Four faculty have been honored as 2022 Educators of the Year by the BUSM Awards Committee. Nominated by students and faculty, the annual awards recognize BUSM educators who provide excellence in teaching and mentoring.
This year’s recipients are Omar Siddiqi, MD, Pre-Clinical Educator of the Year; Tejal Brahmbhatt, MD, Clinical Educator of the Year; Amy N. Brodeur, MFS, Educator of the Year in MA/MS Programs; and Matthew D. Layne, PhD, Educator of the Year in PhD Programs.
Siddiqi is an assistant professor of medicine in cardiovascular medicine and program director of the Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Program. He also is co-director of the cardiovascular module of the BUSM diseases and Therapies (DRx) course. He received his medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine. He went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Boston medical Center. As director of the cardiology fellowship curriculum, he is credited with developing an academic half-day for cardiovascular medicine fellows and developing an echocardiography curriculum utilizing the CAE ultrasound. These efforts have been recognized with two Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Faculty Teaching Awards which he won in 2015 and 2018. His research interests in medical education include the development of simulation-based curricula and the integration of team-based learning in teaching electrocardiograms. His clinical interests include cardiac amyloidosis and echocardiography, and he is an attending cardiologist in the BU Amyloidosis Center.
Siddiqi’s nominators said, “He was able to present very difficult topics in a fun and interesting way through group discussions incorporating real-life examples. The examples presented allowed students to think critically about the information we were learning, making the course even more relevant. He was also very open to feedback throughout the course and made changes accordingly.”
Brahmbhatt is an assistant professor of surgery, an acute care and trauma surgeon and surgical intensivist at Boston Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Windsor University School of Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies. He completed his residency in general surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and a fellowship in traumatology, emergency general surgery and surgical critical care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His research interests include trauma and emergency surgery resource appropriation in an environment of dwindling resource allocation and surgical education.
Brahmbhatt’s nominators commented, “He is a true champion and advocate of his students and residents. He is an outstanding educator and mentor and a strong supporter of women going into surgery.”
Brodeur is an assistant professor of anatomy of neurobiology and associate director of the biomedical forensic sciences program (BMFS) coordinating classes and supervising research projects in the areas of crime scene investigation, forensic biology, physical evidence comparison and bloodstain pattern investigation. In addition, she administers and maintains the forensic biology laboratory, oversees the admissions committee, and is responsible for ensuring the BMFS program continues to meet the standards required to maintain its accreditation.
Brodeur earned a Master of Forensic Sciences from the George Washington University before gaining forensic casework experience in the areas of mitochondrial DNA and STR analysis. Prior to coming to BUSM, she conducted casework in the Criminalistics section of the Boston Police Department Crime Laboratory, which included biological and trace evidence screening, gunshot residue testing, general evidence examination and crime scene processing. Her current research interests focus on optimizing presumptive biological testing and detection/collection of evidentiary material from crime scenes.
One of her nominators said, “Professor Brodeur teaches us in a way that feels protective. She is always available to talk over assignments, quizzes, and exams, and she reminds us of this frequently. It is very clear during her lectures that she is an expert in her field. Professor Brodeur often has to cold-call us in class because we tend to be a little quiet; this is a terrifying feature in a professor, but with her it feels more like she is boosting our confidence. Very few professors have this talent and it makes her constructive criticism all the more valuable.”
Layne is an associate professor of biochemistry. He earned his PhD at BUSM. His laboratory focuses on identifying novel pathways that control extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis and assembly as they relate to fibroproliferative and connective tissue diseases. Fibroproliferative responses are similar to wound healing processes involving accumulation of contractile myofibroblasts and ECM secretion and assembly. Recent work is uncovering the role of collagen-associated protein Aortic Carboxypeptidase-like Protein in adipose tissue remodeling and metabolic disease.
As the assistant dean for research, Layne is dedicated to facilitating, monitoring and evaluating research experiences for medical students with the goal of expanding and enhancing student research opportunities at the School.
One of Layne’s nominators said, “He epitomizes the mission of the award in that he certainly goes above and beyond expectations for our teaching mission. He challenges students to acquire skills critical to their development as scientists. He delivers exceptional education to our students as his commitment to their learning is unrivaled.”