Category: Uncategorized

BU Scientists Get a Lesson in Telling Their Stories

October 31st, 2014 in Uncategorized

Alan Alda, famous for his roles in M*A*S*H* and PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, made a guest appearance on the Medical Campus – via video recording, that is. On Oct. 21, the School of Medicine welcomed faculty from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science for a one-day workshop to help BU scientists communicate their work more effectively to the public, policymakers, funders, policymakers and colleagues.

Dean Antman and Jay Mizgerd during the improv workshop.

Dean Antman and Jay Mizgerd during the workshop.

Forty-one scientists from the Medical and Charles River campuses learned how to communicate their work, connect with their audience, and speak clearly and conversationally about why their work matters by attending two three-hour workshops on improvisation and message delivery.

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Suzanne Sarfaty, MD, previously had attended a workshop at the Alda Center at Stony Brook University in New York and was eager to bring the workshop to the Medical Campus. “I was so impressed with the thinking behind and the power of the program,” she said. “I knew it would be a valuable experience for our scientists and would enrich the BU community.”

During the “Distilling Your Message” workshop, participants had to explain their research as though they were pitching their story to a TV show producer, a non-scientist. The scientists practiced finding common ground with an audience, speaking at diff­erent levels of complexity for different audiences, and answering questions about their work. Later, the “Improvisation for Scientists” workshop used improv theater techniques to help participants speak more spontaneously and responsively with their audience.

Researcher Carmela Abraham during the improv session.

Researcher Carmela Abraham during the improvisation workshop.

The improvisation exercises were particularly helpful for Isabel Dominguez, PhD, assistant professor of hematology and medical oncology, who says she was excited to share the ideas and techniques with her lab colleagues and trainees. “This was a very valuable workshop that I feel will make me better at explaining my work and better able to train others in my lab to be more effective in telling their ‘stories’ as well,” she said.

The exercises challenged BU scientists, through both discussion and practice, to pay close attention to others and be aware of the two-way nature of communication.

Resilience and Mindfulness, Nov. 4

October 31st, 2014 in Uncategorized

Flickr user John Fowler

Boston University Health Promotion Series

When: Tuesday, Nov. 4, noon – 1 p.m.

Who: Karen Brouhard, BU Faculty and Staff Assistance Office

Where:  BUSM Instructional (L) Building; Room L201 (72 East Concord St., Second Floor)

Description: Life is full of challenges. While we often have no choice over which challenges we encounter, we do have some control over how we respond. This presentation will focus on cultivating resilience — the ability to cope effectively with crises and bounce back quickly from setbacks. Many factors contribute to resilience, some of which can be learned and developed. Mindfulness practices help us observe rather than react to upsetting events and negative feelings, facilitating our responding with greater wisdom and effectiveness.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to explore the sources of your own resilience
  • About the use of mindfulness in cultivating resilience
  • How to practice several mindfulness approaches

This presentation is open to all Boston University employees. Lunch will be served.

If you have any questions, please contact Yuliya Labkovskaia at BU Occupational Health Center at 617-353-6630 or

Please register online

Joining Forces: TBI/PTSD Conference to be Held Nov. 4

October 31st, 2014 in Uncategorized

(Courtesy Flickr User James)

In 2011 the White House established the Joining Forces initiative to promote the education, research and clinical care for military members with TBI and PTSD.  The Boston University Medical Campus (BUMC)  was one of the original participants in the program. This year the Medical Campus will host the Third Annual Joining Forces Conference on Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 8 a.m.-noon in Hiebert Lounge. Faculty, students and staff are invited to attend guest lectures and participate in the poster session.

Speakers at the event include internationally renowned faculty researchers at BU School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare System. BU is among the leaders in research and collaborative care for concussions and PTSD. VA Boston is a national leader in clinical care and research for veterans with post-deployment disorders, including TBI, PTSD, other anxiety disorders, affective disorders and  comorbid substance abuse. VA Boston also has one of the most comprehensive mental health treatment systems in the country for veterans and is the nation’s largest recipient of VA research dollars supporting more than 150 research projects on PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other post-deployment disorders. VA Boston also is the home of the Behavioral Sciences and Women’s Health Sciences divisions of the National Center for PTSD.

Mark your calendar to learn about the cutting edge research being performed at our institutions in these fields.  Hear how advances in research may be used to identify individuals at risk for prevention, intervention and treatment.  After the formal lectures a poster session will highlight additional areas of research.


BUMC and VA Boston Joining Forces TBI/PTSD Conference

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m.-Noon
BUSM Instructional Building, Hiebert Lounge, 14th Floor

  • 8 – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
  • 8:30 – 8:50 Introductions and Welcome (Drs. Anna Hohler and Gary Kaplan)
  • 8:50 – 9:35 “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Female OEF/OIF/OND Veterans: Overview of Recent Research Findings” by Dawne Vogt, PhD, acting deputy director, Women’s Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and associate professor of Psychiatry, BUSM
  • 9:35 – 9:45 Break
  • 9:45 – 10:30 “Current Concepts in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy” by Ann McKee, MD, Chief of Neuropathology, VA Boston Healthcare System, professor of Neurology and Pathology, BUSM
  • 11:15 – noon Poster Viewing

BUSM #30, BUSPH #25 in Inaugural U.S. News Best Global Universities Rankings

October 29th, 2014 in Uncategorized

U.S. News released its latest rankings tool, Best Global Universities, today and Boston University is listed 37.

The new rankings offer the most comprehensive assessment of research universities worldwide as well as by region and country. As an interesting comparison, U.S. News ranks BUSM 32nd, BUSPH 11th and BU 42nd in the U.S. on its list of Best U.S. Graduate Schools and National Universities, respectively. Thus both BUSM and BU are ranked higher globally (30th and 37th respectively), than they are ranked in the U.S. (32nd and 42nd).

As per the table below, the U.S. News Global rankings lists BUSM 20th in the US compared to 32nd in the U.S. in the U.S. News National rankings.


Global rank

U.S. rank in Global rankings

U.S. rank in Natl rankings













The rankings also feature the top 100 global universities in 21 subject areas, including fields such as economics and business, engineering, computer science and clinical medicine. In these subject areas, BU ranks in the following 10 categories:

  • #25 in social sciences/public health
  • #30 in clinical medicine
  • #30 in physics
  • #33 in molecular biology/genetics
  • #45 in psychiatry/psychology
  • #46 in neuroscience and behavior
  • #54 in biology and biochemistry
  • #55 in economics and business
  • #55 in immunology
  • #76 in environment/energy

For a complete list of the rankings, visit


GSDM Volunteers Help Kids Prepare for Kindergarten

October 29th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Countdown-to-KindergartenOn Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 34 members of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community volunteered their time at the 15th Annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration. Countdown to Kindergarten is an annual event at the Children’s Museum in Boston for families to learn about all things kindergarten. This was GSDM’s ninth year participating in the event.

Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri organized GSDM’s participation in the event. Volunteers provided dental screenings and led oral health activities for parents and kids in attendance, including instructing the children on brushing techniques with stuffed animals and teaching about oral health through arts and crafts. Parents also had the opportunity to talk to the volunteers and ask questions while their children were learning.

The evening was a huge success for Countdown to Kindergarten and GSDM. After three hours, GSDM volunteers had performed 97 dental screenings and interacted with hundreds of families. “I want to thank each and every one of you for volunteering at the 15th annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration,” Lituri said to the volunteers after the event. “Events like this are only successful because of volunteers like you. Thank you for your time and your professionalism.”

Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I am extremely proud of our students and faculty who volunteered for this important event. Countdown to Kindergarten is significant to the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, as it helps the families in our Boston community. The time our volunteers gave to Countdown to Kindergarten helped make our participation in the event a success. Thank you to all who came out and helped.”

Student volunteers included: Heidi Borenstein DMD 17, Margi Chan DMD 16, Keerthy Chilakamarry (pre-dental), Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Michelle Dube DMD 15, Cassandra Fevelo DMD 15, Chiraag Gohel (pre-dental), Tony Hong DMD 18, Navtej Kang AS 16, Justine Karanian DMD 15, Ana Keohane AS 16, Courtney Knapnik DMD 16, Jae Kwak DMD 16, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Lana Le DMD 16, Jena Lee DMD 18, Brian Leibtog DMD 15, Matt Mara DMD 16, Mohammad Mourad (pre-dental), Mona Najafi DMD 16, Sara Najafi DMD 17, Nora Nakshabendi DMD 16, Alex Nguyen DMD 17, Divya Reddy (pre-dental), Rafaella Sampaio DMD 18, Kali Stewart DMD 15, Megan Sullivan DMD 18, Farnaz Tartibi DMD 16, and Jame Waller DMD 18. Faculty volunteers included Group Practice Leader Dr. Maria Angela Cancado, Clinical Instructor in the Department of General Dentistry Dr. Caroline Clerisme, and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research Dee Devlin.

Photos are available on Facebook and Flickr.

Medical Campus Hosts Updates on Ebola

October 28th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ebola_virus_virionMembers of BU schools of Medicine and Public Health are presenting updates on the Ebola outbreak. On Thursday, Oct. 30 from noon to 2 p.m. in Keefer Auditorium, join medical and public health experts from BUSM and SPH, the NEIDL and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) for “Ebola from the Front Lines” as they share facts about the virus, firsthand experience in Sierra Leone, health system preparedness in Massachusetts and the US, quarantine, travel restrictions, ethical and legal issues, and research.

SPH’s William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights George Annas, JD, MPH, and Wendy Mariner, JD, MPH, the Edward R. Utley Professor, Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights and BUSM’s Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MA, director of infection control for the NEIDL will be joined by MDPH’s director of Preparedness and Emergency Management Mary Clark, JD, MPH; and Alfred DeMaria, MD, Medical Director and State Epidemiologist.

The Department of Medicine Grand Rounds on Friday, Oct. 31 noon to 1 p.m. in Keefer Auditorium also will feature Dr. Bhadelia, BUSM Professor of Medicine, speaking on “2014 West African Ebola Epidemic: Care of Patients Here and in the Field.” Dr. Bhadelia specializes in infection control issues related to emerging pathogens and highly communicable infectious diseases. Most recently, she has been part of the World Health Organization operations in Sierra Leone to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. She also is an instructor for the CDC/FEMA healthcare worker preparedness course for the Ebola Response. She will return to West Africa to work with Partners in Health in Liberia.

Finding a Cure for ALS One Ice Cube at a Time

October 22nd, 2014 in Uncategorized

(l-r) Dr. Calabrese, Dean Hutter, and Dr. Guarente get doused during the Ice Bucket Challenge

(l-r) Dr. Calabrese, Dean Hutter, and Dr. Guarente get doused during the Ice Bucket Challenge

Eager onlookers cheered and shouted as pre-doctoral class representatives doused Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter with two massive buckets filled with ice water. Drs. Guarente and Calabrese were soaked right alongside him—and it was all because of Dr. McManama.

On August 22, 2014, Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Dr. John Guarente, and Assistant Dean of Students Dr. Joseph Calabrese joined together on the patio outside Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) to get buckets of ice water dumped on their heads to raise awareness and support for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. They did this in answer to a callout posted on the GSDM Facebook page from Professor in the Department of General Dentistry Dr. Carl McManama.

As a part of the Ice Bucket Challenge, those getting dumped on nominate three other people to donate, get ice water dumped on their heads, or do a combination of both. Dean Hutter stretched the rules a little bit and nominated Director of the Group Practice Experience and Team Leadership Dr. David Russell, Ad Interim Chair of General Dentistry Dr. Celeste Kong, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Cataldo Leone, and the entire Executive Committee consisting of 18 other people. He challenged them to have ice water dumped on their heads as well as make a donation to an ALS foundation of at least $100.

In response, on September 3, 2014, Dr. Russell rallied all of the Group Practice Leaders that were around that day, and together they doused each other in a line one after another. In an email to the School, Dean Hutter said, “It means a great deal to me and our School to have you participate in this very special fundraising event in support of the ALS Foundation finding a cure for this dreadful disease.”

The next day, Dr. Leone, Dr. Kong, and—representing the entire Executive Committee—Assistant Dean of Faculty Development Dr. Judith Jones, joined together in front of the school for their icy inundation.

The awareness raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge held special significance for Group Practice Leader Dr. Karen Quigley, whose mother passed away from ALS. “The momentary hurt from the ice water ended quickly, but my mother’s affliction with ALS took two years to end,” she said. “She lost her ability to speak, to stand, to walk, to eat. Paralysis triumphed. At the end, she could still use one finger to communicate on her computer. As hard as it was for us to believe, throughout her two years, my mom remained cheerful. My mother was very fortunate; so many others don’t have it that good.”

She continued, “During her two years with ALS, my family spent a bundle of money accommodating the disease. Many people cannot afford to do that. I hope awareness of ALS is increased through the Ice Bucket Challenge and that it encourages people to financially support ALS organizations.”

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was started by several individuals affected either personally or through a familial connection by ALS. The Challenge was an attempt to raise awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease and encourage people to donate to help support ALS research. As of an October 2 press release, the tour de force had pulled in around $21.7 million for the ALS Association.

Photos are available on Facebook and Flickr. Dr. McManama’s video is available on Facebook. A video of Dean Hutter, Dr. Guarente, and Dr. Calabrese being soaked is also available on Facebook.

Albany Street Safety Tips

October 21st, 2014 in Uncategorized

As a result of the ongoing BMC construction project  there are significant changes to vehicular and pedestrian traffic patterns on Albany Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Please follow the appropriate walking paths  If you have questions or concerns, please contact or call 638-4144.

Please Note:

  • The sidewalk on the north side of Albany Street is closed from the Shapiro driveway to the Dowling building, and the crosswalk from Menino Pavilion to the Power Plant has been removed. This means pedestrians need to walk on the Power Plant side of Albany Street. Please do not walk in the street.
  • There is no pedestrian access from Menino Pavilion/Dowling to Albany Street. Please enter and exit these buildings through the main hospital entrance on Harrison Avenue.

Tips for Getting Around Campus

  • Utilize designated walking paths;
  • Give yourself extra time when driving into work;
  • Allow extra time when crossing the campus;
  • Pay extra attention to pedestrian crossings as some have changed.

NIH Funding Information

October 15th, 2014 in Uncategorized

NIH Appropriations for FY 2015 [Under the Current Continuing Resolution (CR)]:NIH_Logo

Following previous practice under continuing resolutions (CR), the NIH on Oct. 1 announced it will issue non-competing research grants “at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90 percent of the previously committed level).” The notice states that upward adjustments will be considered once a FY 2015 appropriations bill is enacted. The current CR funds the NIH at 99.9 percent of the FY 2014 enacted level through Dec. 11.

Find the guidance at:

Saitz Named Senior Editor of Journal of Addiction Medicine

October 15th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Richard Saitz

Richard Saitz

Dr. Richard Saitz, chairman of BUSPH’s Community Health Sciences Department, has been named the senior editor of the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

Saitz, a general internist and primary care physician who is also a professor of medicine at the BU School of Medicine, will assume the leadership position Jan.1, when the current senior editor, researcher Dr. George Koob, steps down. Koob has been appointed the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health. Saitz will join current journal co-editors Drs. Shannon Miller, Martha Wunsch and Frank Vocci.

“As a general medicine internist with leadership and expertise in addiction medicine, Dr. Saitz will tactically position ASAM’s journal amidst the Affordable Care Act, the patient-centered medical home, addiction parity, and the new national recognition of the importance of placing addiction medicine central to primary care,” said Dr. Lori D. Karan, treasurer and publications council chair for ASAM, who led the recruitment.

Saitz is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and by the American Board Addiction Medicine. He has received numerous awards for his research contributions to the field of addiction medicine, including an RSA Distinguished Researcher Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism.

His studies, supported by federal agencies and foundations, have focused on integrating care for addictions into general health settings, including identification and brief interventions in primary care.

“Journal of Addiction Medicine is well on its way as a prominent journal in the field, and Dr. Richard Saitz can continue and facilitate this trajectory,” Koob said.

ASAM President Dr. Stuart Gitlow said Saitz has “the strong medical and research background to continue the incredible growth of ASAM’s journal that we experienced with Dr. Koob’s leadership. “

Saitz, the author of over 160 peer-reviewed publications, previously served as a board member of the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors; as editor-in-chief of Alcohol, Other Drugs and Health: Current Evidence, Evidence-Based Medicine and Addiction Science & Clinical Practice; and as an editorial board member on numerous addiction and other medical journals. He also served as a leading editor of The ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine.