Archive: 2015

Professor David Center successfully renewed the BU Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) award. This 23.4 million dollar grant from the NIH empowers researchers across both BU campuses to do research studies spanning multiple disciplines to improve human health.

Associate Professor Maria Ramirez has received a new R01 grant from the NIH, supporting her investigations of long non-coding RNAs that are antisense to transcriptional regulators of lung cell specification, elucidating novel levels of gene expression important to the generation and maintenance of healthy lungs.

Congratulations to Fadie Coleman who successfully defended her PhD thesis! She was mentored by Professor Jay Mizgerd in studying how divergent macrophage responses to pneumococcus dictate whether infections develop into pneumonia or are are instead readily cleared after transient and asymptomatic colonization.

The Pulmonary Center welcomes its newest faculty member, Associate Professor Yang Jin! Dr. Jin moved to the Pulmonary Center from Harvard Medical School. She brought a strong and productive research team to BU, focused on fundamental molecular mechanisms of pulmonary inflammation and injury, generating new insights into pneumonia, sepsis, COPD, and other pulmonary diseases.

Assistant Professor Matt Jones has been named the acting Director of the Molecular and Translational Medicine PhD Program. This is the largest PhD program in the School of Medicine, from the largest Department on our campus (Medicine), and it consistently produces superb new scientists.

Professor Jay Mizgerd received a new R01 grant from the NIAID, entitled Lung-resident Antibacterial Heterotypic Immunity. Dr. Mizgerd and colleagues will examine specialized immune cells that develop in the lungs and stay there to prevent respiratory infection, protecting adults from pneumonia unless and until these cells decline with advancing age.

We welcome Katrina Traber into her new role as a faculty member, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Pulmonary Center. She is studying intercellular communication in the infected lung, with a focus on oncostatin M-related pathways.

Assistant Professor Frank Schembri has been named to the newly created position of Director of Simulation for the Department of Medicine. Simulation is an increasingly important part of medical education, during training and afterwards, and Dr. Schembri will be developing simulation-based teaching protocols to optimize the care delivered by members of the BU Department of Medicine.

Professor Avi Spira and colleagues report in the New England Journal of Medicine results of a clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of a gene expression profile they developed in the Pulmonary Center as a signature of lung cancer. After examining 639 patients across 28 medical centers, results demonstrate that such molecular analyses of bronchial brushings significantly improves the capacity for bronchoscopy to accurately diagnose lung cancer.

Congratulations to Lee Quinton for his promotion to Associate Professor, with a primary appointment in Medicine and a secondary in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Congratulations to Greg Wasserman, PhD student, and his mentor Assistant Professor Matt Jones, for receiving an F31 award from the NHLBI. This grant will support Greg’s education and research relating to roles of the Miwi2 protein in pulmonary inflammation.

Congratulations to the PhD students in the Pulmonary Center who received prizes in the BUSM Russek Day celebration, including Fadie Coleman (first prize, Microbiology), Nicole Stauffer (second prize, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), and Greg Wasserman (second prize, Microbiology).

Congratulations to Associate Professor Liz Klings who has been appointed the new Director of the Center of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease at BUSM and BMC. The Sickle Cell Center conducts basic and translational research and trains fellows, house staff, and medical students in providing the best care for patients with sickle cell disease.

We are pleased to report that the 2014 Pulmonary Center Challenge raised more than $270,000 in commitments! We are inspired by this generosity, and these responses to the 2014 Challenge show us that building a Pulmonary Center endowment – dedicated to supporting the training of pulmonologists and lung biologists and to advancing research against pulmonary disease – is possible. An endowment will provide the Pulmonary Center with greater stability and freedom to pursue ever bolder directions in pulmonary research and training. We are proud of what has been accomplished, and encouraged by the progress it facilitates. Thank you to our wonderful and generous donors.