By Lisa Brown

Medical Campus Celebrates Promotions

May 21st, 2015 in Awards & Honors, Faculty Affairs, Featured

MED, SPH profs move up the ranks

Doctors can prescribe the treatment, but it’s up to their patients to follow their advice. A. Rani Elwy, a recently promoted School of Public Health associate professor of health policy and management, studies the reasons some patients seek medical help while others don’t. Elwy, who has won four SPH teaching awards and is an investigator with the Bedford VA Medical Center’s Center of Innovation, specializes in the study of patients’ perceptions of their health, doctor-patient communication, and how complementary and alternative therapies can be tailored to improve engagement and access to care.

“As a health psychologist, I felt that the patient role was not being investigated enough,” says Elwy. “Patients bring a whole host of cognitive, emotional, and cultural beliefs to the health care setting, and providers need to know these in order to facilitate appropriate care….Our job as researchers is to work collaboratively with patients and provider—learning from them, not imposing our views on them—which enables us to develop innovative methods to address these complex health care problems.”

Elwy’s work has been rewarded with a promotion to associate professor, making her one of 11 Medical Campus faculty members to be recently promoted (find Charles River Campus faculty members who have been recently promoted here).

“These promotions…mark an especially proud moment for the BU community, as we’ve had the pleasure of watching these talented women and men develop from promising junior faculty into scholars and teachers of national impact and recognition,” says Karen Antman, School of Medicine dean and provost of the Medical Campus. “We see great things ahead for them and are pleased they have chosen BU as the place to launch their independent careers.”

As well as A. Rani Elwy, promoted were:

Renee Boynton-Jarrett, School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics

Boynton-Jarrett specializes in the study of social determinants, such as early life adversity, and their long-term impact on health outcomes for populations. A principal investigator on privately funded studies exploring child abuse prevention and early puberty and adolescent obesity, she codirects the Academies of Investigation and the Academic Development Block for the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics, which brings together the training programs of Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. She is a faculty mentor for the program’s Urban Health Advocacy Track for the Community Health Mentorships Group.

Christopher Connor, MED associate professor of anesthesiology

Connor, anesthesiology department director of research, specializes in inventing new technologies to improve patient safety and postoperative outcomes, such as critical care and pain management. Considered among the world’s top investigators in airway management and new technology studies, he holds the distinction of being the only scientist/innovator in his field to earn four out of the five national safety awards over the last five years. Connor has a joint appointment in the College of Engineering’s department of biomedical engineering, where he is an assistant professor.

Alik Farber, MED professor of surgery and radiology

A specialist in vascular disease, Farber is chief of the division of vascular and endovascular surgery at Boston Medical Center (BMC), where he directs the vascular surgery training program. He is a co–principal investigator on a $25 million National Institutes of Health award comparing outcomes of open vascular surgery and endovascular surgery in patients with critical limb ischemia (a severe blockage of the arteries in the legs or feet).

Devin Mann, MED associate professor of medicine

Mann is BMC’s associate chief medical information officer for innovation and population health and the physician lead on a project to standardize health information across 61 specialty clinics. He studies new ways to enhance health care delivery through novel technologies and the integration of multiple disciplines, including bioinformatics, behavioral medicine, and human-computer interactions. A presidential appointee to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s health information technology policy committee, he has written more than 50 scholarly publications.

Paul Monach, MED associate professor of medicine

Monach researches and treats vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, with an emphasis on genetics and the development of biomarkers. He is the director of the Vasculitis Center, a regionally recognized resource for patient care and research, and of the BMC rheumatology fellowship program. He is an active member of several prominent vasculitis consortia and is co–principal investigator and site investigator on a major National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases study.

Rebecca Perkins, MED associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology

Perkins has dedicated her career to cervical cancer prevention and promoting the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine into clinical practice. A member of the Society of Gynecologic Investigation, she has worked to identify social and educational barriers to vaccination coming from parents and health providers and piloted interventions to increase vaccination rates and acceptance. She has published consistently in top journals and been awarded four grants as a principal investigator and two as a coinvestigator.

Frederick L. Ruberg, MED associate professor of medicine

Ruberg is the director of MED’s cardiovascular medicine fellowship training program and is an attending cardiologist and director of the advanced cardiac imaging program at BMC. He specializes in amyloid heart disease and the use of advanced imaging technology to assess cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle). He is principal investigator of an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant and was recently site principal investigator for an NIH-funded study on the evaluation of chest pain.

Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, MED associate professor of psychiatry

Named a “rising star” by the Association for Psychological Science, Wiltsey-Stirman has been actively funded as a principal investigator since 2007, amassing more than 1,000 citations for her work, which includes a study on technology-enhanced psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specializing in implementation science, she focuses on the integration of evidence-based interventions into practice settings, including VA and community health clinics.

Ann Zumwalt, MED associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology

Zumwalt is an expert on perceptual changes that occur as people grow from naïve learners to experts and in pedagogical approaches that bridge the gap between basic science and clinical education. A recognized leader within her program, she has been honored with MED’s Preclinical Educator of the Year Award. She has published extensively on science education, serves in leadership posts for numerous national organizations for anatomists, and is director of her department’s Vesalius Program, which applies principles of neurobiology to education.

Edward A. Ruiz-Narváez, SPH associate professor of epidemiology

Ruiz-Narváez studies how molecular, nutritional, and cardiovascular disease epidemiology intersects, and how it can identify genetic risk factors for a variety of diseases among African American women. A principal investigator or coinvestigator on five major grant awards, including two from the National Cancer Institute, he has earned widespread recognition for studies covering diseases that disproportionately affect black women, including breast cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

This BU Today story was written by

Catching Lung Cancer Early

May 19th, 2015 in Featured, Research

New test may prevent invasive procedures and save lives

Lung cancer is responsible for the most cancer deaths in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, it will kill an estimated 158,000 people in 2015, more than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. Because lung cancer grows and spreads so quickly, many healthy (and former) smokers undergo diagnostic screening CT scans of the chest, which can detect small lesions in the lungs that may be an early sign of the disease. But abnormal results often lead to painful and invasive biopsies. Now, Avrum Spira has found a better path to diagnosis.

For more than a decade, Spira, a Boston University School of Medicine (MED) professor of medicine, pathology and laboratory medicine, and bioinformatics, has been developing molecular tests to detect lung cancer early, without invasive biopsies. The work has been done together with Jerome Brody, MED professor of medicine, and Marc Lenburg, MED associate professor of medicine. In May 2015, the molecular diagnostics company Veracyte, Inc. released a new, noninvasive test for the disease based on biomarkers developed by Spira and his collaborators. The test, called Percepta™, fared well in clinical trials and could be available to patients in less than a year. The results of the trials were announced in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 17, 2015.

Spira, who is also a pulmonologist at Boston Medical Center, has wrestled firsthand with the difficulty of early detection. “It’s a growing problem in our clinical pulmonary practices: smokers, either current or former, have something abnormal found on a CT scan of the chest, and we’re worried it might be lung cancer,” he says. A doctor may follow up with a bronchoscopy, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that allows the doctor to examine a patient’s airways with a flexible tube.

While bronchoscopy is a useful tool, it’s not always effective at finding small tumors that are buried deep within the lung. “So often we don’t get a diagnosis,” says Spira, “and then we don’t know what to do next: to biopsy it or not.”

When a bronchoscopy is inconclusive, doctors and patients often err on the side of caution, opting for a lung biopsy—either via CT-guided needle biopsy or surgery. About one-third of lung biopsies come back negative. “So one-third of the time we’re taking a piece out of someone’s lung unnecessarily,” says Spira. “That can have complications for the patient and obviously has huge costs to the health care system. Our test can identify which patients don’t have lung cancer, and therefore don’t need that procedure.”

PerceptaTM early lung cancer detection device

During the Percepta test, which is performed at the same time as a bronchoscopy, the doctor uses a small brush to sample normal-looking cells in the upper airway, which are then sent to a lab for genetic testing. Spira discovered that these cells, while appearing healthy, are in the “field of injury” damaged by cigarette smoke and contain genomic markers that signal a high likelihood of cancer elsewhere in the lung. The 23 markers in the test indicate different things: some show protective genes being turned off, while others show genes associated with cell growth being turned on.

“The ability to test for molecular changes in this ‘field of injury’ allows us to catch or rule out the disease earlier, without invasive procedures,” says Spira. “Conceptually, this has implications for other diseases.”

The genomic markers were validated in two clinical trials, involving 639 patients at 28 sites in the United States, Canada, and Ireland. Researchers collected upper airway cells from people who were undergoing a bronchoscopy, then checked them one year later to see if they had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The Percepta test, when used in conjunction with bronchoscopy, identified 97 percent of the lung cancers, compared to 75 percent for bronchoscopy alone. “Our test showed very high sensitivity for detecting lung cancer in both studies,” says Spira. “So if the test is negative, that gives you a high level of confidence that person does not have lung cancer.”

The Percepta test is not yet widely available, nor is it covered by insurance. Veracyte has launched the test in an early access program, offering it in a limited number of medical centers in the United States to gather feedback on how the test is used and its clinical impact. If this trial launch is successful, the Percepta test could be made widely available in early 2016.

For Spira, it’s been gratifying to see the work he began over a decade ago finally helping patients. “Just knowing that somebody may benefit from the product, that’s the most satisfying piece,” he says. “It’s really about impacting patient care and helping people.”

This BU Research story was written by Barbara Moran.

BUSM Graduates: Influencing Lives Every Day

May 16th, 2015 in Uncategorized

IMG_5552_“There will be few days in your lives as exciting and momentous as this one,” shared Howard Bauchner, MD, MED ’79 and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), who delivered the commencement address at the 168th Boston University School of Medicine Commencement on Saturday, May 16. Friends and family screamed, cheered and applauded from the stands of the Agganis Arena as newly minted graduates were hooded and received their diplomas.

BU Medical Campus Provost and BUSM Dean Karen Antman, MD, reminded graduates and their families, “Commencement is the end of the beginning of your education. The diploma you get today is really a license to learn. It is a credential that grants you entry to the next stage of your education. We really hope you have acquired the most important tool of all–the capacity for continued, disciplined inquiry and lifelong learning.”

The ceremony marked the culmination of the academic journey for 144 members of the Class of 2015 receiving the MD; six the MD/PhD; 11 the MD/MPH; four the MD/MBA and 27 the PhD. “Physicians and scientists can influence many aspects of our daily lives, including the political process. Speak up, use your voice to effect change,” urged Bauchner, who also is a BU professor of pediatrics and community health sciences. He has served as the vice chairman of the department of pediatrics at BMC/BUSM and assistant dean, alumni affairs and continuing medical education at BUSM.

Bauchner reminded graduates to take time out of a busy day for a few unplanned, unscripted minutes with people important to them; to make note of good things that happen over the course of a day; and to always remember that, “relationships will sustain you throughout your life, be they with a mentor, a colleague, a friend, a spouse or a child. They must be nourished. “

Elizabeth Stanford spoke for her fellow doctoral students when she said, “All of us started this journey because of an end goal; we wanted to improve the quality of lives of others by learning more about our field of interest. This is a new beginning for us, in which all of our dreams are now a possibility due to our education from Boston University. We are now doctors of philosophy!”

Megan Janeway, who will be a sixth-generation physician, spoke on behalf of the medical students. She provided a balance of light-hearted humor and sage advice. “It has truly been a privilege to learn with you and to learn from you. More than anything it has been a privilege to laugh with you, it has carried us through the last four years. I know that you will push the envelope and challenge the hierarchy to better medicine for your patients.”

“No single profession other than health care can so impact the lives of individuals and their families,” Bauchner said. “Medicine is an extraordinary profession, filled with challenges, disappointments and anxieties, but the one constant is the ability to influence the lives of individuals every day.”

Take a look at our Facebook album for more photos.

A Special Day for GMS Graduates

May 16th, 2015 in Uncategorized

IMG_5219“If you want to make a difference, think boldly, out of the box and take a chance. If we learn from our mistakes, they aren’t mistakes, they are learning experiences. Over the past two years our job has been to prepare you for professional success. Until now your job has been to answer our questions correctly. Now you have a new job. It’s time for you to start asking the right questions,“ Associate Provost for Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) Linda Hyman, PhD, told graduates at the GMS commencement on Friday, May 15, at Metcalf Hall in BU’s George Sherman Union.

Faculty members dressed in colorful regalia lined the staircase and filed into their seats joining 341 master’s degree candidates. “Today is a day of traditions: the organ, the processional, the gathering of your mentors, friends and family. Today is a very special day. The traditions of today are important. They help us connect the dots, punctuating milestones in our lives. “

Three student speakers provided perspective on their GMS experiences and their hopes for their classmates.

According to Peter Foster, who earned a master’s in Medical Sciences, “We are all about to embark into a rapidly changing landscape of health care and health policy. Whether you go into research, business, law, medicine, public service or education, neither you nor society can continue to survive or prosper simply by implementing what is already known. Somebody is going to have to come up with meaningful new ideas, creative new approaches and important new discoveries. That ‘somebody’ is you. We owe it to our future patients, clients and colleagues to never settle for anything but our very best. “

Receiving her master’s in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practices Bianca Bracho-Perez, shared her thoughts. “GMS allows for and encourages the cross-pollination of disciplines creating an environment where partnerships grow and innovation flourishes…It is when we open our work to those not in our field that we gain perspective and create the greatest impact.”

Michael Hendrickson a candidate for a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine questioned, “But what do this diploma and our hoods really represent? To me, and my hope is that this extends to every graduate who crosses the stage today, our diplomas represent not only professional but personal growth. My hope is that we will each continue to encounter those challenges that make us question everything. For that is when we can grow as clinicians and as individuals.”

Take a look at our Facebook album for photos from the day.

BUSM Students Awarded Fellowships by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

May 14th, 2015 in Awards & Honors, Student Activities

Two medical students from Boston University have been selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to conduct full-time biomedical research in its Medical Research Fellows Program. Joseph Park and Jacqueline Estevez are two of the selected 68 top medical and veterinary students from 37 different schools in the United States to receive this honor. The $2.8 million annual initiative is designed to develop the next generation of physician-scientists by giving the students a full year of mentored research training with some of the nation’s top biomedical scientists.

This program allows medical, dental and veterinary students to pursue biomedical research at academic or nonprofit research institutions anywhere in the United States except the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland or other federal agencies. The fellows put their medical school coursework on hold, and spend a year immersed in basic, translational or applied biomedical research. Each student applied with a mentor of his/her choice and submitted a research proposal.

Joseph Park

Joseph Park

Park will working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital under Dr. Matthew Waldor, an HHMI investigator who studies the microbiology of the enteric Vibrio bacteria species. His research will focus on Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is the leading cause of seafood-borne gastroenteritis worldwide. He will be using a novel genome editing method called CRISPR to identify the human genetic determinants of infection by V. parahaemolyticus.

Jacqueline Estevez

Jacqueline Estevez

Estevez will be conducting translational research in the lab of Dr. Mindie Nguyen at Stanford University School of Medicine. She will be comparing long-term treatment outcomes and cytokine profiles (biochemical signaling molecules that circulate in blood) in patients with chronic hepatitis B and C infection who have developed liver cancer. The ultimate goal is to use a patient’s individual cytokine profile to predict how well they will respond to different treatments.

“We are extremely pleased that two of our medical students have been chosen for this opportunity,” said Karen Antman, MD, dean of Boston University School of Medicine and provost of Boston University Medical Campus. “They will receive mentored research training from some of the nation’s top biomedical scientists.

The Medical Research Fellows Program has funded more than 1,600 students since it was established by HHMI 26 years ago.

No Link Found Between PTSD and Cancer Risk

May 13th, 2015 in Featured, Research

In the largest study to date that examines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a risk factor for cancer, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), have shown no evidence of an association.

The study, which appears in the European Journal of Epidemiology, is consistent with other population-based studies that report stressful life events generally are not associated with cancer incidence. In addition to corroborating results of other studies, this large population sample allowed for important stratified analyses that showed no strong evidence of associations even among select groups of the population.

The association between stress and cancer has been discussed in scientific literature for more than 70 years. Despite plausible theories that would support this association, findings from clinical research have been mixed.

Researchers compared the rate of various cancer diagnoses among people with PTSD with the standardized cancer rate from the general population in the same time period using data from the Danish national medical and social registers. They found PTSD was not associated with an increased risk for cancer.

Jaime gradus

Jaimie Gradus

“The general public may have a perception that stress contributes to cancer occurrence and given the ubiquity of PTSD and cancer and their costs to individuals and society, any observed associations could have meaningful public health implications,” explained corresponding author Jaimie L. Gradus, DSc, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at BUSM and an epidemiologist at the National Center for PTSD. “This study, however, provided no evidence that a severe chronic stress disorder such as PTSD is associated with cancer incidence.

According to the researchers, the large sample and long study period allowed them to examine associations that have not been studied previously as they were able to look at rare cancer outcomes and associations among important subgroups.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (1R21MH094551-01A1).

BUSM Faculty and Staff Awards & Commencement Speaker Announced

May 7th, 2015 in Awards & Honors, Faculty Affairs

Honoring the outstanding service of faculty and staff members of Boston University School of Medicine is an important aspect of BUSM. Dean Karen Antman, MD announced the 2015 awards at the BUSM faculty meeting on Thursday, May 7. The faculty awards are being presented at the 2015 BUSM Commencement on Saturday, May 16, and the Office of Academic Affairs Awards are being presented at John McCahan Education Day on Wednesday, May 20. She also shared the 2015 Commencement speaker.

Stanley L. Robbins Award for Excellence in Teaching

Lorraine Stanfield, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Committee on Faculty Affairs Educator of the Year Awards

Educator of the Year in Preclinical Sciences
Judith D. Saide, PhD
Associate Professor of Physiology & Biophysics

Educator of the Year in Clinical Sciences
Jane E. Mendez, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery

Educator of the Year in Graduate Medical Sciences,
Master’s Degree Programs
Maryann MacNeil, MA
Instructor of Anatomy & Neurobiology

Educator of the Year in Graduate Medical Sciences,
Doctoral Degree Programs
C. James McKnight, PhD
Associate Professor of Physiology & Biophysics

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Tracey A. Dechert, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Office of Academic Affairs Voluntary Faculty Award of Excellence

Louis D. Fiore, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology

Office of Academic Affairs Excellence in Service Award

Jodie Trainor
Administrative and Financial Manager

BUSM Commencement Speaker

Howard Bauchner, MD
Editor-in-Chief of JAMA

Dr. Bauchner, is the Editor-in-Chief of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Named in 2011, he is the journal’s 16th editor.

Prior to being named JAMA Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Bauchner was a professor of pediatrics and community health sciences at Boston University. He served as the vice chairman of the department of pediatrics at BMC/BUSM and assistant dean, alumni affairs and continuing medical education at BUSM. He was the editor-in-chief of the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the official publication of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom. He was the first U.S.-based editor of that journal. He has participated on many editorial boards, including currently for the British Medical Journal and Journal Watch. Dr. Bauchner has published more than 125 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His research interests include health promotion, clinical trials and quality improvement.

Long-term Exposure to Air Polution May Pose Risk to Brain Structure, Cognitive Functions

April 29th, 2015 in Research

Skellig2008 via FlickrAir pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study led by scientists from Boston University School of Medicine and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.

Writing in the May 2015 issue of Stroke, researchers who studied more than 900 participants of the Framingham Heart Study found evidence of smaller brain structure and of covert brain infarcts, a type of “silent” ischemic stroke resulting from a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain.

The study evaluated how far participants lived from major roadways and used satellite imagery to assess prolonged exposure to ambient fine particulate matter, particles with a diameter of 2.5 millionth of a meter, referred to as PM2.5.

These particles come from a variety of sources, including power plants, factories, trucks and automobiles and the burning of wood. They can travel deeply into the lungs and have been associated in other studies with increased numbers of hospital admissions for cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

“This is one of the first studies to look at the relationship between ambient air pollution and brain structure,” says Elissa Wilker, ScD, a researcher in the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Our findings suggest that air pollution is associated with insidious effects on structural brain aging, even in dementia- and stroke-free individuals.”

Study participants were at least 60 years old and were free of dementia and stroke. The evaluation included total cerebral brain volume, a marker of age-associated brain atrophy; hippocampal volume, which reflect changes in the area of the brain that controls memory; white matter hyperintensity volume, which can be used as a measure of pathology and aging; and covert brain infarcts.

“This study shows that for a 2 microgram per cubic meter of air (μg/m3) increase in PM2.5, a range commonly observed across major US cities, on average participants who lived in more polluted areas had the brain volume of someone a year older than participants who lived in less polluted areas. They also had a 46 percent higher risk of silent strokes on MRI,” said Sudha Seshadri, MD, a Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and Senior Investigator, the Framingham Study.

“This is concerning since we know that silent strokes increase the risk of overt strokes and of developing dementia, walking problems and depression. We now plan to look at more the impact of air pollution over a longer period, its effect on more sensitive MRI measures, on brain shrinkage over time, and other risks including of stroke and dementia.”

In addition to Seshadri, and Wilker, who is also affiliated with the Exposure Epidemiology and Risk Program in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), co-authors include: Sarah R. Preis, ScD, of the Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics (BUSPH) and the Framingham Heart Study (FHS); Alexa S. Beiser, PhD, of BUSPH, FHS and the Boston University School of Medicine Department of Neurology (BUSM); Philip A. Wolf, MD, of FHS and BUSM; Rhoda Au, PhD of BUSM; Ital Kloog, PhD, of the Department of Geography and Environmental Development , Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel; Wenyuan Li, MS, of the Department of Epidemiology of HSPH; Joel Schwartz, PhD, of HSPH; Petros Koutrakis, PhD of HSPH; Charles DeCarli, MD, of the Department of Neurology and Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis; and Murray Mittleman, MD, DrPH, of BIDMC and HSPH.

The work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (ES022243, ES000002, AG08122, AG033193, AG016495, NS17950 and N01-HC-25195) and the United States Department of Environmental Protection (RD834798).

Biomedical Researcher Neil Ganem Named Searle Scholar

April 28th, 2015 in Awards & Honors

Ganem NeilNeil Ganem, PhD, assistant professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has been named a 2015 Searle Scholar. Ganem is one of 15 young scientists—and the first from Boston University—to receive the prestigious, three-year $300,000 award.

Ganem received his PhD from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College and was a postdoctoral fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of chromosomal instability, broadly defined as the persistent acquisition of both numerical and structural chromosomal aberrations. Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of solid cancers and is known to facilitate tumor initiation, progression and relapse. Last year he received a 2014 Smith Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research.

“We are delighted that Dr. Ganem has been named a Searle Scholar, one of the most prestigious and competitive new investigator awards. He is the first Boston University faculty member to achieve this distinction,” said Karen Antman, MD, dean of Boston University School of Medicine and provost of Boston University Medical Campus. “We thank the Searle Scholars Program for this award, which will further support Dr. Ganem’s research on how cancer cells adapt to abnormal chromosomal content.”

Since the program’s inception in 1980, 542 Searle Scholars have shared $115,620,000 in funding. This year, 186 applications were considered from recently appointed assistant professors, nominated by 126 universities and research institutions. The 2015 Searle Scholars have already demonstrated innovative research and were selected due to their potential for making significant contributions to chemical and biological research over the course of their careers.

“Each of these bold and talented young scientists has opened up novel approaches to answer fundamental questions in biology and the biomedical sciences,” said Dr. Doug Fambrough, Scientific Director. “In addition, they have all thought deeply about how their work might address major human burdens such as cancer, autoimmunity, and autism. We are delighted to be able to give an early boost to their careers.”

May 12 Inaugural Neurology Research Symposium

April 22nd, 2015 in Uncategorized

Inaugural Neuro SymposiumFaculty, staff, students and residents are encouraged to attend the Inaugural BU Neurology Research Symposium on Tuesday, May 12 on the BU Medical Campus. Sponsored by the Boston University School of Medicine department of Neurology, the program will include updates on “Dementia Research from the Framingham Heart Study” and “ Research in Parkinson’s Disease.”  There will be presentations by senior residents, time to view posters and opportunities to speak informally with peers  during the morning symposium.

Boston University School of Medicine
Department of Neurology
Inaugural BU Neurology Research Symposium

May 12, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
BUSM Instructional Building, Hiebert Lounge


  • 8-8:15 a.m.  Opening Remarks
    Dr. Carlos S. Kase
  • 8:15-9:45  Senior Resident Presentations
  • 9:45-10:15  Update: Dementia Research from the Framingham Heart Study
    Dr. Sudha Seshadri
  • 10:15-10:45  Poster Viewing
  • 10:45-11  Dedication of Top Research Award and Presentation
    Dr. Carlos S. Kase
  • 11-11:30   Update: Research in Parkinson’s Disease
    Dr. Marie Saint-Hilaire
  • 11:30-11:45  Closing Remarks
    Drs. Anna Hohler and Rafael Zuzuarregui
  • 11:45a.m.-1 p.m.  Poster Session and Refreshments

RSVP by email to,  if you plan on attending.