AY2023 State of the School

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

As we begin the 2022-23 academic year, classes have resumed in person for the second year as we have now adjusted to living with COVID. We will continue to keep our community safe from COVID, and now monkey pox.

We look forward to celebrating the school’s 175th anniversary with a variety of activities throughout 2023.

The following are notable highlights of the 2021-22 school year:

Faculty Honors:  Many of our faculty have again received well deserved recognition. For a list of those who received national and international honors this year, click here.

When you receive an honor or award, please notify Maria Ober, associate dean for communications, so that we can announce and track our faculty, students and staff’s accomplishments. If you received an honor or award that is not listed, please contact her now.

Research Publications

Our researchers continue to receive significant media coverage for their published work. BU faculty have published more than 2,840 papers, essays, data bases, etc. in COVID research since March 2020 (see dashboard). Requests for infectious disease specialists and new research on the COVID-19 virus continued to dominate mainstream media:

  • Dr. Tara Bouton’s study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, which examined the infectious periods in vaccinated individuals with SARS-CoV-2, Omicron and Delta Variants.
  • Dr. Allan Walkey’s study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found lottery-based incentive system, intended to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates, was not associated with an increase in COVD-19 vaccinations received considerable attention. Later in the year, Dr. Anica Law’s study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found similar results reinforcing Dr. Walkey’s previous research.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Taglauer’s study in the American Journal of Pathology, found the placenta may be blocking SARS-CoV-2 transmission to babies during pregnancy.
  • Dr. Cozier’s study in PLOS ONE, found Black American women with low levels of vitamin D appeared to be related to increased incidence of COVID-19 infection.

Research on Alzheimer’s disease, the role of positive thinking in health and CTE also received extensive coverage:

  • Dr. Lindsay Farrer’s study in the journal Alzheimers & Dementia found lipid and glucose levels at age 35 is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, his study in the journal Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia, identified a novel gene for Alzheimer’s Disease in women.
  • Dr. Lewina Lee’s study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found men who worry more may develop heart disease and diabetes risk factors at younger ages.
  • Drs. Michael Alosco and Jesse Mez’s study in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy found MRI’s may be the initial window into CTE Diagnosis in the living.
  • Dr. Robert Stern’s study in the JAMA Network Open found former Notre Dame football players were more likely to have brain disorders, was covered by local and national media.

      New Research Grants

      Here are our largest new grants:

      PI Dept – Section $ Project Title Sponsor
      Ronald Corley, PhD Microbiology $57.9 NIAID NIAID
      Thomas Perls, MD, MPH, FACP Medicine – Geriatrics $21.9 Resilience/Resistance to Alzheimer’s Disease in Centenarians and Offspring (RADCO) NIA
      Neil Kowall, MD Neurology $16.1 Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center NIA
      Anthony Griffiths, PhD Microbiology $9.8 Model Development and Medical Counter Measures (MCMs) for BSL-4 Agents in NHPs NIAID
      Anthony Griffiths, PhD Microbiology $5.2 Cellular Nanosponges as a Medical Countermeasure to Emerging Virus Threats DOD
      Joseph Mizgerd, ScD Pulmonary Center $4.0 Pulmonary pathophysiology sub-phenotypes of pneumonia NIAID
      Richard Wainford, PhD Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics $4.0 Age-related Hypertension and Vascular Cognitive Impairment NIA
      Joseph Zaia, PhD &

      Thor Stein, MD, PhD

      Biochemistry

      Pathology & Lab Medicine

      $3.9 Cerebrovascular Remodeling and Neurodegenerative Changes in Alzheimer’s Disease NIA
      Lynn Rosenberg, PhD Slone Epidemiology Center $3.7 The Influence of Structural Racism on Incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) in Black women NIAg
      Camron Bryant, PhD Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics $3.5 Systems genetics of premorbid and cocaine use traits in a rat reduced complexity cross NIDA
      Shelley Russek, PhD Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics $3.3 The STAT3 response of excitatory neurons to epileptogenic brain injury NINDS
      Matthew Nayor, MD, MPH Medicine – Cardiology $3.3 Metabolic Responses to an Oral Mixed Meal Tolerance Test: Intra-individual changes, correlates, and prognostic significance NINHLBI
      Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD Medicine – Rheumatology $3.2 PRROPS: Pathways of Risk and Resilience for Overlapping Pain and Sensitization NINDS

       Foundation awards of note:

      • Recognizing BUSM as one of a small group of universities that offer outstanding educational programs in genetic counseling, the Warren Alpert Foundation made a grant of $1,760,370 to BUSM’s Master’s in Genetic Counseling Program to increase the number of genetic counselors from underrepresented backgrounds.
      • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation named Assistant Professor of Medicine Andrew Berical, MD, a recipient of its Shwachman Clinical Investigator Award. Dr Berical, a member of the Center for Regenerative Medicine, will receive $390,000 for his project “A multi-omic and genetically-controlled assessment of iPSC-derived airway cells to advance therapies for CF.”
      • Michael Wallace, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy & neurobiology, received a grant of $225,000 from the Whitehall Foundation for his project, “Genetic dissection of habenula dopamine circuits.”
      • The Leo Foundation awarded Associate Professor of Dermatology Deborah Lang, PhD, a grant of $545,480 for her project, “Melanocyte stem cell lineage determination and plasticity.”
      • Neurology Instructor Diana Anderson, MD, MArch, received three-year, $175,000 Clinical Scientist Fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Association to support her project, “Health Outcomes of Transitional Space Design for Older Adults with Dementia.”
      • The Rheumatology Research Foundation made a grant of $375,000 to Assistant Professor of Medicine/Rheumatology Jean Liew, MD, MS, for the project, “The impact of axial spondyloarthritis treatment on chronic opioid use.”
      • The Women Veterans Network (WoVeN), the national peer support network of women veterans that was founded by BUSM investigators based at the VA Boston Healthcare System, received grants from the Oak Foundation ($400,000) and the Walmart Foundation ($250,000).  The Walmart Foundation has supported WoVeN since 2017, with total donations now exceeding $1M.
      • Assistant Professor of Pharmacology Julia TCW, PhD, received a grant of $300,000 from the BrightFocus Foundation for her project, “Modulation of astrocyte matrisome signals reprogram microglia that can be targeted to mitigate Alzheimer’s disease.”

      Click here to read the latest news from our associate deans, chairs, center and institute directors.

      Best wishes for a healthy and productive academic year.

      Karen H. Antman, MD
      Provost, BU Medical Campus
      Dean, Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine