The BUSM Pediatric Interest Group has been selected to receive the inaugural...
Joseph Mizgerd, ScD, professor of medicine, microbiology and biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), and director of the University’s Pulmonary Center, recently was awarded $1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The four-year grant will be used to fund his project to better understand how immunity to pneumonia develops and how it protects certain individuals.
Pneumonia is a significant public health concern for infants, young children and the elderly. For children, pneumonia is the most common cause of death worldwide and of hospitalization in the US. Pneumonia rates plummet in early childhood and remain low for decades, until they begin rising around the fifth decade and escalate ever after. Beginning at age 50 for older Americans, pneumonia confers a significantly higher risk of death compared to all other common causes of hospitalization and half of all infectious disease hospitalizations and deaths are due to pneumonia.
According to Mizgerd there is little known about the naturally acquired protection against pneumonia in most older children and young adults. “The goal of this study is to better define the immune mechanisms preventing pneumonia during late childhood and much of adulthood,” he said.
Mizgerd believes that this pneumonia protection involves a special type of immunity that localizes in the lung tissue itself and cannot be measured with usual samples like blood, lymph nodes, or washings from the lung surface. “The study will determine whether a specialized immune cell that is only beginning to be known (resident memory T cells) is naturally generated by the usual childhood infections, whether it confers protection against pneumonia and whether it decreases with advancing age,” explained Mizgerd. “A better understanding of how the immunity that resides in the lung develops and protects against pneumonia will help us to figure out exactly who is most likely to get pneumonia and why, and how we can prevent or cure it.”
NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases. For more than 60 years, NIAID research has led to new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests and other technologies that have improved the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world. NIAID is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the NIH.
Shinichiro Kurosawa, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology & laboratory medicine, has accepted an invitation from the Center for the Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a member of the Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens Study Section. Study section responsibilities include ensuring the quality of the NIH’s peer review process by objectively evaluating grant applications concerning infectious disease research and ultimately improve patient care and make recommendations to the appropriate NIH national advisory council/board. Participation in a study section presents a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort and requires a significant commitment of professional time. According to the NIH, Kurosawa was chosen as a result of his knowledge, proficiency and achievement in his field as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.
His laboratory strives to bring new therapeutics and novel diagnostics to patients using in vitro approaches and model systems including pre-clinical models of diseases. He focuses on translational medicine especially in the field of sepsis, inflammation, thrombosis and hemostasis.
“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.”
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“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.”
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Every year after completing their anatomy lab, students at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) organize a memorial service to honor their anatomy donors, the teachers who gave them the invaluable right of passage as future health-care providers.
“Being trusted with a human body is a hallmark of the medical profession,” said Kara Kleber, a first-year medical student, during this year’s service on Tuesday, May 5. “Our donors’ most amazing gift was to trust us without knowing us.”
Medical and dental students as well as graduate students who take gross anatomy worked as teams on 33 donors’ bodies this year—a special milestone for many of the students who consider this their first patient.
“I remember being moved to see the tiny blue stitches in the chamber of the heart—knowing medicine kept this heart beating, that someone was here before me,” said Kleber.
Rob Bouchie, the anatomy laboratory director and keynote speaker at the service, makes the donor program possible. When a previously identified donor dies, he gets a call and needs to quickly decide to accept or decline the cadaver and embalm the body, he explains during the service. He then prepares teams of students for their lab to examine and learn every detail of the human anatomy.
Before the lab starts, Bouchie tells the students the age of the donor, how they died and their occupation in order to give the students a sense of the life behind the body on the table.
Natalie Rizzo, a first-year medical student and member of the memorial service committee, spoke at the service, saying it’s hard not to wonder about the lives of her and her classmates’ donors.
“Though a big part of me is sad that I’ll never know [details of my donor’s life], I’m comforted by the idea, and really the hope, that if I could ask her right now, ‘Tell me the story of the very last thing you did,’ she might say something like this: ‘I spent my time in the company of nine very excited, very nervous first-year medical students. And they made sure that my wish to be part of their education was fulfilled. And in exchange, I taught those nine students that, even if your patient can’t hear you, or see you, or feel your hand on their arm; that as long as you act with compassion and respect, and you keep them in your thoughts, then no matter what the barrier, they’ll know that they’re not alone, and that you’re there to take very good care of them just as you did with me.’ ”
Seventy-five family members, representing 15 families, joined the students in Hiebert Lounge. It was the first chance for the students to meet their donors’ families. It also was the day that, if the families chose to share, the students learned a little more about the people, who many consider their first patient.
Photos of the donors sat on a table with notes from the team of medical students during the spiritual, but not religious, service. Third-year medical student Mauro Caffarelli sang Neil Young’s “Tell Me Why” and Nick Capezio, a first-year dental student, read an original poem. BUSM’s a capella group Doctor’s Notes also performed.
The memorial service committee chairs then lit candles as they read out the names of each of the 33 donors. After the service families and students chatted over a reception of food and deserts.
“We look forward to carrying out our part to live up to the trust our donors placed in us,” said Kleber.
Angela Nolin, a first-year medical student, has been chosen to receive the 2015 Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship. The $5000 award supports clinical investigation, basic laboratory research, epidemiology, social science/health services research, leadership, or professionalism research.
One of 56 medical students nationwide to receive the fellowship, Ms. Nolin’s project is on “Albumin reabsorption in the renal proximal tubule inhibits mitophagy, leading to mitochondrial damage, increased ROS production and tubular cell damage.” The research is geared to advancing knowledge about the progression of chronic kidney disease. Her efforts have already yielded a poster presentation as primary author at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week.
“It is clear from her application that Ms. Nolin possesses a sophisticated knowledge of chronic kidney disease and of the techniques necessary to elucidate answers to her high-level questions,” wrote David McAneny, MD, AOA Councilor of the BUSM Chapter and associate professor of surgery, in his letter of recommendation. “Through her many accomplishments, she has demonstrated wonderful intellect and determination. I am impressed that a first year medical student is already making such an impact in a basic science laboratory, and I am confident about Angela’s ability to achieve the research goals with the aid of the AOA Kuckein research grant. I am certain this is only the beginning for Ms. Nolin and anticipate that she will succeed as a physician-scientist.
Fourth-year medical student Owen Kendall has received the 2015 Excellence in Public Health Award of the Physicians Professional Advisory Committee (PPAC) of the United States Public Health Service. The award recognizes medical students who are involved in public health issues in their community.
Kendall, an MD-MPH candidate, created and implemented a free community running group, the Forest Hills Runners (FHR). The goal of FHR is to empower the community by bringing together people who might not normally meet to reduce social isolation and improve physical and mental health. He chose his own community, Jamaica Plain, for its socioeconomic and culturally diverse population to begin the program. With six runs per week, approximately 100 members now participate each week.
“Owen is an empathetic and articulate student with a palpable passion for public health and serving underserved and vulnerable populations,” wrote Karen Symes, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and assistant dean for student affairs, in her nomination letter. “FHR has already made a significant and direct impact on the health of local adults and children in his own community. Through the engagement of local volunteers, FHR will be sustained and likely continue to grow even after Owen graduates from BUSM and leaves the area. This work and his plans to develop a model that can be applied locally by people throughout the country make Owen a highly deserving candidate for this award.”
Members of FHR also have expanded their activities beyond running to include volunteering at a local soup kitchen, attending races to support one another and social activities that are coordinated by a community volunteer.
Kendall also wrote about his experiences with FHR and the role of community running groups in an essay, “Using Social Networking in the Fight Against Obesity.” The essay was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and helped him become a NEJM Gold Scholar in 2012.
Faculty, 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 email@example.com, if you plan on attending.
The Massachusetts Medical Society has announced its selections of MMS Scholars for 2015.
A total of 16 students were selected by their respective Massachusetts medical schools for their academic achievement, community service and financial need. Four students were chosen from each school to receive $10,000.
The BUSM fourth-year honorees are:
Megan Janeway, who completed her post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies at Tulane University and graduated with distinction with a BA in international studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Since the inception of the MMS Scholars Program in 1993, more than $1.8 million has been granted to 184 students from Massachusetts medical schools.
Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA), the only national honor medical society in the world organized exclusively for educational purposes is adding seven new members from the BUSM community. The society promotes scholarship and research in medical schools, encourages high standards of character and conduct among medical students and graduates, and recognizes high attainment in medical sciences, practice, and related fields. Its motto is, “Be worthy to serve the suffering.”
Selected for induction as an alumnus is Richard Quigg, Jr., MD, a class of 1981 graduate. Dr. Quigg served his residency in Internal Medicine at SUNY Stony Brook, and completed his Nephrology fellowship at BMC/BUSM in 1988. He is currently the Arthur M. Morris Professor and Chief of the Division of Nephrology at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
The 2015 AΩA faculty members being inducted are Peter Burke, MD, professor of surgery and chief of the Section of Acute Care and Trauma Surgery, and Gopal Yadavalli, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and program director for the Internal Medicine Residency program.
BUSM selections for 2015 induction are Elisha Brownson, MD, surgery; Lakshmana Swamy, MD, Internal Medicine; Angela Tsai, MD, Otolaryngology; and Christopher Worsham, MD, Internal Medicine.
A formal induction ceremony will be held on May 13, 2015, during graduation week.