Gratitude, excitement and anticipation – these three words describe the 2015 BUSM Scholarship Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 24.
In a candle-lit room at the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston, 18 medical students gathered together to meet – for the first time – their scholarship donors.
Dean Antman with students Adam Johnson (Class of 2017) and Karanda Bowman (Class of 2016)
“Today is really important,” said Nick Smith, BUSM Class of 2016. “Getting to meet the face behind who’s doing this for me – it’s really special.”
To his surprise, Smith’s donor was Aram Chobanian, MD, President Emeritus, Boston University and Dean Emeritus of the School of Medicine.
“It’s terrific,” said Smith. “The weight that I’ll have in terms of debt going forward is that much less. Every little bit counts.”
Thanks to scholarships established by generous donors, every year students who otherwise could not afford a BUSM education can pursue their dream of becoming a physician.
According to Emir Morais, co-interim director of BUSM’s Student Financial Services, the cost of medical education presents a high barrier for many applicants – and a significant burden for many graduates. In fact, the Association of American Medical Colleges reports that 79 percent of medical students have debt of $100,000 or more after medical school.
“Scholarships help relieve some of the financial burden put on these students during and after their medical education,” said Morais. “These funds support their education and their intellectual, professional and personal development. It gives them the opportunity to attend a medical school that fits their passions and a chance to choose a field they care about.”
Over dinner and dessert, the students and donors were greeted by Dean Karen Antman, MD, who introduced Karanda Bowman, Class of 2016, and Adam Johnson, Class of 2017. Both students spoke about how their scholarships were a critical component in attending medical school.
“You haven’t just given me a gift,” said Johnson. “You’ve given my family a little more hope that everything really will be alright.”
As the students parted ways with their donors, handshakes and hugs were exchanged. Pleasantries and advice about medical school filled the room. But as this writer will attest, two common, contagious sentiments elevated this event – honor and gratefulness.
“We have to give kids the opportunity to be able to go to medical school without worrying about huge debts,” said Elaine Kirshenbaum, a BU donor since 1983. “It’s an honor to be able to support them.”
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Students find a welcome, but want a few changes
Students seated during the 2015 Professional Ceremony
Four-year DMD 19 and two-year AS DMD 17 students from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) marked the end of their first week of orientation on Friday, July 31, at one of the most significant events in the educational careers of our dental students, the annual Professional Ceremony.
The students marched into the ceremony grounds, the Talbot Green, and took their seats under a large white tent. Hundreds of friends and family members looked on and cheered as the DMD 19 and AS 17 students participated in the 2015 Professional Ceremony.
Assistant Dean of Students Dr. Joseph Calabrese welcomed the crowd under the packed tent.
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter as well as Boston University Medical Campus Provost and Boston University School of Medicine Dean Dr. Karen Antman delivered the opening remarks, while student anxiously anticipated receiving their BU pins.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Professor in General Dentistry Dr. Carl McManama. Dr. McManama began his now 39 year dental career at GSDM as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Operative Dentistry in 1976. He was later promoted to Clinical Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. He Chaired the Department of Operative Dentistry from 1986 to 1995.
After Dr. McManama’s speech, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Associate Professor in Health Policy & Health Services Research Catherine Sarkis took to the podium to present the DMD Class of 2019 and AS Class of 2017 to Dean Hutter.
Five faculty members then stood on the stage to present the pins to the DMD 19 and AS 17 students. The faculty members were: Dr. Calabrese; Dr. Sarkis; Associate Professor in the Department of General Dentistry Dr. Stephen Dulong; Professor in the Department of Periodontology, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Professor in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology Dr. Cataldo Leone; and Clinical Professor in the Department of General Dentistry and Faculty Liaison for the Advanced Standing Program Dr. Janet Peters.
Each DMD 19 and AS 17 student shook hands with Dean Hutter and Provost Antman before exiting the stage. When each new student had received their pin, the Professional Oath was read.
One paragraph of the Professional Oath reads: “I will conduct myself with the highest ethical and professional behavior in the classroom, the clinic, and in all areas of my life. I will promote the integrity of the profession with honest and respectful relations with other health professionals. I will strive to advance my profession by seeking new knowledge and by reexamining the ideas and practices of the past.”
After Dean Hutter delivered his closing remarks, the students and attendees stayed for a reception under the tent for a reception on the Talbot Green.
“The Professional Ceremony is one of the most important moments in these students’ dental educations here at GSDM,” said Dean Hutter. “I know that each of the students who received pins today will go on to make me, and everyone else at GSDM, very proud over the next four years.”
Photos from the Professional Ceremony can be found on Facebook and Flickr.
Submitted by GSDM Communications.
A family of peregrine falcons have made a nest on a window ledge atop the Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Building. Photos by Anita DeStefano, PhD, professor of Biostatistics and associate director of the BUMC Genome Science Institute.
High above Talbot Green a pair of watchful eyes scopes the concrete canyon below looking for its next prey. This isn’t a scene from Mission Impossible. It’s more like a National Geographic documentary.
Perched on a window ledge atop the Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Building, two peregrine falcons have decided to make the BU Medical Campus their home.
“It’s simply fascinating that such beautiful wildlife can exist in this urban area,” said Anita DeStefano, PhD, professor of Biostatistics and associate director of the BUMC Genome Science Institute.
DeStefano noticed the male and female falcons in late spring and began taking pictures of the birds from the rooftop of the medical campus parking garage. In early summer, she observed two falcon chicks in addition to the adults. After reading a recent article on BU Today about another pair of falcons on the Charles River campus, DeStefano contacted Ursula and Dave Goodine, certified volunteer observers for Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
That evening, DeStefano met with the Goodines to point out the nest site and to observe the adults with one of their fledglings.
According to Ursula Goodine, peregrine falcons are the fastest flying birds in the world – reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour during a dive. They feed on pigeons and other small birds.
In 1964 nesting pairs of Peregrines were extinct in the eastern United States, but over time, conservation success was responsible for changing them from “endangered” to “protected” status. There are now more than 30 nesting pairs in Massachusetts.
Contrary to popular belief, peregrine falcons do not build a nest. They lay their eggs on cliffs.
“As the falcon population increased, some birds looked for other territories and began using tall buildings instead of the natural landscape of cliffs and quarry ledges to raise their young,” said Goodine. “This just reveals how adaptable peregrines have become in order to perpetuate their species.”
In an effort to help facilitate a safer environment for the birds, experts from the MassWildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program have set up simple wooden “nest-boxes” lined with gravel in several locations throughout the city.
The Goodines now are working on a plan to have one installed on the BU Medical Campus this fall to give the birds time to acclimate to its presence. They hope the pair of falcons will use it next spring.
“Reintroduction programs have helped Peregrines make an amazing recovery,” said Goodine. “While city living poses all kinds of dangers to these birds, they are resilient and their population has rebounded quite well.”
BU Medical Campus Investigators, graduate students and faculty members are invited to a grant preparation workshop on Thursday, Sept. 17 to learn more about the process of submitting individual research grants (R01) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This workshop, which will be held on the BU Medical Campus, will include presentation by Sarah Yeboah of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Renna Lilly of the Office of Proposal Development and will cover the necessary steps to submit a NIH proposal through Boston University’s Office of Sponsored Programs. Dr. Carter Cornwall will discuss the NIH study section review and a general structure to follow when writing your grant.
Grant Preparation Workshop – Administrative Presentation
- Thursday, Sept. 17
- 2-4 p.m.
- BUSM Housman Building, R-115
The second part of this series includes a small group session, where investigators will present drafts of their actual grant applications for feedback from peers and faculty who have successfully been awarded grants and served on NIH study sections. This session will be especially helpful to those who plan to submit NIH grants for the February/March submission cycle.
Grant Preparation Workshop -Grant Critiques
- Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 9 and 10
- Location and time to be determined
Interested investigators, graduate students and faculty members are invited to attend the Sept. 17 session. For a more thorough critique of your grant in December, you must attend this first session. You are not obligated to participate in the critique if you attend the administrative portion.
If you have any questions, please contact Renna Lilly, Office of Proposal Development, at email@example.com.
BUMC Medical Education Day presentations
More than 100 faculty, staff, residents and students attended John McCahan Medical Education Day at the BU Medical Campus. Hosted by the Department of Medical Sciences and Education, it was held on May 20. This was the 10th anniversary of the annual event that showcases academic innovation and teaching ideologies. The theme of the day was “Teaching Professional Competencies,” and it covered a variety of topics relating to how educators can improve and reevaluate teaching models.
The day-long event included five workshops and a poster session displaying nearly 50 abstracts. The keynote address “Changing Culture: Upending Our Notions of Professionalism,” was given by Jo Shapiro, MD, FACS, associate professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. She shared her particular interest in professionalism and peer support programs.
Placeholder poster session
Dr. McCahan attended and remarked on the history of this event and was honored for his outstanding commitment to medical education. In addition, past chairs of the planning committee, Drs. Sharon Levine (BUSM), Ann Zumwalt (BUSM) and Robert Schadt (SPH), were honored for their dedication to this event.
Please visit the McCahan Day website here to view Dr. Shapiro’s presentation.
Carine Lenders, MD, MS, ScD, Associate Professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Physician Nutrition Specialist at Boston Medical Center (BMC), and Elizabeth Henry, DrPH, MHS, who will graduate from BU’s School of Public Health (BUSPH) in September, have received the People’s Health Medal from the Social Republic of Vietnam’s Ministry of Health for their work on behalf of the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS).
Lenders and Henry were recognized for advancing hospital nutrition in Vietnam using a three-prong approach based on education, clinical service and research. The commemorative medal is the highest honor awarded to nationals and foreigners who make a major contribution to health care in Vietnam.
Beginning in 2010, Lenders and Henry led AFINS, a unique effort that brings together Vietnamese and U.S. nutrition and global health experts among hospitals, academia, government and foundations.
The program is a partnership between BUSM, Bach Mai Hospital (BMH), Hanoi Medical University (HMU) and the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in Vietnam and the Abbott Fund to address hospital malnutrition and strengthen hospital nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices.
These collaborative efforts would not have been possible without the vision and investment from the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global health care company, Abbott, which awarded more than $4.4 million to implement this multifaceted project, oversee nutrition medicine fellowships for Vietnamese health professionals and provide mentoring.
Additional alliances were formed with experts in dietetics, pharmacy, nutrition medicine, education and global health from BU’s Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, Emory University, University of Texas and Boston Children’s Hospital in the United States and with Children’s Hospital 1 (CH1) in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
The AFINS experts provided technical support for the development of nutrition and dietetics degrees at HMU with more than 30 nurse-nutritionist and 50 bachelors in nutrition and dietetics graduates, six research projects with the NIN tracking hospital nutrition, and the training of more than 2,000 Vietnamese health care professionals to improve capacity in nutrition departments. Additionally, AFINS’ partners found that hospitalized patients surveyed in 2013 at BMH were 29 percent less likely to be malnourished compared to those surveyed in 2010.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive the People’s Health Medal from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health,” said Henry, also a former instructor in BUSM’s Department of Family Medicine. “The advances AFINS has made to improve outcomes and educate medical professionals about the importance of nutrition will have a lasting impact on the health care system in Vietnam.”
Lenders accepted the People’s Health Medal on behalf of the AFINS partners on May 27, 2015, in Hanoi. Lenders continues to lead the AFINS project in Vietnam with an extension grant from the Abbott Fund that builds on the initial approach but also focuses on pediatric nutrition training and research in the southern region of Vietnam and provides support for the development and implementation of standards and assessments of provincial hospitals nationwide.
“Higher education and more training are critical to enhance hospital nutrition in Vietnam,” said Lenders. “Moving forward we hope to learn more about the impact of medical nutrition interventions involving a younger patient population in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings for a sustainable future.”
Dan R. Berlowitz, MD, MPH, has been selected as the recipient of the VA’s 2015 Under Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research,the highest honor for a VA health services researcher. It represents exceptional achievement in improving the health and quality of care of Veterans, inspiring and training the next generation of health services researchers, and enhancing the visibility and recognition of VA research nationally.
Berlowitz, professor of Medicine and Health Policy Management at BUSM and BUSPH, is a leading health services researcher and former Co-Director of HSR&D’s Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, located in Bedford, Mass., and Boston. From 2004 to 2013, he served as Director of HSR&D’s Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, and since 2012, he has served as Acting Chief of Staff for the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VA Hospital in Bedford. A former HSR&D Research Career Development Awardee (CDA), Dr. Berlowitz’s research relies on strong methodological expertise in the areas of quality assessment, risk adjustment, and the use of large databases. His work focuses on assessing and improving the quality of healthcare for Veterans, with particular emphasis on ambulatory and long-term care settings.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Yeshiva University and his MPH from Boston University.
Research led by a NEIDL scientist finds hope in Zoloft, Vascor
Immunologist Gene Olinger, in the attire of his profession, thinks existing drugs for depression and heart disease might be effective against Ebola. Photo courtesy Gene Olinger
(l-r) Dr. Maria Kukuruzinska, Dr. Avrum Spira, and Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter
Translational research was the theme of the 2015 Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Research Retreat which took place on April 13th, 2015, in the Hiebert Lounge. Translational research applies findings from basic science to enhance human health. Along with team science, a translational science approach to research is increasingly important in the development of successful research programs which impact public health and well-being. Faculty from GSDM and the Boston University Medical Campus community presented a variety of topics relevant to translational research, and gave an overview of its successful implementation at Boston University.
The morning began with a poster viewing session followed by opening remarks given by Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter and Associate Dean for Research Dr. Maria Kukuruzinska. Dr. Kukuruzinska then introduced the first speaker Associate Provost for Translational Research and Director of the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute Dr. David M. Center. Dr. Center’s talk, “Performance Enhancing Science,” was followed by four presentations given by GSDM faculty who are engaged in ongoing translational research:
- Professor, Director for the Center of Clinical Research (CCR), and Assistant Dean for Faculty Development Dr. Judith Jones gave a presentation titled “Center for Clinical Research,” which discussed the CCR and how clinical researchers can take advantage of its services.
- Professor and Chair in the Department of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics Dr. Leslie Will gave a presentation titled “The Use of Salivary Biomarkers in Addressing Problems in Orthodontics.”
- Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research and Director of Behavioral Science Research Dr. Belinda Borrelli presented “Translating Basic Science and Health Behavior Theory to Improve Public Health.”
- Professor and Chair in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry Athanasios Zavras presented “Pharmacogenetics of Head and Neck Adverse Effects.”
Associate Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Bioinformatics and Chief of the Division of Computational Biomedicine in the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine Dr. Avrum Spira gave the keynote address for the event. His talk titled, “Translating gene expression signatures into personalized approaches to disease management,” discussed how many clinical problems are best solved with a team science approach. Dr. Spira’s research group discovered a gene expression signature which is being used to develop less invasive clinical procedures for diagnosing lung cancer.
The retreat concluded with closing remarks followed by lunch. Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health Dr. Yvette Cozier won an award for Best Poster, as voted on by attendees. Her project was titled “Self-Reported Oral Health of Middle-Class Black Women in the United States.”
Dr. Maria Kukuruzinska said, “I am very pleased with the quality of the presentations at this year’s Retreat. I feel they truly highlighted the important translational work being conducted within our School and University.”
Photos are available on Facebook and Flickr.
Submitted by GSDM Communications.