Category: Featured

Barriers to Integrated Pediatric Dental Care Common at Federal Health Centers

May 4th, 2016 in Featured, Research

boy-denist-chairTime constraints, professional boundaries, and a lack of training and shared electronic medical records are among the key reasons why oral health often is not integrated into pediatric primary care at federally qualified health centers, according to a new study led by a School of Public Health researcher.

The study, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, looked at how children’s dental care was handled at six health clinics in Maryland and Massachusetts. It found no correlation between success at dental integration and factors such as clinic size, patient characteristics, geographic location, or budget. For example, the most under-resourced clinic was “the most highly integrated,” the authors said.

Instead, strong leadership with a commitment to cross-disciplinary collaboration was critical to ensuring that dental care was integrated into pediatric care, the study found. Recommendations that emerged from interviews with clinicians and staff include identifying oral health “champions,” forming an oral health committee, providing on-site workshops in oral health, and increasing funding for oral health at federal health centers.

The study found that administrators and staff at the clinics understood and supported the importance of oral health for young children. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all children receive fluoride varnish starting at the age of six months or at the first tooth eruption. But, the authors noted, pediatric providers in health clinics often are the only source of oral health education for low-income children, and recent studies have confirmed gaps in oral care and referral rates for children on Medicaid assistance.

In clinics that did provide dental services, clinicians reported that “multiple clinic priorities” limited the amount of time available for cross-specialty communication. Co-location of pediatric and dental services in a clinic was not a guarantee that a child would be seen by a dentist, but instead was “only the initial step toward implementing interdisciplinary care,” the study found.

“There was general agreement that integration could happen only with leadership and vision at the top,” said the study’s lead author, Judith Bernstein, professor of community health sciences and of emergency medicine at the School of Medicine. “Upper-level administrators’ involvement was seen as critical in setting the tone for clinic priorities and empowering the staff.”

The study was sponsored by the Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities (CREEDD) at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, under the leadership of Raul Garcia, chair of the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research, and was done in collaboration with researchers from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Co-authors include Paul Geltman, a pediatrician with a joint appointment at SDM, and recent alumnae Christina Gebel and Ashley Walter.

Submitted by Lisa Chedekel

Air Pollution Not Tied to Weight Gain in Adult Women

April 25th, 2016 in Featured, Research

Exposure to air pollution has no association with weight gain in African American adult women, despite prior research indicating such an association in mice and in children, a new study led by School of Public Health researchers shows.

Exposure to air pollution has no association with weight gain in African American adult women, despite prior research indicating such an association in mice and in children, a new study led by School of Public Health researchers shows.School of Public Health researchers shows.

In an article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Laura White, associate professor of biostatistics, and colleagues from the Slone Epidemiology Center at BU probed the association between ambient air pollution exposure and weight gain over 16 years among a large group of African American women in the long-running Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS). Levels of fine particulate matter, ozone, and nitrogen oxide were estimated at participants’ residential locations in 56 metro areas, and weight was tracked. The study adjusted for potential confounders, such as diet, neighborhood socioeconomic status, exercise, births, and smoking status.

The researchers found “no consistent pattern between weight change and pollutant exposure across BMI (body mass index) or SES (socioeconomic status) categories,” the study says. “The weight change associated with other exposures (such as different diet patterns and pregnancies) … was more substantial.”

The only statistically significant weight change detected was a loss of 0.50 kg over 16 years associated with each quartile increase in nitrogen dioxide. The authors said that finding may have emerged by chance or may reveal “underlying challenges in analyses of air pollution” where multiple environmental factors play a role.

Substantial research has been dedicated to understanding the reasons for the dramatic rise in obesity rates in the US in the past two decades. Animal studies and epidemiologic studies in children have suggested that air pollution might contribute to weight gain. In one such study, mice exposed to diesel exhaust prenatally were found to have greater weight gain in adulthood.

White and her co-authors noted that their models for particulate matter and nitrogen oxide levels relied on government monitoring sites, which tend to be located away from major roadways—meaning pollution exposures may have been underestimated.

Other BU authors on the study were: Lynn Rosenberg, associate director of the Slone Epidemiology Center and professor of epidemiology; Patricia Coogan, senior epidemiologist at Slone and research professor of epidemiology; and Jeffrey Yu, research data manager at Slone.

Submitted by Lisa Chedekel

Trustee Gives $10 Million to Redirect Fight against Prostate Cancer

April 21st, 2016 in Featured, Research

Shipley Foundation gift will fund research in personalized medicine

For BU trustee Richard Shipley (Questrom’68,’72), the fight against prostate cancer is personal. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

For BU trustee Richard Shipley (Questrom’68,’72), the fight against prostate cancer is personal. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

Each year, more than 100,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States undergo a prostatectomy, a surgical procedure that leaves most of them unable to function sexually and many of them incontinent. The majority would live just as long with no treatment at all.

It’s “Dark Ages” medicine, says Richard C. Shipley (Questrom’68,’72), who was diagnosed with prostate cancer 18 months ago and eventually sought out a new, less invasive treatment, called focal laser ablation. The successful technology investor and former CEO wants to see such humane, high-tech treatment become the norm for all men with prostate cancer. To help that happen, the BU trustee is giving the School of Medicine $10.5 million to create a prostate cancer research center on the Medical Campus and a website with information about treatment options.

“There are options, good options, that men don’t hear about,” says Shipley, “and I want to get that message out.”

The Shipley Prostate Cancer Research Center will focus on personalized medicine, finding genomic approaches to better determine which cancers are aggressive and need to be removed or radiated and which can be dealt with less aggressively, eliminating unnecessary treatment with devastating side effects.

“Research can provide a paradigm shift in how we diagnose and treat prostate cancer,” says Avrum Spira, director of the BU/Boston Medical Center Cancer Center. “There is a new, broader vision for what we can accomplish in prostate and other cancers in terms of precision genomic medicine.” Spira (ENG’02), the Alexander Graham Bell Professor in Health Care Entrepreneurship and a MED professor of medicine, pathology, and laboratory medicine and of bioinformatics, is a lung cancer specialist. He created a successful genomic test for early diagnosis of lung cancer, and believes prostate cancer could yield a similar outcome.

When Shipley learned that he had high PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels, which can indicate cancer, he chose to have a closer examination by a powerful 3T magnetic scanner, a procedure that is less invasive than the common course of blind biopsies. Such biopsies take many cores of the prostate without knowing if there are any lesions. And when lesions were found in Shipley’s case, he chose to have them treated with laser ablation, which is far less damaging than a prostatectomy. Shipley, who compares his chosen treatment to lumpectomy versus radical mastectomy for women with breast cancer, learned of these new treatments not from the usual medical sources, he says, but by using “Dr. Google.”

In most cases, says Spira, “we biopsy a prostate, look under the microscope, and unfortunately, we often don’t know what to do next because it’s often a low-grade lesion.” He says it’s almost always impossible to distinguish an “indolent” and essentially harmless form of the cancer from a form that may become aggressive and needs immediate attention.

Such uncertainty leads to overtreatment and damage to quality of life. Although statistics vary widely, and outcomes depend on the surgeon and on surgical technique, anywhere from 30 percent to 70 percent of men will have erectile problems in the long term after prostatectomy. Urinary incontinence affects a smaller, but still significant number of men.

Shipley hopes that the Shipley Center website, offering accurate, impartial information about alternatives in plain English, will become a resource for patients and a hub for scientific exchange on the disease.

“We are all very excited about this gift, which will catalyze research around determining the optimal treatment for a specific patient,” says Karen Antman, dean of MED and provost of the Medical Campus.

She says that $1.5 million of the gift, plus a $500,000 contribution from BU, will go toward building the Shipley Center labs in existing space on the Medical Campus. The gift, which comes through the Shipley Foundation, allots $400,000 a year for 15 years to fund research projects, such as developing genetic tests to determine the threat posed by lesions or blood or urine tests to screen high-risk individuals. Antman estimates that, with support staff, the center will comprise 20 to 30 people, and continue to grow as pilot grants lead to additional federal and industry funding.

Shipley’s gift will also create an endowed professorship designated as “at any rank”—full, associate, or assistant professor—to allow BU to choose the candidate most at the forefront of the research. Antman says that researcher could start as early as January 2017.

A community engagement group, with men who are either in a high-risk group or are already diagnosed with prostate cancer, will be organized at the center as well. The group will meet at least quarterly to provide a patient perspective on issues and procedures related to the disease.

Shipley, of Sanibel, Fla., is the founder of Shiprock Capital, a private equity firm investing in early- and expansion-state technology companies. Previously, he was president and CEO of Shipley Company, LLC, a firm founded by his parents in 1957, which became a world leader in electronic materials and
 process technology development.

Prior gifts from Shipley to BU are $2.5 million in 2008 to endow the Richard C. Shipley Professorship in Management at the Questrom School of Business and $4 million in 2013 to endow the Beverly A. Brown Professorship for the Improvement of Urban Health. He is chairman and a founding fellow of the University’s William Fairfield Warren Society.

This BU Today article was written by Joel Brown.

Earth Day Festival and Puppies on Talbot Green

April 14th, 2016 in Featured

Talbot Green was the place to be on Thursday, April 14!

COM Talbot Green puppiesThe North Shore Animal League of America’s puppy van, along with Boston Medical Center’s Healing Paws therapy dogs helped spread some puppy cheer to faculty, students and staff on the Medical Campus.

COM Talbot Green earthday 2 2016BUMC’s Earth Day Festival also set the scene for a fun and interactive day with food, activities, giveaways and more!

If you missed the puppies, they’ll be back Friday, April 15 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

New BU Profiles Mentoring Feature

April 13th, 2016 in Announcements, Featured

Do you consider yourself to be a Mentor, or are you looking for a Mentor in a particular area?

BU Profiles has a NEW Mentoring Section which:

  • Is highly visible and showcases faculty mentoring expertise.
  • Makes it easy for students, trainees and faculty to find mentors across BUMC.

BU Profile holders can edit their profile and add a dedicated mentoring narrative about their approach and outlook.  Are you willing to act as a mentor but haven’t provided your mentoring narrative?  Please do the following:

  • Read the Mentoring FAQs section, which contains tips on what to include.  You’ll find excellent examples of faculty who have already added mentoring here and here.
  • Make your Mentoring section public to ensure it will be visible.

Anyone can use the new “Find Mentors” search option to look for mentors by role, department/section or keyword.

Learn about the new mentoring features by looking at the “what’s new” section, or by reading the Mentoring FAQs.  Please give us your feedback on this new feature, or on anything else in BU Profiles.  You can use that form if you have questions or issues of any kind.

Art Days 2016

April 6th, 2016 in Featured

Did you miss BUMC’s Art Days 2016? Take a look at this campuswide event and see who’s channeling their inner Monet.

Third Annual Giving Day Today, April 6

April 6th, 2016 in Featured

24-hour fundraising drive: challenges, activities, social media shout-outs

Gift cochair Juliana Zeta Freeman (CAS’16) hopes for a strong senior participation in the 2016 #BUGivingDay 24-hour fundraiser. Photo by Andrew Parlato

Gift cochair Juliana Zeta Freeman (CAS’16) hopes for a strong senior participation in the 2016 #BUGivingDay 24-hour fundraiser. Photo by Andrew Parlato

Today, the Boston University community will come together for the University’s third annual Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising drive that will benefit the BU Annual Fund. In addition to raising money online, there will be activities across the Charles River and Medical Campuses and a community-wide social media shout-out of favorite things about BU.

Since launching in 2014, Giving Day has raised more than $2.1 million from over 7,954 students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the University. Those funds have been used to support BU’s individual schools and colleges, scholarships, athletics, study-abroad experiences, libraries, the Community Service Center, and sustainability initiatives.

“Giving Day is a chance for everyone in the BU community to come together for 24 hours and celebrate the things they care about at BU,” says Dan Allenby, Development & Alumni Relations assistant vice president for annual giving. “In the first two years of this event, 332 worthy causes at BU received donations on Giving Day. We hope that continues to grow this year as more members of our community choose to give back.”

The day’s goal isn’t just to raise money, but to connect the entire BU community—no matter how far-flung—through school spirit and the common goal of supporting the University’s research, education, athletics, and programs. Terriers are encouraged to support any area of BU they choose with a donation. As in previous years, donors can unlock bonus funds throughout the day by winning challenges sponsored by alumni. Gifts made to schools, colleges, and varsity athletics will also qualify for additional matching funds. Dollars raised for particular causes and by various groups (e.g., school vs school, team vs team, and alumni vs students) are tracked, leaderboard-style, on the Giving Day website.

Challenges offer extra incentive to give

New this year are two challenges sponsored by recent graduates. The first comes from the 2016 Class Gift Committee and encourages current students to support their favorite campus activity. The clubs or organizations that secure the most student donors will win matching funds.

“I’m choosing to give back to BU on Giving Day because the tuition I pay goes to the general BU student body, but my gift goes directly to something specific on campus that I care about,” says 2016 Class Gift cochair Juliana Zeta Freeman (CAS’16). She and her fellow committee members are hoping for a strong senior turnout to take advantage of the matching funds.

The second challenge is sponsored by Hillary Babick (CFA’11), who hopes it will inspire her peers to give. If 100 recent graduates make donations between 1 and 2 p.m. tomorrow, she will give $500 to the Community Service Center, which oversees 14 service programs as well as numerous one-time service projects and events.

“Recent grad giving is really important,” says Babick. “I’ve found that a lot of my peers have great affinity for the University, but that doesn’t necessarily match what we can contribute. I choose to give on Giving Day because it’s all about participation and raising your hand.”

The BU Alumni Association will announce hour-long challenges like Babick’s on its social media accounts throughout the day. They will also be highlighted on the Giving Day website.

On-campus activities

There are several ways to be part of Giving Day in person, as well as online. On the Charles River Campus, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the GSU Link will be Giving Day headquarters. Activities will include a photo booth and appearances by Rhett. Student radio station WTBU deejays will provide the soundtrack for the day, and participating student groups will host informational tables. Multiple giving stations will be set up on the Medical Campus, with opportunities to be featured in photos and posts shared over social media.

Social media activity

Participants can use the hashtag #BUGivingDay on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Vine posts to join in the conversation and to check out what others are saying about Giving Day. You can also follow the day’s activities on the University’s Snapchat account, @bostonu. Participants can tell the BU community why they donated by posting videos, photos, or testimonials using the #IGivetoBU hashtag.

Giving Day ends at midnight EDT tonight, Wednesday, April 6. Donate at bu.edu/givingday. Questions about the event? Email givingday@bu.edu, call 800-447-2849, or visit the website.

Watch a video about this year’s Giving Day above.

This BU Today story was written by Lindsay A. Roth.

Faculty and Students: Submit an Abstract for McCahan Day

March 30th, 2016 in Announcements, Featured, Research

COM McCahan program-cover-1-25-16Last year more than 100 faculty, staff, residents and students attended John McCahan Medical Education Day at the BU Medical Campus. Now is your chance to submit an abstract for a workshop or a poster.

This year the event will be held on Wednesday, May 25 and it will be hosted by the Department of Medical Sciences and Education. The theme of the day will be “Interactive Learning” and the keynote speaker is Dr. Colin Montpetit.

Please visit the McCahan Day website for more information and to submit a workshop proposal or poster abstract; submission deadline is April 8.

Help When Needed: Faculty & Staff Assistance Office

March 30th, 2016 in Featured

Free, confidential counseling for navigating work and life issues

Karen Brouhard (left) and Bonnie Teitleman, both licensed clinical social workers, are counselors at the Faculty & Staff Assistance Office. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

This is the first in a series about Boston University services available to faculty and staff to help with work-related and personal issues.

BU’s Faculty & Staff Assistance Office (FSAO) provides a quiet, reassuring environment where employees can talk about issues affecting their professional or personal lives. For three decades, the office in the basement of the School of Social Work building on Bay State Road—staffed by licensed clinical social workers—has offered counseling, resources, and referrals to those seeking help with addiction, domestic violence, mental health, relationship, and parenting issues, and managing a work-life balance. Services are free and completely confidential.

“We are experienced behavioral health providers who know and understand the culture here at Boston University,” says Bonnie Teitleman (SSW’83), director of FSAO. “We offer a compassionate, caring environment.”

With locations on both the Charles River and Medical Campuses, the FSAO is available to all full- and part-time employees and their families, providing what’s called a brief treatment model, where people can be seen for up to six sessions. During the initial visit, an employee meets with a counselor to talk about the nature of the issue. “We will brainstorm potential ways to cope with the situation—sometimes that will be a series of brief meetings, where we’ll identify and solve the person’s problem,” Teitleman says. Other times, a person may present with a longer-term problem that requires a referral to a therapist, a family counselor, or another experienced professional in the community. When outside help is required, Teitleman and Karen Brouhard, the FSAO’s other counselor, help to find the right provider.

“If it’s a relationship issue, we might take several sessions to discern if it’s a relationship the person wants to work with, if it’s salvageable,” says Teitleman. “We have couples therapists in the community we could refer them to with their partner for some of that work on repair. If, on the other hand, they’ve decided through several sessions that they either don’t want to stay in the relationship or they don’t know what they want to do, at that point we would consider referring them to another clinician in the community.”

Bonnie Teitleman meeting with a client

Teitleman and Brouhard, both with years of experience in a variety of mental health and medical settings, have seen and dealt with just about every problem imaginable. They routinely help people to navigate workplace issues, from harassment and bullying to a bad performance review. They may serve as a sounding board for a supervisor struggling with an ineffective employee, a faculty member who needs help mediating a difficult relationship with a colleague, a family struggling with the death of a loved one, or a new employee who has relocated to Boston and needs help finding a mental health provider for themselves or a family member.

“People don’t have to have a mental health problem or symptoms to access our services,” says Brouhard. “So often it’s an issue that’s emerged in a relationship or in their personal life, where they need a little extra support, some assistance coping, someone to help them think through an issue.”

FSAO also helps people hoping to enhance their job performance. An employee may want help becoming more assertive, being a better listener, or learning to cope with stress so they can respond thoughtfully in situations, rather than being reactive.

“We’ll work with someone to help figure out how they want to manage their career,” Brouhard says. “We’ll help someone figure out if it’s time for them to move on from a job that’s not a good fit or that has them hitting their heads on the ceiling.” The office maintains a list of career counselors in the Boston area they can refer faculty and staff to as needed.

Often, employees seek out FSAO’s help for problems at home, such as dealing with the emotional fallout from a divorce, finding resources for aging parents, or parenting children with special needs.

The FSAO website provides information and suggestions for dealing with a host of subjects, including stress and anxiety (the number one issue for employees, according to Teitleman), compulsive behaviors, work issues, family challenges, relationships, coping with change, elder care, trauma, anger management, and retirement. There are quizzes that help identify areas where support is needed.

In addition to seeing individuals one-on-one or with family members, FSAO has customized workshops for departments and groups across campus, on topics from strategies for maintaining a healthy work-life balance to mindfulness as a tool for building resilience to how to talk to elderly loved ones about end-of-life issues to how to manage addiction. In times of crisis, the staff is often called upon as first responders, offering grief counseling.

“With a workforce this large, there are going to be deaths, there are going to be tragedies that affect our employees,” says Brouhard. “If there’s been an incident that’s affected an employee, a manager often will contact us to consult about how to support the employee at such a time. That might involve us coming in and meeting with the work group, facilitating the conversation, providing some critical incident debriefing.”

“I often find myself saying to distressed people that organizations per se don’t have a conscience, but the people who work in the organizations do,” says Teitleman. “That’s the part of the organization that we want to represent—the part that wants to see people treated well, treated with respect. One of the things I find most gratifying about our work is to help an employee with a problem this year, and then they come back next year with a different problem. That tells us that we’ve been successful with them, when we see them as repeat customers.”

The Charles River Campus Faculty & Staff Assistance Office is at 270 Bay State Rd. Call 617-353-5381 for an appointment. The FSAO also has a Medical Campus office, in the Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Building, 85 East Newton St., eighth floor, Room 818B. Call 617-638-5381 for an appointment.

This is a BU Today article.

Full Professorships for Eight on Medical Campus

March 28th, 2016 in Featured

Faculty from MED, SDM, and SPH promoted

Paul Duprex (right) works with research technician Andrew Acciardo inside the NEIDL virology lab. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

Paul Duprex, originally from Northern Ireland, specializes in the genetics of viruses. Haiyan Gong (GRS’91), a native of China, has spent nearly three decades studying a single system in the eye and its relation to glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness worldwide. The two are among eight BU Medical Campus faculty recently promoted to full professor.

“These promotions signify a major milestone in our faculty’s careers,” says Karen Antman, dean of the School of Medicine and provost of the Medical Campus. “Achieving the rank of professor recognizes their outstanding contributions plus their national and international reputations.”

Duprex, a MED professor of microbiology and director of the cell and tissue imaging core at BU’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), studies the pathogenesis and spread of human and animal viruses, and has worked on the molecular biology of paramyxoviruses for more than 20 years. These include measles, mumps, and canine distemper viruses, which require Biosafety Level 2 containment. As a molecular virologist, he uses genetic techniques to manipulate the genomes of these viruses and make them glow green, red, or blue when they infect a cell. This allows him to illuminate diseases and track the spread of viruses inside and between hosts.

One side of his work is mapping the parts of the genes that build viruses and cause disease. The flip side is trying to identify changes in the genes that can transform viruses from killers into vaccines.

Duprex grew up in Lurgan, a small market town outside Belfast. He takes pride in his roots, but the self-described “child of the Troubles” grew up thinking a lot about the inequities of the world, and is a proponent the idea of global health. He arrived in Massachusetts a decade ago on a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health grant to work at Johnson & Johnson as principal scientist on a project to make heat-stable vaccines.

“Millions and millions and millions of people are alive today because of vaccines,” Duprex says, “and they’re not just the preserve of us in the developed world—they really have been sent to all corners of the developing world, and that’s brilliant.”

Duprex earned a BSc in biochemistry and genetics at the Pirbright Institute and Queen’s University Belfast, and a PhD in molecular virology from Queen’s University, where he became a senior lecturer before coming to BU in 2010.

A special focus of his team’s research is understanding what allows an animal virus to jump to a human population or prevents that from happening. “You need to pick apart these processes slowly and systematically,” he says. “Here’s the virus and here’s a human cell. Can it get in? Can it replicate? Can it get out to spread infection? And can it spread from this host to that host? Understand all of those stages, and you begin to identify the weak points, and it’s potentially possible to stop it.”

Haiyan Gong working at the electronic microscope with research fellow Lihua Lilian Gong. Photo by Cydney Scott

Gong, a MED professor of ophthalmology and of anatomy and neurobiology, arrived at BU in 1986 with a compelling backstory. Raised in China during the Cultural Revolution, she attended nursing school and worked as a nurse in the ophthalmology department of a city hospital. When China began to relax its social strictures, she earned an MD at Jiangxi Medical College and received additional training in ophthalmology. Then the real drama began.

“I went to Tibet as a volunteer after graduation,” she says. “At the time, Tibet didn’t have a train, so we took a bus, a whole week over the mountains to get to Lhasa. I was assigned to Lhasa City People’s Hospital. I told the president of the hospital that I had additional training in ophthalmology, and wished to become an ophthalmologist. But I was told, ‘We need a surgeon right now.’

“The first day I reported to the surgery department they told me, ‘Two surgeries today,’ so I went to hide in the dressing room to look at the textbook to review how to perform the operations,” she says, shaking her head. “But you learn a lot and quickly in that kind of environment.”

With an MS in ophthalmology from Peking Union Medical College, Gong landed a research fellowship at West Virginia University before coming to BU, where she earned a PhD in anatomy and became interested in studying the aqueous outflow system, which drains aqueous humor in the eye to maintain needed pressure and provide nutrition to the eye. Its blockage or constriction causes elevated intraocular pressure, a primary risk factor for the development and progression of primary open-angle glaucoma.

The technique she’s developed to evaluate the structure and function of the system has helped in the testing of new drugs and surgical devices. Her work has been funded by numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants.

“I think we’ve answered some questions, but then new questions emerged,” she says. “Over time you learn to ask more clinical relevant research questions.”

Besides Paul Duprex and Haiyan Gong, the Medical Campus faculty promoted to full professor are:

Pushkar Mehra, Goldman School of Dental Medicine professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery

Mehra specializes in the surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, maxillofacial pathology, nerve repair, and complex functional and aesthetic facial reconstruction. He is department chair and associate dean for hospital affairs, overseeing the clinical training of postdoctoral residents at Boston Medical Center. A fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and a Massachusetts delegate to the association, Mehra also serves on the Examination Committee of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Rutao Cui, MED professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics and of dermatology

Cui’s research targets cancer biology, focusing both on the molecular basis of melanoma development and potential treatments. He is director of the MED Laboratory of Melanoma Research in Cancer Pharmacology. He has received funding from the NIH, the US Department of Defense (DOD), and private foundations, and now has grants from the National Cancer Institute, the DOD, and the Melanoma Research Foundation. His recent research has focused in part on the correlation between having red hair and developing melanoma.

Noyan Gokce, MED professor of medicine (cardiology)

Gokce’s research is focused on the study and treatment of obesity-related cardiovascular disease and the effect of adipose tissue on vascular biology. He is Boston Medical Center’s director of echocardiography, chairs the NIH Section on Translational Research in Diabetes and Obesity, and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is a past recipient of an NIH Research Career Development Award and has twice received the Cardiology Section’s Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award.

Marc Lenburg, MED professor of medicine and of pathology and laboratory medicine and College of Engineering professor of bioinformatics

Lenburg, whose primary appointment is at MED, works with genomic technology and translational bioinformatics to detect and treat lung cancer, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He has developed computational methods for a commercially available gene-expression biomarker used in the clinical care of patients with suspected lung cancer and has received several NIH grants. He is the deputy director of BU’s Clinical & Translational Science Institute bioinformatics core.

Pieter Noordzij, MED professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery

Noordzij’s research is centered on medical and surgical management of disorders affecting the larynx and the thyroid gland, including voice and swallowing disorders. His work includes care of the professional voice and development of new techniques to treat vocal fold paralysis. His research on proton pump inhibitor therapy for laryngeal reflux is considered a landmark development in the treatment of nonspecific laryngitis. He is a past recipient of the Charles Vaughan Excellence in Teaching Award and the Didactic Teacher of the Year Award, both given by otolaryngology residents to a single faculty member

Lauren Wise, School of Public Health professor of epidemiology

Wise’s work in reproductive and perinatal epidemiology focuses on the genetic and environmental determinants of uterine fibroids in African American women, as well as risk factors for delayed conception and adverse pregnancy outcomes. She is principal investigator of the Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO), a web-based research study of time-to-pregnancy and birth outcomes being conducted in North America and Denmark and funded by the NIH. The study examines whether lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and medication use have an impact on fertility and pregnancy outcomes. She is a recipient of the ASPH/Pfizer Young Investigator’s Award for Distinguished Research in Public Health, given by the Association of the Schools of Public Health.

This BU Today story was written by Joel Brown.