to grow. Both Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Tokyo, Japan, and Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Dentistry, in Bangkok, Thailand were recently added to the exchange program, with students from GSDM visiting those schools in September 2015, and students from the respective schools set to visit GSDM in the summer of 2016.
This means that visiting international students—from five schools—will be on GSDM’s campus for a combined length of nearly two months in the summer of 2016. At the same time, GSDM will continue to send its fourth year DMD students to five dental schools in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Tokyo and Bangkok for their global externship program.
The rapidly growing program is incredibly beneficial to GSDM students. The students who are selected to participate—only eight students can be selected into the program each year from a very competitive pool of applicants—receive fantastic exposure to the workings of international dental schools while also experiencing different cultures.
“The quantity and variety of the cases our students are exposed to at the dental schools in China, Japan and Thailand are remarkable,” said Dr. Chou. “It would certainly be unlikely for the students to experience the same type of cases in their short four-year DMD program in the United States.”
The schedules of the 14-day visits for this year’s incoming visitors from SJUSS, PKUSS and FMMUSS were jam-packed with events and activities designed to fully expose the Chinese faculty and students to the workings of GSDM, and help them explore any curiosities they may have about GSDM’s programs.
Each visit included a special dinner at Dean Hutter’s home, at which Dean Hutter personally welcomed the scholars and students from China to Boston, and thanked them for their continued support of the exchange program.
The Saturday and Sunday of each visit was reserved for sightseeing around Boston and the greater Boston area. DMD students were tasks with touring the Chinese visitors around the city. The DMD students who took part in these city tours were: Wenyu Qu DMD 17, Annie Xiaomeng DMD 17, Sen Wang DMD 17, Nic Branshaw DMD 16, Mohamed Bayoumy DMD 16, Kayla Cuddy DMD 16.
While the weekends of each of the visits this year were filled with laid-back, fun activities, the weekdays were packed tight with presentations and events designed to showcase GSDM to the Chinese visitors. Each group of Chinese scholars and students was given a tour of GSDM and the Medical Campus before immersing in their dense schedule of presentations and other activities.
The visitors were also able to observe GSDM’s Grand Rounds presentations and enjoy a lunch with the Boston University Asian Dental Student Organization (ADSO).
Faculty members participating in the SJUSS visit (faculty previously mentioned in this article will not have titles in the following list):
- Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Hussam Batal
- Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of General Dentistry, Assistant Dean of Students, and Director of Geriatric Dental Medicine Joseph Calabrese
- Laisheng Chou
- Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research and Associate Dean for Global & Population Health Michelle Henshaw
- Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Director of the Preliminary Internship Program Timothy Osborn
- Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Periodontology Dr. Mingfang Su
Faculty members participating in the FMMUSS visit (faculty previously mentioned in this article will not have titles in the following list):
- Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences & Biomaterials and Clinical Director of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Prosthodontics Alexander Bendayan
- Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Ishwar Bhatia
- Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Director of Credentialing at Boston Medical Center Steven J. Bookless
- Laisheng Chou
- Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Clinical Professor in the Department of General Dentistry John Guarente
- Michelle Henshaw
- Clinical Instructor in the Department of General Dentistry Eric Mandelbaum
- Assistant Professor in the Department of Endodontics Ramzi Sarkis
Faculty members participating in the PKUSS visit (faculty previously mentioned in this article will not have titles in the following list):
- Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Director of Faculty Practice Clinical Services Hussam Batal
- Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry Louis Brown
- Joseph Calabrese
- Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Radhika Chigurupati
- Laisheng Chou
- Clinical Professor and Director of Pre-doctoral Education in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Vice Chairman of Dentistry and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Boston Medical Center Richard D’Innocenzo
- Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics Yael Frydman
- Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Head of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology George Gallagher
- John Guarente
- Associate Professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences & Biomaterials Russell A. Giordano
- Michelle Henshaw
- Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences & Biomaterials Ali Khiblil
- Professor in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology and Associate Dean for Research Maria A. Kukuruzinska
- Eric Mandelbaum
- Professor in the Department of General Dentistry Carl McManama
- Professor and Chair of the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Associate Dean for Hospital Affairs Pushkar Mehra
- Clinical Professor in the Department of General Dentistry and Director of the Division of Pre-doctoral Removable Prosthodontics Ronni Schnell
- Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Director of Quality Assurance and Ambulatory Operations at Boston Medical Center Bradford Towne
Other GSDM community members participating in the PKUSS visit:
- Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Resident Gaby Bonilla
- Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Resident Natalia Lopez
Submitted by GSDM Communications.