March 2022 Faculty Appointments, Promotions Announced

Congratulations to the following faculty on their recent appointment or promotion.


Headshot of Dr. VarelasXaralabos (Bob) Varelas, PhD, BUSM, Biochemistry, is a cellular and molecular biologist whose research focuses on understanding how polarity and mechanical cues direct cellular behavior to influence the development and homeostasis of tissues and organs, and how defects in such signals contribute to disease. A particular emphasis has been the study of the transcriptional effectors YAP and TAZ (YAP/TAZ), which are key regulators of the Hippo signaling pathway. Varelas’ studies have described essential roles for YAP/TAZ in epithelial cell fate control, immune cell biology, and in the development of cancer and fibrosis. He is co-director of the Cancer Biology research program in the Cancer Center and co-director of the Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC), which studies tissue fibrosis. He also is a member of the Pulmonary Center, Center for Multiscale and Translational Mechanobiology, Center for Network Systems Biology, and an affiliate member of the Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Associate Professor

Headshot of Dr. LarochelleMarc Larochelle, MD, BUSM, Medicine/GIM, is a clinician investigator with nationally recognized expertise in the use of large secondary data sources to study outcomes of individuals prescribed opioid analgesics for chronic pain and the identification and treatment of individuals with opioid use disorder. He serves as associate editor of Alcohol, Other Drugs and Health: Current Evidence, an online newsletter that summarizes important substance use research findings. He recently was named director of the General Internal Medicine Fellowship at Boston Medical Center (BMC), through which he mentors fellows and moderates works-in-progress sessions. Larochelle teaches medical students during their inpatient and ambulatory medicine clerkships and residents while on the inpatient GIM service at BMC.

Clinical Associate Professor

Headshot of Dr. BentleyMari Bentley, MD, MPH, BUSM, Family Medicine, is a clinician educator with expertise in primary care, comprehensive reproductive health care and palliative care. She teaches medical students, residents and fellows in a variety of settings including Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center, the OB/GYN BEACON Clinic and Boston Medical Center’s inpatient Palliative Care service. She has published a chapter on reproductive health equity and innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic and has developed a written educational module on how to perform a pelvic exam in pregnancy, which is required reading in the BUSM OB/GYN third-year clerkship. Bentley is working on a study to measure the impact of this educational intervention on trainee knowledge, confidence in physical examination skills, and ability to estimate gestational age.

Headshot of Dr. PotterJulia Potter, MD, BUSM, Pediatrics, is an adolescent medicine specialist whose clinical work and research focuses on adolescent contraceptive decision-making, parent-adolescent communication and adolescent mental health. She is PI of the ABCD Family Planning Program in the department, which brings Title X federal family planning support to improve access to family planning care, and serves as teaching faculty for the ABCD advanced family planning course. She collaborates with the department of OB/GYN as the adolescent consultant on a state-wide grant to improve provision of contraception at maternity hospitals across Massachusetts. In her role as director of the Adolescent Center, she has worked to improve universal adolescent depression screening and expand uptake and functionality of the confidential adolescent patient portal. In addition to her leadership of the Adolescent Center at Boston Medical Center, she is the medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission school-based health center program and school physician for Boston Public Schools.

Headshot of Dr. SinhaBharati Sinha, MD, BUSM, Pediatrics, is director of Quality and Safety for Newborn Medicine at Boston Medical Center (BMC). She designs clear visual evidence-based algorithms and clinical practice guidelines for newborn care in a more user-friendly and clinically effective format. She used point-of-care ultrasound to improve accuracy of line placement and protect the newborns from X-ray exposures. Her participation on BMC’s Chronic Lung Disease task force has resulted in significant reduction in the disease in premature babies. This health outcome for preterm babies at BMC is one of the best among hospitals in Massachusetts. She serves on the leadership board of Quality Improvement and Research of the international Newborn Brain Society. Sinha’s research focuses on reducing disability from stroke, and newborn brain injury. Her work in newborn neurology was the first to demonstrate a significant reduction in melatonin MT1 receptors in a newborn mouse model of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and for which she was awarded the William Randolph Hearst award by Harvard University and the Natalie Zucker grant for women scholars by Tufts University.

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