Category: Uncategorized

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.



Oct. 16 Pike Lecture

October 9th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Abuse of Mentally Ill Patients at Bridgewater State Hospital: How the Media Can Help Medicine and the Law Protect Patients

Michael Rezendes of the Boston Globe will review a year of investigative reporting on the state’s prison for the mentally ill and explain how his reporting led to revelations of major abuses and significant reforms.

Michael Rezendes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who has played a key role in many of the Globe’s most significant investigations, including those probing the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, financial corruption in the nation’s charitable foundations, and the plight of mentally ill state prisoners. As a member of the Globe’s Spotlight Team he shared a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for investigating the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. More recently, Rezendes has uncovered the widespread abuse of mental health patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, including the soaring use of isolation and restraints, and the death of a 23-year-old mental health patient who was killed while prison guards were placing him in four-point restraints.

To learn more on Rezendes’s reporting about Bridgewater State Hospital, please see  A death in restraints after ‘standard procedure’ and Scathing study cites Bridgewater practices.

The annual Pike Lecture on Health Law is held in honor of Boston University School of Law alumni Neal Pike (‘37), a distinguished lawyer and lifelong advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Abuse of Mentally Ill Patients at Bridgewater State Hospital: How the Media Can Help Medicine and the Law Protect Patients

  • Thursday, Oct. 16
  • Noon-1 p.m.
  • BUSM Instructional Building, L-112
  • Open to students, faculty, staff, general public

Co-Sponsored by BU School of Law and Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights at BU School of Public Health.  For more information, contact Gina Duong.

Inaugural Physician Assistant Class Celebrates PA Week Oct. 6-12

October 9th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Stethoscope (Courtesy Flickr user Dr. Farouk)The inaugural class of BUSM’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program celebrated National Physician Assistant Week, Oct. 6-12. First-year PA students organized events to share information about and appreciation of PAs.

The week’s activities included the distribution of appreciation buttons, complementary treats and bookmarks with facts about the PA profession. In addition, the BU PA Program hosted a luncheon Oct. 9 with BMC PAs, first-year PA students and BU undergraduate members of the Pre-PA Club.

Physician Assistants are crucial members of today’s healthcare team. PAs are versatile and skilled clinicians that provide effective, quality care to their patients. The inaugural class of the BUSM PA Program is proud to represent an incredible profession at an institution famous for its medical achievements.

To learn more about the program, please contact PA Program Director Mary Warner, PA-C, 617-638-5744,

Submitted by Douglas-Jarrett Cole Turno , a first year physician assistant student at BUSM

Fighting Ebola: NEIDL Director Ron Corley on Fox Boston

October 8th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ronald Corley, PhD, director of BU’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, discusses how the NEIDL hopes to study diseases, like Ebola, to stem their spread.

BUSM/VA Research Team to Study Effectiveness of LED Helmets for Treating TBI and PTSD in Returning Vets

October 8th, 2014 in Uncategorized

Yelena Bogdanova, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at BUSM and a psychology researcher at the VA Boston Healthcare System, was recently awarded a 2-year, $200,000 grant from VA Rehabilitation Research & Development for her project titled “Noninvasive LED Treatment to Improve Cognition and Promote Recovery in Blast TBI.”

Rehabilitation of blast traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans is a very important topic and a new area of research,” explained Bogdanova, principal investigator of the study. The clinical trial will utilize cutting-edge technology (LED helmets) to treat cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in returning veterans with TBI and PTSD.

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

October 7th, 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. Please submit poster session topics by completing this form and emailing it by Oct. 10 to Dianna Gromczynski.


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

Boston University Receives ‘BEST’ Grant By NIH To Promote BioMedical Careers Beyond Academic Research

October 2nd, 2014 in Uncategorized

Boston University (BU) is one of seven institutions to receive the prestigious Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The five-year, $1.8 million award will provide biomedical research trainees from across the University with enhanced training to help PhD students and postdoctoral trainees prepare for careers beyond conventional academic research.

“NIH recognizes that there are many ways in which biomedical PhD graduates can meaningfully contribute to the biomedical research enterprise,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “The future of biomedical research depends upon a sustainable and robust workforce, in which talented, well-trained scientists are best prepared to make significant contributions in academia, industry, government, business, and other venues.”

Approximately $3.7 million was set aside by the NIH’s Common Fund to invest in these programs to enhance training opportunities for graduate and postdoctoral trainees and prepare them for a host of scientific careers.

BU’s BEST program will involve trainees throughout the university’s schools and colleges engaged in biomedical research, including the School of Medicine (BUSM), the School of Public Health and the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. BUSM’s Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) is home to more than 850 students and approximately 400 post-doctoral trainees that will benefit from the BEST program.

“In order to maintain the nation’s scientific competitiveness, it is critical to attract, prepare and engage a well-trained workforce. Our goal is to re-engineer the training pipeline,” explained Linda Hyman, PhD, associate provost for the Division of GMS at BUSM and one of the principal investigators of BU’s BEST program. “Using analysis of the job market as the driver of professional development programming, BU’s BEST will enable trainees to fulfill the needs, not only of the current market, but also the future biomedical workforce,” she added.

According to Barbara Schreiber, PhD, director of Graduate Studies in the department of biochemistry at BUSM and BEST co-investigator, BU’s BEST will utilize innovative tools and resources to analyze workforce data with input from key stakeholders to guide and evolve curriculum design. “State-of-the-art software will identify biomedical workforce jobs, job trends and skills required for various career pathways. With strong advising/mentoring, trainees will be exposed to a curriculum of foundational/professional skills and career options via coursework, workshops, career panels as well as hybrid online modules.”

Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will be able to enhance their interests through a wealth of options via existing and planned coursework, and participation in shadowing experiences with a network of faculty, administrators, alumni and industry partners. Finally, trainees will have opportunities to further develop their interests by participation in internships, teaching and/or formal academic training (certificate or MA/MS degrees). “BU’s BEST program looks forward to developing a novel paradigm for expanded and targeted training in the biomedical sciences which will ultimately be fully transferable to other institutions,” added William Cruikshank, PhD, director of the Molecular and Translational Medicine Graduate Program at BUSM and a BEST co-investigator.