Category: Faculty News
Local researchers Awarded Grant from the DeGregorio Family Foundation for Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Research & Education
(Boston) –Tony Godfrey, PhD, associate chair of research in the department of surgery at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC), was recently awarded a two-year, $225,000 grant from the DeGregorio Family Foundation for Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Research & Education. Godfrey, who is also an associate professor of surgery at BUSM, will use the funding to study Barrett’s Esophagus (BE). People with BE are at increased risk for a type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma is an aggressive tumor that is often diagnosed after it has already spread to other sites. Currently, the only way to detect esophageal adenocarcinoma is with an endoscopy, which is an invasive procedure that requires a hospital visit, sedation and a day off work.
The research team is developing a new approach for esophageal cancer detection that could be performed simply in a primary care physician’s office or even at home. The approach uses a sponge-containing capsule attached to a string. When swallowed, the sponge expands in the stomach and can then be pulled back through the esophagus and out of the mouth. Esophageal cells are rubbed off onto the sponge as it is pulled through the esophagus and can be examined to look for cancerous changes.
“Our project, clinically conducted in our Barrett’s Esophagus Program at Boston Medical Center, will attempt to find cancer cells using a sensitive method to detect mutations that are known to cause esophageal adenocarcinoma,” said Godfrey, who is also principal investigator of the study. “If successful, this project may lead to more wide-spread esophageal cancer screening, earlier detection of tumors and improved survival,” he added. “We are grateful for the funding provided by the DeGregorio Family Foundation which will allow us to perform vital experiments to determine if this approach is feasible.”
Lincoln Stein, MD, PhD, from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Virginia Litle MD, director, Barrett’s Esophageal Program at BMC, are collaborating with Godfrey on this project.
The DeGregorio Family Foundation seeks to promote and facilitate education and collaborative research on the pathogenesis, early diagnostic and treatment of upper gastrointestinal malignancies. It was founded in 2006 after a tenth member of the DeGregorio family succumbed to stomach cancer and was found to have possessed a rare gene that causes the disease and other common cancers. Her surviving siblings, who both tested negative for the gene, created the Foundation to raise funds for research on the hereditary and non-hereditary varieties of stomach and esophageal cancer. Since its inception, the Foundation has made tremendous progress in providing the private support needed to learn more about these cancers, which has had an enormous global impact.
Founder Lynn DeGregorio looks forward towards the advancement in early detection and treatment of these diseases.
The Department of Surgery is pleased to announce that Douglas F. Kauffman, PhD, is the new Associate Chair for Education.
Dr. Kaufman graduated Cum Laude from the University Of Minnesota Institute Of Child Development with a BA in Child Psychology. He obtained an MS in Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD in Psychological and Cultural Studies: Cognition, Learning, and Development also from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Most recently, Dr. Kaufman was a tenured Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Assistant Professor of Education at Eastern Connecticut State University; and Assistant Professor of Measurement and Research Methods in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Kaufmann’s research interests include instructional innovations designed to improve students’ learning, cognition and self-regulation in complex learning environments. In his role as Associate Chair for Education, Dr. Kauffmann serves as a faculty member in the Department of Surgery, with specific responsibility for the development and administration of educational programs offered by and within the department to medical students, other professional students, surgery residents and department faculty and staff. His research agenda will include efforts to improve the efficiency and efficacy of our teaching and learning, thus advancing the field of Surgical Education.
Donald Hess, MD : Collaborator of the Year Award: Clinical Collaborator for his work with members of the Department of Medicine in studying the physiology and biochemistry of obesity and weight loss. Generous and insightful collaboration of Dr. Hess with members of the Evans Center Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC) on METABOLIC DISEASES AND INSULIN RESISTANCE: STUDIES IN PATIENTS UNDERGOING BARIATRIC SURGERY has contributed to advancing cutting edge translational research.
Karl Karlson, MD: Collaborator of the Year Award: Clinical Collaborator for his co-leadership of the Evans Center Affinity Research Collaborative ARC on NANOTHERANOSTIC PLATFORMS FOR CANCER AND VASCULAR DISEASE, for most valuable insights on animal surgery in the context of drug delivery to the cardiovascular system, and for leading by example much sought after collaborations among basic and clinical researchers.
About the Award
The Department of Medicine Evans Center Collaborator of the Year Award: Clinical Collaborator is given yearly to investigators affiliated with Boston University (BU) or outside of BU, who have contributed to the research mission of the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research (ECIBR) by creating and/or significantly enhancing webs of interdisciplinary collaborations within the Evans Center and BU.
Working at Boston’s largest Level One Trauma Center, the staff at Boston Medical Center care for patients with complicated medical issues every day. But as we all have come to understand, April 15, 2013, was not like any other day, and the events that our nation observed have forever changed the way many of us approach medicine.
All of us at BMC who were involved with Marathon Monday and its aftermath think about that day while moving forward with our daily lives and work. We all had different reactions and adjustments to the violence that transpired six months ago. While many of us are still working through our personal challenges associated with the tragedy, many more have likely placed the incident in a mental storage compartment in order to facilitate forward progress. However, not a day goes by when we do not think about the Marathon and how we can take the lessons learned and apply them to our future trauma victims and patients.
To read the full opinion, please click here.
Dr. David McAneny, Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine and Associate Chair for Clinical Quality and Safety, Boston Medical Center Department of Surgery is the new Vice Chair in the Department of Surgery. In this role, he will also serve as Division Chief of General Surgery and Section Chief of Surgical Oncology.
A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. McAneny completed his residency at Boston University Medical Center and Boston City Hospital and a Fellowship in Gastrointestinal Surgery at Lahey Clinic Medical Center. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons, and an active member of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the New England Surgical Society and the Boston Surgical Society. He is also a Past-President of the Medical-Dental Staff of Boston Medical Center, a Past-President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and former Massachusetts state chairman of the Commission on Cancer.
Dr. McAneny’s practice is devoted to endocrine surgery, surgical oncology, and general surgery, especially gastrointestinal surgery. His fellowship training was in upper GI surgery, with emphasis on the pancreas and the biliary tract. His surgical expertise is in tumors and other diseases of the endocrine organs, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, hepatobiliary system and spleen.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. McAneny has received numerous teaching awards. He is the recipient of the 2005 Grant V. Rodkey Award, bestowed by the Massachusetts Medical Society for “outstanding contributions to medical education and medical students.” He is the 2008 Boston University faculty selection for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national honor medical society, and he is currently Councilor of the AOA chapter at BUSM. He received the 2008-2009 Erwin F. Hirsch, MD Teaching Award from the graduating Boston University Surgery chief residents, The Stanley L. Robbins Award for Excellence in Teaching, conferred at the 2010 graduation to the “outstanding educator at the Boston University School of Medicine,” and the Educator of the Year Award in Clinical Sciences, conferred at the 2013 BUSM graduation ceremony.
David McAneny, MD, named councilor of the BU School of Medicine Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
David McAneny, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, has been named councilor of the BU School of Medicine Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AOA).
A national honor society, AOA recognizes excellence in scholarship and supports high standards and ethics in the profession of medicine. Being elected to AOA identifies the member as committed to scholarship, leadership, professionalism and service. Along with the student officers, faculty councilors organize chapter functions, projects, meetings, and most importantly the annual selection of nominees for election to membership in AOA.
Boston Herald: Amid chaos of Marathon Monday, pedicab driver was just what the doctor ordered for BMC surgeon
BMC/BUSM vascular surgeon, Jeffrey Kalish, MD, was featured in a Boston Herald story about getting to campus on Marathon Monday. Click here to read the article.
Alik Farber, MD, was elected to distinguished fellow status of the Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) at the 67th Vascular Annual Meeting® on May 30, 2013. At Boston Medical Center he is the chief of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, medical director of the Catheterization and Angiography Laboratories, and co-director of the Vascular Noninvasive Laboratory. He is an associate professor of surgery and radiology at the Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Farber graduated from Brown University with a degree in biology. He obtained his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and finished a residency in general surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his vascular surgery fellowship at Dartmouth and an endovascular surgery fellowship at the Southern Illinois School of Medicine. He has served as a principal investigator in a number of clinical trials and is a principal investigator of the Best Surgery versus Endovascular Therapy (BEST) clinical trial which will compare vascular surgery and endovascular therapy in patients with critical limb ischemia. BEST has been approved by the National Institutes of Health but is still awaiting funding.
He has written and published many articles about vascular and endovascular surgery; has served as a moderator for various vascular meetings, and developed a formal education program in vascular surgery while at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. which resulted in the Golden Apple Teaching Award for teaching and mentoring residents.
Ever since his arrival at Boston Medical Center, eight years ago, Dr. Farber has made it his goal and mission to foster continued clinical excellence and academic productivity. Dr. Farber is a director of a fourth year medical school elective (BMC Surgery Bootcamp) which is designed to prepare medical students who are going into surgery for their internship.
Dr. Farber is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the American Board of Surgery. He has been a leader in many national and regional medical and surgical societies including SVS, the Society of University Surgeons, the Western Vascular Surgery Society, the New England Society for Vascular Surgery, the International Society for Endovascular Surgery, and the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery.
About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 4,600 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its website at www.VascularWeb.org®
Susan Walsh, DPM, Division of Podiatry (Foot Care Specialists) at Boston Medical Center and BU School of Medicine has been elected to a two-year term as President of the Massachusetts Podiatric Medical Society (MPMS).
MPMS is the Commonwealth’s professional society for podiatric physicians and surgeons and is the state chapter of the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Tony E. Godfrey, PhD, Associate Chair, Surgical Research and Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, earned a bachelor’s of science degree in biochemistry from Brunel University in England, followed by a doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry, also from Brunel. He attended the University of California, San Francisco, for postdoctoral fellowships and managed UCSF’s Genome Analysis Core Facility.
Most recently, Dr. Godfrey was a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY. Prior to this he was an Associate Professor of Pathology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY.
Dr. Godfrey’s research is focused on cancer genetics and molecular pathology. Research projects use state-of-the-art genetic and genomic approaches to address clinical needs in the areas of cancer diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. Currently the major focus of Dr. Godfrey’s research is on Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma; a tumor with rapidly increasing incidence in the United States and other western countries. The Godfrey lab works closely with translational research teams comprised of surgeons, pathologists and oncologists in order to develop new molecular approaches to cancer detection, staging and treatment.
Virginia R. Litle, MD
Division of Thoracic Surgery
Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine
Virginia Litle, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, is a graduate of the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT and received her medical degree from the Brown-Dartmouth Program in Medicine in Providence, RI. Dr. Litle completed her residency in general surgery at the University of California in San Francisco, CA and completed fellowships in both Surgical Oncology and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
Most recently, Dr. Litle was an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY. At BMC/BUSM, Dr. Litle will be Director of the Barrett’s Esophagus Program and Director of Thoracic Clinical Research.
Dr. Litle’s clinical interests include management of benign and malignant esophageal diseases including Barrett’s esophagus, achalasia and esophageal cancer, minimally invasive esophageal surgery and endoscopic procedures including minimally invasive esophagectomy, endoscopic resection and Barrx ablation of Barrett’s esophagus. Dr. Litle also offers VATS lobectomy for lung cancer, airway and esophageal stenting and laser treatment for palliation of lung and esophagus cancer.