FY 17 School Update – Basic & Clinical Sciences, Centers and Institutes
Anatomy & Neurobiology – Mark Moss
- Towards the goal of increasing the amount of research support from industry, the Department reached a new high of over 5.5 million dollars in biotech/pharm funding as part of its total funding portfolio for fiscal 2017.
- The Department continued to excel in teaching in the biomedical sciences with faculty receiving three teaching awards this past year. Two were awarded to Elizabeth Whitney, and one to Jarrett Rushmore, who received the Stanley Robbins Award, the highest given by the School of Medicine.
Biochemistry – David Harris
- Recruitment of new faculty member Dr. Nelson Lau from Brandeis, who will add to the existing departmental expertise in RNA biology. Dr. Lau studies how RNA interference mechanisms, such as the PIWI/piRNA pathway, protects our genomes from the spread of detrimental transposable elements. Dr. Lau also brings two new model organisms to the department: Drosophila and Xenopus.
- Recruitment of a second new faculty member, Dr. Andrew Emili from the University of Toronto, who uses sophisticated mass spectrometry techniques to study protein interaction networks. Dr. Emili, who holds joint appointments in Biochemistry and Biology, will lead a university center housed in newly renovated space on the third floor of the K Bldg. The expertise of this center, combined with existing strengths in analysis of glycans and posttranslational modifications, positions the department as a leader in biomedical mass spectrometry
Microbiology – Ronald Corley
- The faculty of the department successfully co-recruited a new faculty member, Tonya Colpitts, PhD, to the NEIDL. Dr. Colpitts is an expert in the study of the interactions of arboviruses with their insect host, mosquitoes. She will be establishing an insectary in the NEIDL to pursue these studies, as well as develop new vector interruption strategies.
- Microbiology faculty competed for over $8.6M in new research support for the fiscal year. The research support portfolio was particularly diverse this year. In addition to support from the National Institutes of Health, support came from the pharmaceutical industry (Zoetis, Merck, Sharp & Dome, Alios and Janssen Vaccines), as well as DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Much of the funding was for research on vaccines and vaccine development, and therapeutics for infectious diseases.
Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics – David Farb
- The Department expanded educational collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies, including Biogen and Pfizer. A symposium sponsored in collaboration with Pfizer, “Emerging Technologies in Therapeutics,” was held on May 1, 2017. Summer research rotations for 10 students in the Biomolecular Pharmacology PhD Training Program were arranged at Biogen and Pfizer and included group discussion on strategies for assuring reproducibility of data. These initiatives and others, supported by a 2016 NIGMS T32 Supplement Award, were described in a presentation by Dr. Farb at an NIGMS T32 Program Directors’ meeting in June 2017.
- Pharmacology new extramural research support was at an all-time high of over $7.1 million awarded during 2016-17. Faculty receiving significant grant awards included: Neil J. Ganem, PhD, who received an NIGMS R01 on “Maintenance of Chromosome Stability by the HIPPO Tumor Suppressor Pathway” Valentina Sabino, PhD, who received an NIAA R01 award on “Prefrontal Cortex in Excessive Alcohol Drinking: Role of Sigma Receptors;” Rachel L. Flynn, PhD, who received two NCI R01 awards on “Functional Characterization of the Telomere Repeat Containing RNA, TERRA, in Telomere Maintenance” and on “Molecular Mechanisms Regulating the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres Pathway;” and Tsuneya Ikezu, MD, PhD, who received three new awards, a collaborative agreement with AbbVie, Inc., an industry award from Ono Pharmaceutical Co. on “Development of Cell-based shRNA Screening Platform for Targeting Exosome Pathway,” and an NIA RF1 for “Exosome-Mediated Propagation of Pathogenic Tau Protein.” There were 30 faculty publications in such prestigious journals as Nature Communications, Nature Neuroscience, Cell Reports, PNAS, Neuropharmacology, Neuropsychopharmacology, Neuroscience, and Science Reports.
Physiology & Biophysics – David Atkinson
- After more than 15 years of physical separation in the Instructional and Center for Advance Biomedical Research buildings, the Department consolidated into contiguous space on the third and fourth floors of the Center for Advanced Biomedical Research. The move entailed extensive restructuring, and the design and construction of several specialized research laboratories. The consolidation of the Department brings the teaching and research-intensive faculty together, enhancing interactions in both the teaching and research missions of the Department.
- Recruitment of two new faculty members has strengthened both the research and teaching activities of the Department. Clint Makino, PhD, from Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, brings a long established, funded research program in visual transduction to the Department. Mina Moussavi, PhD, from University of Kansas Medical Center is a well-trained, accomplished and experienced physiologist with a commitment to education. Dr. Moussavi will be involved in all teaching activities in medical, dental and graduate programs.
- The Department continued to excel in our teaching mission. Members of the faculty received two teaching awards. Educator of the Year in Graduate Medical Sciences Doctoral Degree Programs was awarded to Christopher Gabel, PhD, and Aaron Young, PhD, was similarly recognized for his contributions in the Master’s Degree Programs.
Anesthesiology – Keith Lewis
- The Department’s Media Lab completed production of over 180 Digital Case Vignettes, which will be a primary feature of the new 8th edition of the textbook Clinical Anesthesia. These vignettes are carefully curated presentations of clinical scenarios, designed on a strong foundation of educational theory. Each 3-6 minute case begins with a stem, and is followed by a series of questions and answers. These cases are designed in HTML5, a cross-platform compatible online multimedia format, and feature audio narration, rich multimedia graphics, and are menu-driven.
- A team of residents and attendings from the Department won first prize for scientific exhibits at the 70th annual Post Graduate Assembly in Anesthesiology. The exhibit, “Interactive Clinical Vignettes – Active Learning for the Modern Classroom,” featured the design process of the Digital Case Vignettes, which is now implemented in training programs across the country as a result of its inclusion in the 8th edition of Clinical Anesthesia.
Dermatology – Rhoda Alani
- Expanded Center for Ethnic Skin received national recognition for outstanding clinical and research programs on skin pigmentation and aging of ethnic skin. Two new faculty members recruited to lead the Center for Asian Skin Health, which is the first center of its kind in the greater Boston area.
- New NIH grant funding and foundation funding received to promote the study of epigenetics in skin cancers (Dr. Ryu) and primary skin diseases (Dr. Chung).
- Hye-Jin (Leah) Chung was selected as one of only 15 BMC faculty to be inducted into the Inaugural Class of the FPF Clinical Excellence Society.
Emergency Medicine – Jonathan Olshaker
- The Department’s Injury Prevention Center is playing a major role in local and national research, education and advocacy in opioid harm reduction, violence intervention and prevention, fall reduction in the elderly and many other areas of public health and injury prevention. Grants have come in from the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, AHRQ and other major funders to foster research and interventions on these important issues.
- Dr. Michelle Kuo, senior resident, and junior faculty member Dr. Jolion McGreevy, were elected to AOA.
Family Medicine – Brian Jack
- The DFM continues to grow its presence both on campus and in the affiliated CHCs. We now have recruited 47 FPF physicians practicing in 12 sites, adding Manet this year, and are recruiting for 1 other (Harbor Health). Nine new PC doctors were recruited this year. Sixty percent of our residency grads continue to work at BMC or its affiliated CHCs.
- In AY17, we (a) exceeded a break even budget by $112 K with recovery of $233K (total $345K that was sent to days cash on hand) and returned to the chair package $648 K (with AY18 budget relying on $510K); (b) submitted a balanced budget, and (c) increased our modest departmental reserves.
- The Institute for Health Systems Innovation and Policy is now active under the direction of Jon Woodson. Brian Jack now directs the Center for Health System Design and Implementation.
- Psychiatry and Family Medicine Residency Program, the five-year program set to begin in July 2018 designed for two residents per year, will prepare trainees to sit for Board certification in both FM and Psychiatry. Its goal is to prepare leaders familiar with the clinical needs of the high cost/high utilizing patients with behavioral health and substance abuse co-morbidities. SECHC will serve as a continuity training site.
- The DFM increases clinical volume significantly over the past five years. The ACC FM unit increased total visits from 18,921 to 28,831, the E6W inpatient service grew from 2,689 to 3,339 admissions, and NPSR has correspondingly increased from 2.7M to more than 5.2M.
- Over the past five years, the percent of students answering the “Graduate Questionnaire” question, “Rank the quality of your educational experience in this clerkship” increased from 54.9 percent in 2012 to over 80 percent four consecutive years and in 2017 was 86.4 percent, or 83rd percentile nationally.
- Master’s of Science in Health Science in Education degree program was approved by BUSM, the University Council Committee on Graduate Programs and Policies and will begin this fall directed by DFM faculty and offered through the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences in collaboration with the BU School of Education.
- Suzanne Mitchell and Brian Jack received the Journal for Healthcare Quality Impact Article of the Year Award for the article, “How Hospitals Reengineer Their Discharge Processes to Reduce Readmissions.” This award was established to recognize one article each year that has made a significant impact on the healthcare quality profession.
Medical Sciences & Education – Hee-Young Park
- Launched the MS in Health Sciences Education and the inaugural class will start in Fall 2017.
- Rolled out BU-Introduction to Careers in Medicine (BU-ICM), an eight-week program held on Sundays for high school students to provide exposures to range of medical specialties.
- Led the efforts of the BUMC partnership with Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC) by involving schools and colleges at both CRC and MED campuses to provide hands on health sciences related activities for its Youth to Career in Health program during the summer. The Department will continue to collaborate with BAHEC for its After School program during the academic year.
- Welcomed new faculty members: Dr. Elaine Lee, grant writer for BUSM, Dr. Chelsea Barbercheck, Director of BU’s BEST and Kathleen Swenson, Genetic Counseling Program Director.
Medicine – David Coleman
- A Single Cell Sequencing Core was established as part of a new Medical Data Science Initiative.
- The Department’s newly established Center for Implementation and Improvement Science made four pilot grant awards and sponsored monthly research in progress seminars.
- The Department’s research cores were used by representatives from 17 companies and more than 330 faculty and trainees.
- A new clerkship to prepare fourth-year medical students for internship (“boot camp”) was established.
- The Department’s faculty development and diversity program sponsored five longitudinal career development and mentoring programs, 24 seminars, and provided 19 faculty development grants.
- Evans Student Scholar Awards were established to support research activities of under-represented minority medical students.
- Eli Shapiro Award was established to recognize medical students who excelled on the third year medicine clerkship.
- The Department’s clinical volume (wRVU’s, visits, discharges) increased substantially and performance on quality metrics (observed:expected mortality, clinic access) improved.
- Four new endowed professorships were named: Dr. Hemant Roy – Franz Ingelfinger Professor of Gastroenterology, Dr. Jeffrey Samet – John Noble Professor of Medicine, Dr. Darrell Kotton – David Seldin Professor of Medicine, and Dr. Vasan Ramachandran – Jay Coffman Professor of Medicine.
Neurology – Marie Saint-Hilaire and David Greer
- The Neurology Department welcomed new Chair David M. Greer, MD, MA, FCCM, FAHA, FAAN, FANA. Dr. Greer previously served as Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Vice Chair of Neurology and the Dr. Harry M. Zimmerman and Dr. Nicholas and Viola Spinelli Endowed Chair at Yale University School of Medicine. His research interests include predicting recovery from coma after cardiac arrest, brain death, and multiple stroke-related topics, including acute stroke treatment and stroke prevention. He is a leader in the Neurocritical Care Society, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the American Stroke Association. Additionally, he is a well-regarded and dedicated medical educator and clinician.
- The Movement Disorders Unit, under the direction of Marie Helene Saint-Hilaire, Professor of Neurology and interim Chair from May 2016-July 2017, is participating in 12 clinical trials addressing biomarkers, new therapies and social self-management.
- The Neurology Medical Student Clerkship has had one of its most successful years to date. Under the direction of Yelena Pyatkevich, MD, Instructor of Neurology the clerkship, and our neurology faculty, we have received extremely high evaluations from the students. As a testament to this, 12 students from the graduating class of 2017 have chosen to go into the field of Neurology.
Neurosurgery – James Holsapple
- The department successfully obtained accreditation for the training of neurosurgical residents in a combined program with BIDMC and BCH. Dr. Holsapple is the Program Director. The program successfully matched and filled its first two open residency positions and is participating in the NRMP again this year. In parallel, the department continues to host a growing, active, and successful pre-residency fellowship in neurosurgery. This program has grown to 9 physician participants and to date over half of the fellows have obtained residency positions in neurosurgery.
- We have successfully recruited two outstanding, young neurosurgeons: Katherine Cronk, MD, PhD, and Justin Moore MD, PhD. Dr. Cronk finished her residency training at the Barrow Neurological Institute is broadly trained in adult cranial and spinal neurosurgery. Dr. Moore trained in Australia and is currently completing an open vascular and skull base fellowship at Stanford University. Both recruits bring strong clinical and academic skills to the department, medical school, and residency training program.
- The departmental research and scholarship program remains active and growing. In partnership with researchers at MIT, the department is participating in the first human trial at BMC of a novel method of measuring intracranial pressure non-invasively. The department also participated in hosting the International Intracranial Pressure and Neuromonitoring Conference held in June 2016 at MIT. Neurosurgical faculty, house staff, and BUSM medical students are active, on-going participants in this research and scholarship activity.
- In collaboration with BUSM and BMC Department of Nursing, we developed and implemented the first nurses’ aid summer program for BUSM medical students (Summer 2016).
- In addition, in collaboration with the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Neurosurgery hosted the first Summer Program in Neuroscience (SPIN) for promising undergraduate students from across the country. This summer, eight students participated in the eight-week program that combined clinical, laboratory, and classroom experiences to provide them exposure and greater insight into neuroscience, neurosurgery, and clinical medicine.
Obstetrics and Gynecology – Aviva Lee-Parritz
- Jodi Abbott, MD, MHCM, was named the Assistant Dean for Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Education
- Somphit Chinkam, CNM, MPH is a BU-CTSI Spring 2017 Pilot Awardee for her study to identify information needs, develop an educational curriculum, and inform the design of decision support strategies appropriate for Haitian Creole speaking women giving birth in Boston who have had previous cesareans.
- Wendy Kuohung, MD, was awarded a NIH R21 for her study of Placental Defenses against Zika Virus Infection.
- Christina Yarrington MD, MTS, is a Co-Investigator for a NIH R21 with Amresh D. Hanchate, PhD and Catharine Wang, PhD, “Adoption of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing in Diverse Populations: A Multilevel Approach.”
- Our OBGYN core clerkship was rated in the top third percentile nationwide among OBGYN clerkships in the AAMC Graduate Questionnaire three years in a row.
- OBGYN residents Roxanne Handal-Orefice, MD, and Temitope Awosogba, MD, were inducted into the Gold Humanism Society.
- Shannon Bell was selected as the recipient of the FPF 2017 New Faculty Excellence award.
- Sarah Crane was selected as one of two recipients of the FPF 2017 Excellence in Leadership award
Ophthalmology – Stephen Christiansen
- In July, an exploratory team met with the Minister of Health in Maseru, Lesotho, and toured several district hospitals and eye clinics in the country. The Department was impressed with the need for training and eye care in Lesotho and will partner with the Lesotho-Boston Healthcare Alliance, the Department of Family Medicine and the Ministry of Health to establish an equipped clinic in the Leribe District and to begin regular visits to Lesotho with subspecialists and comprehensive ophthalmologists, optometrists, trainees, and medical students. This project is supported, in part, by a generous donation from a BU Alumna, Dr. Diana Reeves of Denver.
- The Department continues to grow with the addition of five new faculty members: Matthew Leidl, MD, Glaucoma; Blair Armstrong, MD, Orbit and Oculoplastics; Paul Cotter, MD, Comprehensive Ophthalmology; Grace Jeong, OD, Optometry; and Lauren Moses, OD, Optometry.
- Tatfong Ng was this year’s recipient of the Wing Tat Lee award. With support from that award, Dr. Ng has set up an education and research exchange with the Ophthalmology Department at Hong Kong University with an inaugural joint scientific program planned for October 2017.
Orthopaedic Surgery – Paul Tornetta III
- Dr. Tornetta was appointed the Chair of the Department.
- Total joint replacement specialist Dr. David Freccero joined the Department, expanding the most successful joint replacement practice Boston University has ever had.
- The Department recruited Dr. Mani Berenji to expand into occupational medicine.
- Dr. Chadi Tannoury was chosen to be a Japanese-American fellow by the American Orthopaedic Association.
- The residency program match was the most successful in our history.
- The Department is rolling out a new S.A.F.E. pathway for elective surgery, which will screen not only for medical comorbidities, but also for social determinants of health. This effort was led by Kaye Bemis, NP, with multiple faculty members and has engaged over 10 other departments and areas of the University.
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery – Gregory A. Grillone and Kenneth M. Grundfast
- Kenneth M. Grundfast, MD, FACS, stepped down as chair after 18 years of outstanding leadership. He will remain clinically active and continue to serve as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at BUSM. Following a national search for a new chair, BUSM and BMC appointed Gregory A. Grillone, MD, FACS, as the M. Stuart Strong and Charles W. Vaughan Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology.
- Peter Weber MD, MBA, joined the Department of Otolaryngology in January 2017. Prior to this he was Head of the Ear Institute and Neurology/Skull Base Surgery for the Mt. Sinai System in New York. He received his training in Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh and completed his fellowship in Neurology/Skull Base Surgery at the University of Iowa. Dr. Weber is leading the first-ever Cochlear Implant Program at BMC/BUSM. The program will provide high quality, team-centered, patient-focused hearing care for adults and children with hearing loss.
- The real stars this year were all of our BUSM III and IV students pursuing careers in Otolaryngology. All seven BUSM IV students applying to Otolaryngology in 2017 successfully matched into outstanding residency training programs. BUSM students were the recipients of six awards this past year including the Massachusetts Medical Society Information Technology Award, a $3000 award presented to Kevin Wong (BUSM IV) for his work on Augmented Reality as a Novel Anatomy Teaching Tool. BUSM III and IV students gave 15 oral and poster presentations at national and regional Otolaryngology meetings and authored 12 manuscripts, 11 as first author, all of which were published. We are very proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their future success.
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – Daniel Remick
- Funded study to expand hepatitis C screening, confirmation and referral, with molecular genotyping performed in house
- Successful expansion of molecular testing services.
- Renewed funding of T32GM086308-06 for BMC residents to engage in full time basic science research for two years.
- Three new biobanking grants funded by the National Cancer Institute.
- Recruitment of nine new Masters of Science in Pathology (typical matriculation is 4-6) with a GPA of 3.5, GRE scores above the 50th.
- Approval of the first online courses for the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences.
Pediatrics – Bob Vinci
- The Department of Pediatrics announced the development of the Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family. The Center, which is housed in the Department, has been formulated to respond to the changing health care landscape. This Center will be directed by Megan Bair-Merritt, MD, MSCE. Its mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families living in Boston’s most impoverished neighborhoods. The goal is to use the talents of our BUSM community to develop and validate novel, community-oriented approaches to pediatric care; implementing these innovative approaches into our daily care of families; and disseminating them locally and nationally.
- The Urban Health and Advocacy Track (UHAT) of the Boston Combined Residency Program was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Academic Pediatric Association Teaching Program Award. This award, which is the most prestigious training program award, was presented to the current leaders of the UHAT Program, Kate Michelson MD, Scott Hadland, MD, and Christine Cheston, MD, at the Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco in May 2017. The award honors the UHAT program for its commitment to advocacy training and for the innovative curriculum that develops leadership skills in public policy and urban health.
Psychiatry – David Henderson
- Restructured Child Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatry outpatient programs to address key access issues and provide better teaching environments to BUSM students.
- Reformed Psychiatry Residency training program and Psychology internship to invest in teaching and research mission of BUMC.
- Established the PROVEn Registry (Psychiatric Research Opportunities for Volunteer Enrollment) established for individuals with diverse psychiatric disorders interested in research opportunities.
- Clinical Studies Unit: BUMC Psychiatry has quadrupled its clinical trials studies over the past year. Several pharmacological intervention studies addressing substance use disorders and schizophrenia.
- Snezana Milanovic, MD, Director, established the Mother-Child Wellness Clinical and Research Center in collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- Christina P. C. Borba, PhD, MPH, Director, established The Global and Local Center for Mental Health Disparities at BUSM and BMC.
- African Diaspora Conference November 2016: the Global and Local Center coordinated the second African Diaspora Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. As a result, with Dr. David Satcher as the keynote speaker, the Africa Global Mental Health Institute (AGMHI), was established.
- Huiping Zhang established the Psychiatric Epigenetics Program to conduct research on the genetic, epigenetic and pharmacogenetics of substance dependence and related disorders.
- Yadira Alonso, MD, established the Psychiatric Simulation Center Initiative to improve psychiatric resident and medical student education.
- Henderson established a Psychotic Disorders Program and First Episode Psychosis Program.
- Henderson was named to the National Institute of Mental Health Advisory Council.
Radiology – Jorge Soto
- The Radiology Department is engaged in an industrially funded program to study the long-term deposition of gadolinium-based contrast agents in rat and human brains. Leveraging unique resources available on the Medical Campus, including metallomic imaging mass spectrometry (MIMS) and high-field MRI, our investigators are leading research as to the extent, distribution and consequence of this clinically relevant issue.
Surgery – Jennifer Tseng
- BUSM and BMC concluded its search for a new chair with the recruitment of Jennifer F. Tseng, MD, MPH, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tseng was appointed as James Utley Professor and Chair of Surgery at BUSM July 1, 2017.
- The Department of Surgery expanded its research portfolio and academic recognition with seven new research grants, seven new clinical trials, five local, national and international resident research awards, engagement of >30 medical students in surgical research and >110 publications from faculty and residents.
Urology – Richard Babayan, MD
- Babayan concluded his tenure as President of the American Urological Association by hosting 16,000 Urologists gathered in Boston for the AUA’s Annual Meeting in May, 2017.
- Robert Oates established the urologic component of a multi-disciplinary transgender surgery center at the medical center.
Centers and Institutes
Amyloidosis Center – Vaishali Sanchorawala
- Roberta Mussinelli, a clinical cardiology scientist, was the first recipient of the David Seldin MD, PhD, Amyloidosis Research Training Award. We hosted her from Pavia, Italy, during January to June 2017.
- The XVth International Symposium on Amyloidosis was held in Uppsala, Sweden from July 3-7, 2016. Twenty members of research and clinical teams of Amyloidosis Center attended and presented research at this meeting. It was a wonderful opportunity to discuss amyloid research with investigators from around the world and to initiate collaborations. Several of the presentations were made by our students and trainees.
Cancer Center – Avi Spira
- Establishment of Shipley Prostate Cancer Research Center
- Biobanking Initiative Cancer Tissue Archive for Precision Medicine (CTAP)
- Engagement of Cancer Community (i.e., membership (140+), monthly seminar series, annual retreat, pilot funding, trainee travel program)
Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) – David Center
- In January 2017, the CTSI announced the Fall 2016 Integrated Pilot Program recipients. 80 proposals from investigators across BU were received with 39 investigators funded by the BU-CTSI, Boston Medical Center; BU Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine; BU School of Medicine and the BU-BMC Cancer Center.
- In June 2017, the CTSI announced the Spring 2017 pilot awards recipients with a total of 22 pilots awarded and funded by the Department of Medicine and the CTSI. Funded pilots were chosen from a pool of 47 new applications received and 12 deferred from the Fall 2016 cycle.
- Under the direction of Mega Bair-Merritt, Faculty successfully completed the 2nd round of the K Grant Writing Workshop and submit K grant applications. The 3rd round of applicants to the Workshop is currently under review and targeted to start September 21st.
- Program PRIDE: Pathways To Research Independence to be launched Fall 2017. PRIDE is a research career support program for faculty sponsored by the CTSI and directed by Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, and Richard Wainford, PhD.
- The CTSI also announced the new Trial Innovation Network (TIN). A collaborative Initiative with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) & The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program to support innovation in multi-center clinical trials and studies and the Research Recruitment and Retention Core (R3). The R3 assists researchers succeed in efficiently meeting participant recruitment goals for clinical and translational research studies, including randomized clinical trials for both investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored research at BU, BMC and partner institutions.
- The Research Professionals Network is a CTSI initiative on BMC/BU Medical Campus to provide a forum for staff who coordinate or manage clinical research studies to connect with one another, exchange resources, and receive educational opportunities and study management tools. The network was launched in December 2016 and has grown to 130 members since its launch.
Genome Science Institute – Richard Myers, Anita DeStefano, Alla Grishok
- Alla Grishok became Co-Director starting August 1, 2017. Dr. Grishok is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, and her research focuses on gene regulation by RNA and epigenetics. She came to BUSM from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University in April 2016. Prior to working at Columbia, she was a post-doc with Philip Sharp at MIT, and received her PhD with Craig Mello at U Mass Worcester.
- GSI awarded Seed Grants to Dr. Valentina Perissi for her application “Crosstalk between histone ubiquitination and methylation for the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression”, and to Dr. Daniel Cifuentes for his application “Decoding the epitranscriptomic role of 2’-O-methylation during vertebrate embryogenesis”.
Military and Post-Deployment Health – Anna Hohler
- The Center helped to facilitate a grant from the Walmart Foundation to pilot a program that creates a peer network system for women vets for learning, conversation, and mutual support.
- Center Director Dr. Anna Hohler was awarded a grant from the Boston University Hariri Institute to develop a mobile application to identify and educate those exposed to head trauma.
- Faculty affiliated with the Center participated in community events at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and presented at an event for Gulf War Veterans.
- Center Associate Director, Monica-Parker-James hosted field trips and workshops for area youth interested in STEM.
- The Center has now assembled a group of stakeholders including the Uniformed Services University for a military-civilian collaboration, The National Trauma Center.
National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) – Ronald Corley
- Held the highly successful Inaugural Symposium in September 2016, “Emerging Infectious Diseases A to Z (EIDA2Z): Emerging Challenges and Opportunities.” We hosted approximately 160 scientists who are among the world’s experts in the field, after an opening session that was open to the public (see https://www.bu.edu/neidl/news/eida2z/).
- Initiated the establishment of a pathogen bank for the research community, and engaged and supported the establishment of research programs by BU experts outside of the NEIDL to study outcomes of infection by emerging pathogens. These studies are made possible by pilot/seed funding from the NEIDL.
Pulmonary Center – Joseph Mizgerd
- In the first year that the NHLBI provided Outstanding Investigator Awards, one was awarded to Professor and Pulmonary Center Director Joseph Mizgerd.
- The American Thoracic Society bestowed their Breathing for Life Award on Professor David Center.
- Pulmonary Center Professor George O’Connor initiated the BU component of the grand scale research envisioned in the “All of Us Research Program.”
- The Center created new educational opportunities for PhD students, including establishing a new course (MM725: Biology of the Lung and Pulmonary Disease) and pioneering a program for Clinical Observerships for PhDs in which the students receive direct experience in clinical settings immediately relevant to their research.
- Continuing The Pulmonary Center’s remarkable contributions to leadership throughout the school, Assistant Professor Matthew Jones was named Director of BUSM’s PhD Program in Molecular and Translational Medicine.
Regnerative Medicine (CReM) – Darrell Kotton
- First demonstration of the generation of proximal airway epithelial human cells from induced pluripotent stem cells, and their application for modeling cystic fibrosis (published recently in Cell Stem Cell, and patented by BU OTD); also first publication by singe cell RNA sequencing of human lung lineages generated from pluripotent stem cells, published in JCI. Both referenced linked below.
- Recipient of the “sharing award” from the AAMC to the CReM for our years of sharing cells, reagents, expertise and other resources over the years.
Slone Epidemiology Center – David Kaufman
- Under the leadership of Dr. Julie Palmer, a consortium of studies with genetic data in women of African descent identified a novel SNP associated with risk of estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. The Slone Epidemiology Center and Black Women’s Health Study also participated in a similar consortium on colorectal cancer in African Americans that identified novel genetic variants associated with colorectal cancer risk.
- After many years in locations near the Charles River Campus, the Slone Epidemiology Center moved in January 2017 to the Medical Campus.
Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Research Center – Tracy Battaglia
- Director, Dr. Battaglia awarded $8.6million UOI award from NCATS to support a community-engaged research projects to eliminate breast cancer disparities in the city of Boston.
- Our Komen funded Breast Cancer Disparities Research Training Award is supporting three promising young doctoral candidates from different disciplines – Lauren Barber, epidemiology; Elena Stampouloglou, biochemistry; and Chen Wong, genetics and genomics – to better understand how they can work across disciplines to eliminate breast cancer disparities.
- The Center launched the “Connecting Community to Research” Toolkit. Connecting Community to Research (CCR) is a 2-hour interactive training for community members and patients who are interested in partnering with researchers to improve the health of their communities. CCR introduces trainees to the research process, uses storytelling to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise that community members bring to research, and connects trainees to opportunities to get involved. The CE team has packaged the CCR training into an online toolkit so that other groups can customize and present their own trainings. The CCR Toolkit is available to download here