Pulmonary Center News

Congratulations to PhD student Fadie Coleman for receiving the 2014 Raymond W. Sarber Award from the American Society for Microbiology. Under the mentorship of Professor Jay Mizgerd, Ms. Coleman is studying macrophage-pneumococcus interactions differentiating whether exposures lead to pneumonia or instead to effective host defense. The Sarber Award is national recognition for excellence in student research.
Congratulations to Professor Jeff Berman for receiving the 2014 Henry D. Chadwick Medal. The Henry D. Chadwick Medal is the highest honor awarded by the Massachusetts Pulmonary Section of the American Lung Association, recognition for meritorious contributions in the study and treatment of thoracic diseases and being outstanding in the field of pulmonary medicine.
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Andrew Wilson for receiving a 2014 Shillelagh Award from the Alpha-1 Foundation. The award is named after a Celtic weapon to symbolize the battle waged by doctors and researchers against the lung and liver disease caused by genetic deficiency of alpha-1 antitrypsin.
Assistant Professor Felicia Chen and colleagues report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that fetal insufficiency of the vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid can lead to lifelong structural changes in the lung involving increased airway smooth muscle and excessive bronchoconstriction. This new link between prenatal vitamins and subsequent lung structure and function may be relevant to diverse pulmonary diseases, particularly asthma which includes such airway hyper-responsiveness as a defining feature.
Assistant Professors Allan Walkey and Renda Soylemez Wiener report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine that academic hospitals seeing greater numbers of severe sepsis patients achieve lower mortality rates for this disease, suggesting that hospitals with more experience caring for such patients have improved outcomes.
Associate Professor John Berk and colleagues report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) the discovery of a new treatment for amyloidosis patients. Their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-institutional trial demonstrated that the generic drug diflunisal can slow amyloidosis disease progression. These findings are exciting for providing treatment hopes and alternatives for amyloidosis patients and their physicians, and for supporting the NIH mission of re-purposing old drugs for new uses.
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Elucidating the biology of healthy lungs.
Discovering mechanisms responsible for pulmonary disease.
Translating basic biology to clinical intervention.
Determining clinical efficacy.
The Pulmonary Center is dedicated to fighting lung disease.  Pulmonary Center investigators integrate their research and educational activities; share laboratory space, facilities, and staff; combine resources; and work together daily.  The Pulmonary Center strengthens the individual research programs of its investigators while generating a unified effort to combat lung disease.
April 9, 2014
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine