By Lisa Brown

Jan. 27 Town Hall Meeting: Medical Campus Public Safety

January 26th, 2016 in Featured

COM Public SafetyBU Medical Campus students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Department of Public Safety and their partners from the Boston University Police and Boston Police departments at a town meeting. Learn about the collaborative work being performed by our public safety, police and emergency preparedness representatives.

There will be a panel discussion moderated by Connie Packard, the Executive Director of Support Services, and plenty of time for you to ask questions and give feedback regarding safety and security in and around the medical campus neighborhood. Your BU ID will be required to attend. There will be handouts with valuable information provided at the end of the session.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 27
  • 3:30-5 p.m.
  • Keefer Auditorium

Jan. 26 Advancing Public Health Science for Global Health: A Health Research Funder’s Perspective

January 26th, 2016 in Featured

com sph forum 26 jan

Advancing Public Health Science for Global Health: A Health Research Funder’s Perspective

Tuesday, Jan. 26
4:30–6 p.m.
BUSM Instructional Building, Hiebert Lounge
Live-Streaming Available During Event

Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD. is the President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) since July 2008. Previously, he was the President and CEO of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ).

Among his many accomplishments, Beaudet was associate director (research) at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). He was also Professor at McGill University’s Neurology-Neurosurgery and Anatomy-Cell Biology departments. He has authored over 175 original articles and 40 monographs and book chapters.

Beaudet has received numerous distinctions and awards, including two honoris causa doctorate degrees. He is a member of the National Order of Quebec and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Beaudet earned a medical degree and a PhD in neuroscience from the Université de Montréal. He completed his postdoctoral training in France and Switzerland. His career as a neuroscientist spanned from Neuroendocrinology to Pain, with a focus of the mechanisms of action of biogenic amines and neuropeptides in the brain.

Feb. 3 BUMC Supply Center Open House

January 22nd, 2016 in Announcements, Featured, Research

BUMC researchers are invited to the grand opening of the BUMC Supply Center, a new onsite provider of Thermo Fisher Scientific products for research needs. The Center, located in the BUSM Instructional Building in room L901, will stock frequently used products with 24/7 accessibility and prices may be discounted because there will not be a charge for freight.

There will be an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m., in room L112 in the BUSM Instructional Building with door prizes and refreshments. In addition, researchers will have an opportunity to learn more about the new Center and how it will work, and may register to use the Center. Questions? Contact Brian Dangel,, 617-583-2502

Feb. 3 BUMC Supply Center Open House
Wednesday, Feb. 3
11 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
BUSM Instructional Building, L112
Refreshments provided

MLK & Kazi Nazrul Islam: The Spirit of Inclusion

January 21st, 2016 in Featured

Winston E. Langley

Winston E. Langley

As part of the celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday, members of the medical campus community gathered in the Hiebert Lounge on Wednesday, Jan. 20, in the afternoon to hear UMass Boston Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Winston E. Langley, discuss the similarities of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the national poet of Bangladesh and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Langley is the author of “Kazi Nazrul Islam: The Voice of Poetry and the Struggle for Human Wholeness,” and is considered the first Western scholar to study Nazrul.

“Considering that Islamic affairs are such a burning topic in today’s political discourse and that Nazrul Islam was a Muslim who spoke powerfully against fascism, oppression, discrimination and religious fanaticism, we asked Professor Langley to enlighten us about the poet’s contributions, in the context of Martin Luther King’s legacy. This is an intellectual challenge that only a scholar of Professor Langley’s stature could handle,” explained Rafael Ortega, MD, professor of anesthesiology and vice-chairman for academic affairs in the department of anesthesiology at BUSM as well as associate dean Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

In an impassioned voice, Langley compared the two men, who despite their obvious differences (race, religion, etc.) shared similarities as moral leaders and activists of their generation. Both understood that belonging to or identifying with one particular group invariably meant the exclusion of others and was the basis for among other things intolerance, injustice, bigotry, humiliation and could possibly lead to torture and murder. He cited as examples, the refugees crisis in Europe, the rise of Boko Haran and ISIS, the Charleston church shooting as well as the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

The event was sponsored by BUSM’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in collaboration with the BMC Events Committee, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine Office of Diversity, BU School of Public Health and the BMC Minority Recruitment Program.

Jan. 20 Celebrate the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 13th, 2016 in Uncategorized

MLK & Kazi Nazrul Islam: The Spirit of Inclusion

Wednesday, Jan. 20, Noon-1 p.m., Hiebert Lounge
Open to Medical Campus students, faculty and staff
Refreshments will be provided.

Winston Langley

Winston Langley

Winston E. Langley
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Professor of Political Science and International Relations
University of Massachusetts Boston

Kazi Nazrul Islam is the national poet of Bangladesh. His writings explore themes such as love and freedom. He opposed all bigotry and assailed fanaticism in religion. Many of his works were devoted to the principle of human equality, vigorously assaulting religious extremism and the mistreatment of women, provoking condemnation from Muslim and Hindu fundamentalists.

Professor Langley is the author of “Kazi Nazrul Islam: The Voice of Poetry and the Struggle for Human Wholeness.” He is considered the first Western scholar to study Nazrul and will explore features of the poet’s thinking with that of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This event is brought to you by BUSM Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in collaboration with the BMC Events Committee, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine Office of Diversity, BU School of Public Health and the BMC Minority Recruitment Program.

Medical Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Nazi Doctors, Racial Hygiene, Murder and Genocide

January 13th, 2016 in Featured, Uncategorized

Students, faculty and staff are invited to

“Medical Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Nazi Doctors, Racial Hygiene, Murder and Genocide”

Wednesday, Jan. 20
Noon-1:20 p.m.
BUSM Instructional Building, L109 A/B

This talk is being given in memory of Robert Berger, MD, BUSM ’56, Distinguished Alumni Award recipient 1982, former Chief of Cardiac Surgery at BUSM and Director of Cardiovascular Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Berger was a holocaust survivor who analyzed the science behind the hypothermia experiments that took place in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. His paper, which was published in the May 1990 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, found that the methods used by Nazi researchers were unsound, their approach erratic, the resulting reports “riddled with inconsistencies.” Dr. Berger found evidence of data falsification and suggestions of fabrication.

Michael A. Grodin, MD
Professor of Psychiatry; Family Medicine; Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights, Boston University
Co-director, Joint Project in Jewish Legal Bioethics of the Institute of Jewish Law
Professor, Jewish Studies, Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies
Director, Project on Ethics and the Holocaust

An internationally recognized expert on the Holocaust, Grodin received a special citation from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in recognition of his “profound contributions – through original and creative research – to the cause of Holocaust education and remembrance.” Grodin was the 2000 Julius Silberger Scholar studying Holocaust Survivors and was granted the 2014 Kravitz Humanitarian award of the Psychoanalytic Institute. He has delivered more than 400 invited national and international addresses, written more than 200 scholarly papers, and edited or co-edited seven books including ” Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation” and “Jewish Medical Resistance in the Holocaust.” He has just completed a first draft of a new book “Jewish Spiritual Resistance in the Ghettos During the Holocaust.”

This presentation is sponsored by three student groups: the Maimonides Society, the BUSM Student Historical Society and the Student Internal Medicine Group.

Critical Thinking Workshop

December 22nd, 2015 in Featured

Gerald Nosich

Gerald Nosich

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.

COM Critical_thinking_workshop“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.”

Grant Awarded to Develop Methods for Diagnosing CTE During Life

December 22nd, 2015 in Featured, Research

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

BUSM Expands Curriculum to Address Opioid Abuse

December 13th, 2015 in Announcements, Featured

pillsAll 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.”

New Joint Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery-Medical Degree Program

December 7th, 2015 in Announcements, Featured

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.