Dr. Benjamin Wolozin Receives Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Fellows Award

December 4th, 2013 in Recent News

wolozin_2006From the Office of the Dean:

I am pleased to share that Benjamin Wolozin, MD, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology and Neurology, was awarded the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Fellows Award.  Initiated in 1991, the award provides support for cutting edge basic science or biomedical research that addresses fundamental problems related to early detection, etiology pathogenesis, treatment and/or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The award is valued at $450,000, which will be dispersed over three years.

The Wolozin Lab won the award with its proposal “It Takes TIA to Tangle: The Role of RNA Binding Proteins in AD.” The laboratory already has discovered a RNA binding protein that induces tau misfolding, one of the essential steps that leads to cognitive loss in AD. This award will allow the Wolozin Lab to experimentally induce the misfolding, investigate the factors that regulate the misfolding and in the future, potentially design therapeutics to prevent the misfolding.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Wolozin on this award.

Karen Antman, MD
Provost, Boston University Medical Campus
Dean, School of Medicine
Professor of Medicine

BU Pharmacology Trainee Discovers FDA Approved Treatment for MS

November 14th, 2013 in Alumni Spotlight, Recent News

RhodesKenneth J. Rhodes, Ph.D., Vice President of Neurology Discovery at Biogen Idec and an alumni of the Boston University Pharmacology Training Program, led the team of researchers that developed Tecfidera, an oral medication that defends against relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Tecfidera, also known as dimethyl fumarate, for treating relapsing multiple sclerosis. This new drug delays progression of physical disability and slows the development of brain lesions associated with MS. It also reduces the inflammation caused when the immune system attacks myelin, which ultimately results in less damage to myelin in the body. In a Biogen Idec press release, Dr. Kenneth Rhodes stated that, “these exciting results support further research, as the data suggest that neublastin may have the potential to promote sensory neuronal regeneration and functional recovery following injury. The neublastin program is part of Biogen Idec’s commitment to innovative neurological science and discovery.”

According to the Boston Business Journal, Tecfidera “tops the list of the biggest potential revenue-generating drugs launched so far this year in the U.S., with expected sales of $2.9 billion by 2018.”

Dr. Kenneth Rhodes joined Biogen Idec in May 2007 after spending ten years in the Neuroscience Department at Wyeth, where he also led neurodegeneration drug discovery teams researching MS among epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. He served as a postdoctoral trainee under the mentorship of Dr. David H. Farb, Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine, from 1992-1993. Dr. Rhodes has published over 50 research papers in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, Neuron, and the Journal of Neuroscience and most recently was the Keynote Speaker for the 2013 BU-Pfizer Symposium on “Therapeutic Innovation: Oxidative Stress and the Next Generation of Discovery” held November 5, 2013.

2013 Pfizer Symposium – “Therapeutic Innovation: Oxidative Stress and the Next Generation of Discovery

November 14th, 2013 in Event Highlights

Please click here for the 2013 BU-Pfizer Symposium program book PDF file.

Therapeutic_Innovation_Symposium_2013_poster1

Boston University Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics – Pfizer Symposium

Tuesday, November 5, 2013   8am to 7pm
Boston University Trustee Ballroom, 1 Silber Way, 9th Floor, Boston, MA

For more information, please contact Ms. Sara Johnson at pharm3@bu.edu or 617-638-4302.

Kendra Kobrin receives Carl E. Rosow Award for Pharmacology Education

September 25th, 2013 in Student Spotlight

IMG_0219Kendra Kobrin, M.D., Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacology, received the Carl E. Rosow Award for Pharmacology Education at the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics New Faculty & New Student Reception held on 19 September.

Kendra graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University in 2008 with Bachelor degrees in both Psychology and Music. Following graduation, she spent a year as a Research Assistant in the Dermatology Department at Roger Williams Medical Center before enrolling at Boston University School of Medicine. As a second year student in the Disease and Therapy course, Kendra especially excelled in the Neurology and Psychology Modules and joined the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics for her dissertation work shortly thereafter. In 2011 Kendra joined Dr. Gary Kaplan’s laboratory at the VA Hospital in Jamaica Plain, where her research focuses on neuronal morphological changes associated with extinction of opioid use and relapse to drug-seeking behavior in animal models.

Kendra has excelled in both her medical and graduate pharmacology courses, serves as Tutor Coordinator for the Disease and Therapy course, and contributes to Pharmacology orientation and recruitment events. As the 2013 recipient of the Carl E. Rosow Award for Pharmacology Education, Kendra exemplifies the leadership and academic qualities we seek to foster in all of our graduate students. We are proud of Kendra’s accomplishments and enthusiastic about her bright future in research and medicine.

Dr. Carl Rosow, for whom the award is named, is an M.D., Ph.D. graduate of Boston University School of Medicine and Professor of Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School. Since 1985 Dr. Rosow has honored his Ph.D. mentor Dr. Joseph Cochin, an internationally recognized authority on opioids, by teaching this subject to medical students in the second-year curriculum and donating his honorarium to the school. The Carl E. Rosow Award for Pharmacology Education serves both to honor graduate students for their excellence in teaching pharmacology and Dr. Rosow for his continued service to his alma mater and its students.

Congratulations to both Dr. Rosow and Kendra Kobrin for the recognition of their unwavering dedication to superior medical education.

September 2013 issue of The Pharmacologist now available

September 20th, 2013 in Recent News

TP September 2013.inddThe September 2013 issue of The Pharmacologist is now available online. Read about new Executive Officer Judith A. Siuciak, some thoughts from President Rick Neubig, the program for the Joint ASPET/Chinese Pharmacological Society Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2014, and more. Be sure to check it out!

 

 

 

In this issue: 

  • Introduction to new ASPET President, Judith A. Siuciak, Ph.D.
  • Message from new ASPET President, Richard R. Neubig, M.D., Ph.D.
  • ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2014: Program and Information
  • ASPET 2013 Annual Membership Survey Results
  • New ASPET Committee & Division Lists
  • The Case of Elizabeth Hughes: Juvenile Diabetes at the Dawn of Insulin, by Rebecca J. Anderson, Ph.D.
  • Career Center
  • Book Review, by Christine K. Carrico, Ph.D.
  • In the Spotlight: Interviews with ASPET Members
  • Obituaries: Toshio Narahashi and William L. Woolverton
  • Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting program information
  • Great Lakes Chapter Annual Meeting abstracts

 

Originally published by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Wendy Wei Qiao Qiu, M.D., Ph.D., receives J&J CIAP Award

September 17th, 2013 in Recent News

10-3009-PHARMAHEAD-050Dr. Wendy Wei Qiao Qiu was chosen to receive the 2013 Johnson & Johnson Clinical Innovation Award Program (J&J CIAP) award. According to the BU Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization website, the J&J CIAP was designed to “stimulate innovative solutions to unmet clinical challenges emerging from the Boston University medical community” by funding research projects with the greatest potential to impact human health.

 

Dr. Qiu was chosen for this recognition from many talented Boston University practicing clinicians for her research on Alzheimer’s disease. As an awardee of the Clinical Innovation Award Program, she will be recognized at the program’s annual event, invited to serve as clinical advisor to the project team, and will have an opportunity to contribute to breakthrough medical technologies. In addition, she will be supported with an initial development grant of up to $15,000.

 

An Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology,  Dr. Qiu is the Principal Investigator in the Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry in Aging in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics.

 

Congratulations, Dr. Qiu!

Junior Faculty Win Career Development Professorships

September 16th, 2013 in Faculty Spotlight

Hui-e1344014884721Hui Feng spends a lot of time staring through zebra fish. Through because these vertebrates, which have a great deal of genetics in common with humans, are transparent. In fact, one particular breed, called Casper—after the Friendly Ghost—is so phantasmal that Feng says that “you can read newspapers through this fish.”

Feng doesn’t read the news through them, though. The School of Medicine assistant professor of pharmacology and medicine is more interested in tracking the pathways of dyed tumor cells as they metastasize through the zebra fish’s vasculature, which is tinted a contrasting color. In the less than two years since her tank-filled lab opened, she has identified genes that, when blocked with targeted treatments, could prevent the metastasis of certain types of cancer, like the most stubborn forms of leukemia.

In recognition of her groundbreaking work, Feng was awarded the Ralph Edwards Career Development Professorship, which recognizes MED researchers. The award was made possible this year by the estate of obstetrician and gynecologist Ralph Edwards (MED’52).

Feng, director of the Laboratory of Zebrafish Genetics & Cancer Therapeutics, says the honor reminds her that University officials appreciate faculty research and they want to support it. “It’s not just about the money,” she says. “The spiritual or mental support really means so much to us.”

Karen Antman, MED dean and Medical Campus provost, recalls the researcher’s discoveries early in her career, which found their way to top-tier research journals, including NatureCell BiologyCancer Cell, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, and PNAS. A graduate of Beijing Medical University, Feng completed a master’s in cardiovascular pharmacology at Peking Union Medical College and a doctorate in cellular biology at the University of Georgia.

“Since joining the School of Medicine faculty,” Antman says, “Dr. Feng has demonstrated an exceptional level of scholarship, mentorship, teaching, and collegiality and quickly established herself as an independent research scientist, effectively and efficiently setting up a robust research program.”

Feng is one of three assistant professors who were given career development awards, which recognize junior faculty who have been at the University for less than two years and have held no prior professorships. Cornel Ban, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of international relations, received the inaugural Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt Career Development Professorship, dedicated to CAS scholars. And Nachiketa Sahoo, a School of Management assistant professor of information systems, was awarded the Reidy Family Career Development Professorship, which has recognized faculty members in SMG and the College of Engineering in alternating years since 2010.

Contributions from BU trustee Stuart W. Pratt (CAS’69) and his wife, Elizabeth, and trustee Richard D. Reidy (SMG’82) and his wife, Minda G. Reidy (SMG’82, GSM’84) made the professorships possible.

Each award comes with a three-year nonrenewable stipend used to support scholarly or creative work and to cover a portion of the faculty member’s salary. Deans of the respective schools or colleges nominate faculty for these honors, and the Office of the Provost makes the final selections.

“We are extremely grateful to Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt, Richard and Minda Reidy, and posthumously, Ralph Edwards for their generosity and for the vision they’ve shown in supporting the future of these very important fields,” says Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer. These three professors were recognized for “their extraordinary accomplishments in areas of study, passion for the creation and transmission of knowledge, and their efforts to enhance the student experience.”

Ban’s research has focused on economic issues in Brazil, Spain, and Romania, and spans three principal topics: international finance, international economic organizations, and the diffusion of international economic ideas. He describes his first book, Governing Crises: The International Politics of Crisis Economics from Bretton Woods to the Great Recession, not yet published, as “a cautionary tale about how much we don’t know about how the financial markets work.” He is an expert on the failure of economic models used by governments or international banks to predict the financial crisis that swept the world within the past decade.

Ban earned a bachelor’s from Babes-Bolyai University, in Romania, a master’s degree from the University of Delaware, and a doctorate in political science from the University of Maryland. He says the award will give him the time and funding to launch his next book project, which will focus on the dynamics of international finance over the past couple of decades. “Without this kind of support,” he says, “I could not get it done.”

Andrew Bacevich, a CAS professor of history and international relations and acting chair of international relations, calls Ban an “emerging superstar” in the department. “Since his arrival a year ago, he has become a valued asset,” he says. “His performance as a teacher and scholar has demonstrated that he is precisely the sort of young faculty member for whom the Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt Career Development Professorship is designed.”

Sahoo holds a master’s degree in knowledge discovery and data mining and a doctorate in information systems and management, both from Carnegie Mellon University. His current research focus is on improving personalized information filtering techniques, such as that used by Netflix and Amazon, to help customers find products that best match their past interests. Recognizing that people are dynamic and that their preferences change over time, he has adjusted these filtering techniques so that they show more accurate recommendations across a variety of platforms.

In a separate branch of research, Sahoo is analyzing the messages exchanged between individuals on corporate social media, such as blogs, to identify expertise that exists inside a company.

“New technologies to help people connect to each other are exacerbating the problem of information overload at a personal level,” says Sahoo. “There is too much information to sift through and there is limited time. It’s important to develop tools and techniques that help us find the bits of relevant information faster.”

Sahoo says he will use the award to hire a research assistant to help with data collection and analysis.

“Dr. Sahoo is a wonderful addition to our faculty: a productive researcher, a great colleague, and a committed teacher,” says Kenneth Freeman, SMG’s Allen Questrom Professor and Dean.

Original article was authored by Leslie Friday and posted on BU Today 13 September 2013.

Junior Faculty Win Career Development Professorships

September 16th, 2013 in Recent News

Hui-e1344014884721Hui Feng spends a lot of time staring through zebra fish. Through because these vertebrates, which have a great deal of genetics in common with humans, are transparent. In fact, one particular breed, called Casper—after the Friendly Ghost—is so phantasmal that Feng says that “you can read newspapers through this fish.”

Feng doesn’t read the news through them, though. The School of Medicine assistant professor of pharmacology and medicine is more interested in tracking the pathways of dyed tumor cells as they metastasize through the zebra fish’s vasculature, which is tinted a contrasting color. In the less than two years since her tank-filled lab opened, she has identified genes that, when blocked with targeted treatments, could prevent the metastasis of certain types of cancer, like the most stubborn forms of leukemia.

In recognition of her groundbreaking work, Feng was awarded the Ralph Edwards Career Development Professorship, which recognizes MED researchers. The award was made possible this year by the estate of obstetrician and gynecologist Ralph Edwards (MED’52).

Feng, director of the Laboratory of Zebrafish Genetics & Cancer Therapeutics, says the honor reminds her that University officials appreciate faculty research and they want to support it. “It’s not just about the money,” she says. “The spiritual or mental support really means so much to us.”

Karen Antman, MED dean and Medical Campus provost, recalls the researcher’s discoveries early in her career, which found their way to top-tier research journals, including NatureCell BiologyCancer Cell, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, and PNAS. A graduate of Beijing Medical University, Feng completed a master’s in cardiovascular pharmacology at Peking Union Medical College and a doctorate in cellular biology at the University of Georgia.

“Since joining the School of Medicine faculty,” Antman says, “Dr. Feng has demonstrated an exceptional level of scholarship, mentorship, teaching, and collegiality and quickly established herself as an independent research scientist, effectively and efficiently setting up a robust research program.”

Feng is one of three assistant professors who were given career development awards, which recognize junior faculty who have been at the University for less than two years and have held no prior professorships. Cornel Ban, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of international relations, received the inaugural Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt Career Development Professorship, dedicated to CAS scholars. And Nachiketa Sahoo, a School of Management assistant professor of information systems, was awarded the Reidy Family Career Development Professorship, which has recognized faculty members in SMG and the College of Engineering in alternating years since 2010.

Contributions from BU trustee Stuart W. Pratt (CAS’69) and his wife, Elizabeth, and trustee Richard D. Reidy (SMG’82) and his wife, Minda G. Reidy (SMG’82, GSM’84) made the professorships possible.

Each award comes with a three-year nonrenewable stipend used to support scholarly or creative work and to cover a portion of the faculty member’s salary. Deans of the respective schools or colleges nominate faculty for these honors, and the Office of the Provost makes the final selections.

“We are extremely grateful to Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt, Richard and Minda Reidy, and posthumously, Ralph Edwards for their generosity and for the vision they’ve shown in supporting the future of these very important fields,” says Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer. These three professors were recognized for “their extraordinary accomplishments in areas of study, passion for the creation and transmission of knowledge, and their efforts to enhance the student experience.”

Ban’s research has focused on economic issues in Brazil, Spain, and Romania, and spans three principal topics: international finance, international economic organizations, and the diffusion of international economic ideas. He describes his first book, Governing Crises: The International Politics of Crisis Economics from Bretton Woods to the Great Recession, not yet published, as “a cautionary tale about how much we don’t know about how the financial markets work.” He is an expert on the failure of economic models used by governments or international banks to predict the financial crisis that swept the world within the past decade.

Ban earned a bachelor’s from Babes-Bolyai University, in Romania, a master’s degree from the University of Delaware, and a doctorate in political science from the University of Maryland. He says the award will give him the time and funding to launch his next book project, which will focus on the dynamics of international finance over the past couple of decades. “Without this kind of support,” he says, “I could not get it done.”

Andrew Bacevich, a CAS professor of history and international relations and acting chair of international relations, calls Ban an “emerging superstar” in the department. “Since his arrival a year ago, he has become a valued asset,” he says. “His performance as a teacher and scholar has demonstrated that he is precisely the sort of young faculty member for whom the Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt Career Development Professorship is designed.”

Sahoo holds a master’s degree in knowledge discovery and data mining and a doctorate in information systems and management, both from Carnegie Mellon University. His current research focus is on improving personalized information filtering techniques, such as that used by Netflix and Amazon, to help customers find products that best match their past interests. Recognizing that people are dynamic and that their preferences change over time, he has adjusted these filtering techniques so that they show more accurate recommendations across a variety of platforms.

In a separate branch of research, Sahoo is analyzing the messages exchanged between individuals on corporate social media, such as blogs, to identify expertise that exists inside a company.

“New technologies to help people connect to each other are exacerbating the problem of information overload at a personal level,” says Sahoo. “There is too much information to sift through and there is limited time. It’s important to develop tools and techniques that help us find the bits of relevant information faster.”

Sahoo says he will use the award to hire a research assistant to help with data collection and analysis.

“Dr. Sahoo is a wonderful addition to our faculty: a productive researcher, a great colleague, and a committed teacher,” says Kenneth Freeman, SMG’s Allen Questrom Professor and Dean.

Original article was authored by Leslie Friday and posted on BU Today 13 September 2013.

Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu honored by Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative

August 28th, 2013 in Recent News

DSC_5804

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) honored Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu, Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, last week for his continued efforts in Alzheimer’s disease research. AAQI is a national grassroots charity that raises awareness and funds research through the donation and sale of small art quilts.

Marge Farquharson and Dawn Forde, AAQI representatives, visited the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine to present a quilt to Dr. Ikezu and the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics. This particular quilt displays 54 names of those afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease on the dull side of the fabric to symbolize the mental fading that occurs in 5.4 million patients in the nation and their loss of memories and skills. Each name represents the story of a once vital and productive individual.

DSC_5783

 

Dr. Ikezu also received $60,560 for future AD research projects. His earlier study, “Exosome-mediated dissemination of tau aggregation in Alzheimer’s,” investigated the role of microglia in mediating the spread of tau aggregation. Hopefully this study will provide a new therapeutic target for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative is an all-volunteer organization that has raised more than $925,000 for Alzheimer’s disease research since January 2006. AAQI’s goal is to raise $1,000,000 by the end of 2013 and to provide funding directly to Alzheimer’s disease researchers. In this way AAQI aims to make a difference, one quilt at a time! For more information on the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, please click here.

You can find out more about ongoing Alzheimer’s disease research in the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics and Principal Investigator Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu by following the respective links.

Congratulations on your award and recognition, Dr. Ikezu!

Dr. Rachel Flynn Receives Award from FOSTER Foundation

August 19th, 2013 in Recent News

RLF picRachel L. Flynn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Medicine, Section of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and a member of The Cancer Center, was awarded a $50,000 grant for the coming year from the FOSTER (Fighting Osteosarcoma Through Everyday Research) Foundation. Dr. Flynn was recruited to BU from the Massachusetts General Cancer Center in June 2013. This is the first funding award for which Rachel has applied since joining the BUSM faculty in June.

FOSTER Foundation was established in June 2001 by Stacey Leondis, then a student at Garden City High School, to support osteosarcoma research. Osteosarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer primarily affecting children.

Kudos to Dr. Flynn and welcome to BUSM!