Congratulations to the following faculty on their recent promotion.
John Berk, BUSM, Medicine/Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care, specializes in familial transthyretin and lung amyloidosis. Berk designed and conducted the first international randomized controlled trial for familial amyloid polyneuropathy. This NIH- and FDA-funded study found that Diflunisal, an obsolete non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, inhibited neurologic disease progression, validated a neurologic metric to map disease progression, generated natural history data critical to future study design, and provided proof-of-concept that protein stabilization could alter the course of a protein folding disorder. The study design also established a blueprint for subsequent ATTR amyloid neuropathy trials that subsequently led to two FDA- approved TTR gene silencing drugs. Berk serves on two Scientific Advisory Boards on the development of gene editing applications for ATTR amyloidosis and the development of TTR stabilizing drugs for leptomeningeal amyloidosis. Berk also described low-dose, external beam radiation to treat tracheobronchial amyloidosis, inducing apoptosis of clonal plasma cells generating airway amyloid, a non-surgical option for disease management.
Anuradha Saokar Rebello, BUSM, Radiology, Chief of Thoracic Imaging, focuses on lung cancer and lung cancer screening, management strategies in patients with pulmonary nodules. She played a key role in the creation of Cardiothoracic Imaging section and Boston Medical Center’s lung cancer screening program, and has created comprehensive cardiothoracic imaging curricula for radiology residents. Rebello is dedicated to the mentorship of students, trainees and early-career faculty.
Varsha Vimalananda, BUSM, Medicine/Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, focuses on measuring and improving coordination of specialty care delivery. She develops and applies novel survey measures of coordination. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) adopted a survey that she developed for routine national administration among community-based providers. Her research on electronic consultations (e-consults) to improve access to and outcomes of specialty care led to a regional e-consult improvement initiative in the VA New England Healthcare System. She is a Core Investigator at the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR) and Site Director and PI of the Endocrinology Advanced Research and Clinical Fellowship at the Bedford VA, where she mentors BUSM endocrine fellows in health services research.