BUMC Faculty Appointments and Promotions – September 2021

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

Clinical Professor:

Michael DawesMichael Dawes, BUSM, Psychiatry, is vice chair of addiction psychiatry within the department and serves as an addiction psychiatrist at Boston Medical Center, VA Boston Healthcare System and Codman Square Community Health Center. He also is associate program director for BU/VA Addiction Psychiatry fellowship and associate program director for the HRSA-funded Addiction Medicine Fellowship. His research focuses on the use of implementation science to increase uptake of evidence-based psychopharmacology in primary care treatment of substance use disorder. He has a demonstrated history of teaching, mentoring and supervision throughout his career and currently mentors two addiction psychiatry fellows and six faculty members.

Associate Professor:

Thurston DrakeF. Thurston Drake, BUSM, Surgery, is an endocrine and general surgeon whose research interests include management of incidental radiographic findings and optimizing surgical care for patients whose primary language is not English. Recently named the inaugural Robert M. Beazley Scholar in Surgical Science, Drake was co-principal investigator at Boston Medical Center for the national Comparison of Outcomes of antibiotic Drugs and Appendectomy (CODA) Trial, and he led the BMC COVID-19 Procedure Team during the 2020 surge in Boston. Drake is a faculty member for the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons annual “Endocrine Surgery University,” and he serves on the editorial boards of Surgery and Journal of Surgical Research. Drake is a surgeon and Commander in the United States Navy Reserve.

Diana HigginsDiana Higgins, BUSM, Psychiatry, specializes in chronic pain and clinical trial design. She serves as director of pain psychology at VA Boston Healthcare where she provides evidence-based psychological interventions to treat chronic pain conditions in veterans. Her current research involves clinical trials of non-pharmacological interventions using technology (e.g., IVR, smartphone applications, Internet) to increase access to evidence-based chronic pain care. She also conducts health services research on disparities in chronic pain, including gender disparities and the impact of overweight/obesity on access to and outcomes of pain care.

Barbara Niles

Barbara L. Niles, BUSM, Psychiatry, focuses on the promotion of health-enhancing behaviors such as mindfulness-based practices and exercise for veterans with post-deployment maladies. A staff psychologist in the behavioral sciences division of the National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare, her research examines complementary and integrative health treatments (i.e., tai chi, meditation) for veterans with trauma exposure and related physical and mental health disorders. Her current work examines the differential effects of tai chi and wellness interventions on symptoms of Gulf War Illness in veterans of the 1990-91 war. She also provides direct clinical training of psychology interns and post-doctoral fellows in the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology.

Clinical Associate Professor:

Melissa DiPetrillo, BUSM, Medicine/General Internal Medicine, is a clinician educator who serves as medical director of the Physician Assistant Program, which includes curriculum design and assessment and small and large group teaching on a variety of clinical topics. In that role she serves as co-course director for Clinical Practicum, co-course Director for Introduction to Clinical Medicine, and has participated in Objective Structural Clinical Examination (OSCE) design and development. In addition to her physician assistant school roles, DiPetrillo serves as a clinical coach for medical students and is a resident clinic preceptor in primary care.

Carmen Sarita-Reyes, BUSM, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, is a clinical pathologist and educator who specializes in genito-urinary and pediatric pathology. An integral member of Boston Medical Center’s Genito-Urinary Multidisciplinary Tumor Board conference for more than a decade, Sarita-Rees has participated actively and decisively in the clinical care of complicated patients. She also serves on the Cancer Care Committee (since 2010) and the Autopsy & Tissue Committee (since 2016). In addition, she is a member of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Pathology and Genetics Test Material Development Committee.