Meet the Program Directors
Caroline Attardo Genco, PhD, currently directs the BU-TPID. Dr. Genco obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1987 from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where she worked on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). She then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Stephen Morse at the Centers for Disease Control in the area of STDs. She was an Assistant Professor of Oral Biology at Emory University from 1991-1992 and moved to the Department of Microbiology at Morehouse School of Medicine where she was promoted to Associate Professor in 1993. She was recruited to BUSM in 1997 and is currently a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology. Since her initial appointment at BUSM in 1997, she has fostered numerous collaborations within the Department of Medicine, across Departments in the School of Medicine, and across Departments and Schools of Boston University. This is reflected in her NIH funding which currently comes from 3 different NIH institutes (NIAID; NHBLI; and NIDCR). This current funding has resulted from collaborations with investigators in the Section of Infectious Diseases (Wetzler, Massari, Ingalls, Gibson), Cardiology (Freedman, Weinberg, and Walsh), in the Department of Biophysics-BUSM (Hamilton), Department of Oral Biology and Periodontology- SDM (Van Dyke) and Department of Biomedical Engineering-COE (Ünlü and Wong). She also has existing collaborations with investigators at numerous Academic Centers with the US. In addition to NIH sponsored research, she has worked with several Pharmaceutical companies on funded research projects, as well as in an advisory capacity. Her translational work has also encompassed clinical studies evaluating immunological responses following acute inflammatory diseases. Dr. Genco has trained undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees (PhD, M.D. and D.D.S.). Four postdoctoral and 2 predoctoral trainees are currently in training. She has considerable expertise in training minority students. As discussed above, she was on the faculty at a minority medical school from 1992-1997 before coming to BU. She currently serves on 3 BU Institutional Training Grants. She has also served as mentor on individual NIH training grants and the BU undergraduate research opportunities program. She has also been heavily involved in the BU City Lab Program. She has trained students from programs outside of BU including international students from the University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico and Trinity College, Ireland, and also trained visiting scientists from Taiwan and Egypt. During her tenure at BU she has been involved heavily in the mentorship of junior faculty. Some of this mentoring has involved mentoring in formal settings. i.e. with junior faculty on program project grants, and in reviewing manuscripts and grant proposals. She also currently serves on the Department of Medicine Faculty Development and Diversity Committee and in this capacity has been involved on various programs to promote mentoring of junior faculty. She was recently appointment Research Director in the Section of Infectious Diseases. In this capacity she will continue to mentor Junior faculty in a formal setting. Her administrative qualifications include serving as Program Director on a Program Project Grant (2000-2005) and on a new Program Project Grant. She has also served as the Chair for several nationally and internationally attended symposia and has organized scientific meetings, securing both NIH and Industrial support for these meetings. During her tenure at BUSM, she has served as on numerous committees related to graduate education. Institutional committee service includes Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee, Women in Science in the Department of Medicine Committee, Committee on Faculty Affairs, and Faculty Development and Diversity Committee.
To specifically facilitate integration of the program between the Medical School and the College of Engineering. Dr. Selim Ünlü (Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering) will now serve as Associate Program Director of the BU-TPID. His research focuses on development of label-free biodetection with emphasis on immunoassays and protein-DNA micro-arrays. Dr. Ünlü is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Program in the College of Engineering and has the responsibility of all aspects of graduate student recruiting, training and mentoring. Dr. Ünlü has graduated 15 PhD students and he is currently training 8 PhDs and 4 postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Genco and Dr. Ünlü have an existing collaboration on a NIAID funded RO1 and have an established working relationship. Ünlü and his collogues have worked with several BU interdisciplinary training programs consisting of faculty across departments, schools and campuses.