NRC Finds Flaws in Draft of NEIDL Risks

November 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized

From Art Jahnke, BU Today~

“The National Research Council has raised concerns in a letter posted on its website yesterday about the methodology used in an ongoing study of the risks associated with the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) on the Boston University Medical Campus.

The NRC found that the risk assessment, which is being supervised by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the consultancy Tetra Tech, had yet to respond to a recommendation for tiered quantitative and qualitative analyses and that its researchers erred when they used expert opinions as a substitute for absence of actual data on 13 pathogens in a modeling process. The NRC committee, whose concerns stem from a scheduled review of a preliminary draft of the risk assessment, urged Tetra Tech to make a “midcourse correction” and use actual data rather than the opinions of experts.”

For the full article, please visit BU Today.

2nd Annual GSI Research Symposium a Huge Success

October 18th, 2010 in Uncategorized

The 2nd Annual GSI Research Symposium has come and gone this October.  Hundreds of faculty, staff, and students stopped by the Heibert Lounge to support genetic and genomic research at Boston University.

Dozens of posters lined the walls of the 14th floor of the L-Building on the Medical Campus.  Graduate and undergraduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows and faculty were all presenting posters.

Awards were given out to the best student and postdoctoral fellow presenters in multiple categories.


The GSI Symposium Awards Recipients: (top row) Elizabeth Tanner, Badri Vardarajan, Stephanie Correa, Rebecca Kusko, Constantina Christodoulou, Kristen Ott, Stephanie Schneider, Daniel Dworkis; (front row) Catalina Perdomo, Irene Degano, Stephanie van Veen, Cody MacDonald.

Adrienne Cupples receives prestigious award

August 18th, 2010 in Uncategorized

Click below to read about Adrienne’s selection as the most recent recipient of the Janet L. Norwood award.

Longevity Linked to Genes

July 7th, 2010 in Uncategorized

GSI members along with other faculty at Boston University have collaborated to identify genes that can predict longevity.  “The scientists, lead by Paola Sebastiani at the School of Public Health and Thomas Perls at the School of Medicine, have found 150 genetic markers that predict with 77 percent accuracy whether people will live extremely long lives” writes Boston University’s Rich Barlow and Lisa Chedekel.

For the full story, please visit BU Today here.

GSI Faculty Meeting

June 18th, 2010 in Uncategorized

Held last Tuesday, June 15th, in the Evans Biomedical Research Center,  the GSI Faculty Meeting was quite a success.  For those of you who were unable to attend and share your thoughts on the future evolution of genetics and genomics at BU with us, you can find the slides from the presentation here.   Any comments or suggestions can be directed to

Robert Green to Speak at World Science Festival and Consumer Genetics Conference

May 17th, 2010 in Uncategorized

GSI Member, Robert Green will be a guest speaker at two prominent events this June: The World Science Festival in New York and the Consumer Genetics Conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.  Below is the description of Dr. Green’s discussion at the World Science Festival.

Our Genome Ourselves – World Science Festival
Thursday, June 3, 2010, 8:00 PM9:30 PM

“There is a revolution underway in the world of medicine.  As researchers identify the genetic variants responsible for cancer, schizophrenia and diabetes, and doctors tailor medications and diagnostic tests specifically for your genomic makeup, we inch closer to personalized medicine. But what does this mean for you today?  And how will it impact your health care ten, 20 or 30 years in the future? Join scientists standing on the leading edge of genomics to learn the promise, pitfalls, and realities barreling toward us.” – WSF Website

GSI member Avi Spira helps further lung cancer prevention and treatment

April 30th, 2010 in Uncategorized

Led by GSI member Avi Spira, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in collaboration with investigators at the University of Utah, have discovered a new approach for identifying smokers at the highest risk for developing lung cancer. The findings, which appear in the April 7th issue of Science Translational Medicine, will allow the researchers to use a genomic approach to prevent lung cancer in these individuals and to personalize cancer chemoprophylaxis and therapy. To read more about Spira’s discovery click here, or you can view the full published article: Gustafson, AM et al “Airway PI3K Pathway Activation Is an Early and Reversible Event in Lung Cancer Development” Sci Transl Med 7 April 2010: Vol. 2, Issue 26, p. 26ra25

Richard Goldstein, a GSI Member, has been awarded a Hartwell Foundation Grant

April 20th, 2010 in Uncategorized

BU Today: For decades, Richard Goldstein has been trying to unlock a genetic puzzle that holds the secret to a more effective vaccine for a pneumonia strain that kills more than a million children a year worldwide. For his work, the BU School of Medicine professor of pediatrics was recently awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Hartwell Foundation, which funds biomedical applied research with the potential to benefit children. [Read Full Article]

GSI faculty member, Sam Thiagalingam, along with GPGG alumni, Panos Papageorgis, discover pathway responsible for epigenetic memory during breast cancer progression.

February 10th, 2010 in Uncategorized

GSI faculty member, Sam Thiagalingam and GPGG alumni, Panos Papageorgis, from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have determined how the TGFβ-Smad signaling pathway, is responsible for the “epigenetic memory” that maintains unique patterns of regulatory DNA hypermethylation, causing silencing of critical genes that facilitate breast cancer progression. The findings, which appear online in Cancer Research, may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for late stage breast and other cancers.  For more details click here.  Or to view the journal abstract, “Smad signaling is required to maintain epigenetic silencing during breast cancer progression,” online at PubMed click here.

Josee Dupuis lead investigator in study identifying genes that influence insulin and glucose regulation

January 22nd, 2010 in Uncategorized

Josee Dupuis, GSI faculty, BUSPH biostatistician and an international consortium (MAGIC) has identified new genetic variants that influence blood glucose regulation, insulin resistance, and the function of insulin-secreting beta cells in populations of European descent.  Five of the 13 newly discovered variants increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes.  The results provide important clues about the role of beta cells in the development of type 2 diabetes.  For more information click here.  Or view the publication abstract, “New genetic loci implicated in fasting glucose homeostasis and their impact on type 2 diabetes risk” online at PubMed.