AY2024 Initiatives and Reports
Associate Deans’ Offices
Admissions – Kristen Goodell
- Leadership: We have hired a new Assistant Dean for Admissions, Dr. Evelyne Chiakpo. Chiakpo is a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine and has been a member of the Admissions Committee since 2017. Many of her academic and mentoring activities are focused on supporting women and people from underrepresented groups, and in admissions she will advance that work by representing our school at meetings and fairs, giving talks, and helping to improve yield among accepted applicants.
- Team expansion and recruitment: We have expanded both the pool of initial application reviewers and the admissions committee in general, and are offering enhanced training for these groups as we strive to recruit an increasingly diverse and talented class.
- Applicants and Matriculants: In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision banning the use of race as an independent factor in admissions, we have reviewed and updated our processes and IT systems to ensure that we are in compliance with the law, have required specific training sessions on our procedures for reviewers, interviewers, student volunteers, and staff to ensure that we are operating in accordance with the law while working towards the goal of an increasingly diverse and talented medical school class.
- Pathway Programs: The 7-year BA-MD program is in the process of sunsetting, with no current first-year undergraduates and no plans for recruitment this year. We will continue to support all students currently enrolled in the program through medical school graduation. The MMEDIC program continues to thrive and will expand to meet demand of BU undergraduates. The EMSSP program is in the process of being expanded to UMass Boston and UMass Lowell. We are working with the College of Arts and Sciences Dean of Academic Programs to create a new early assurance pathway for BU undergraduates from diverse, first-gen, and low-SES backgrounds.
- Research: Research on the predictive validity of the Casper test continues. This is a 5-year project, and we are in year 2. We continue to participate in collaborating with the AAMC to publish research on the validity and use of the MCAT in holistic admissions.
Alumni Affairs – Heather Miselis
- Alumni Awards: The Alumni Board and Office will reconfigure the award selection process and awards available to alumni to highlight the diversity of alumni backgrounds and scope of careers.
- Alumni Career Pathway Conversations: We will continue to engage our alumni with current students through career conversations held on-campus or virtually.
- Expand Internal Department Collaborations: The Alumni Affairs team will continue to build collaborations with Departments and Programs across Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine (e.g., Graduate Medical Sciences, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility) to support program initiatives and alumni networking and philanthropy.
- Celebrate Alumni: We are back on the road visiting alumni and hosting events and will host our Annual Reunion in September, 2023 including celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Early Medical School Selection Program. Additionally, over the year we will continue to work with Communications to highlight the stories of our alumni in our “Alumni Story Project”.
Alumni Medical Library – Kate Flewelling
The Alumni Medical Library provides a collaborative environment that fosters academic excellence; supports innovative research, teaching, and learning; and encourages outreach across the Boston University Medical Campus community.
In support of that mission, FY24 marks the second year of the library Strategic Plan. Goals include:
- Library programming and outreach: We are hosting a National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit, Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics and Culture, from September 11 to October 20, 2023. An Open House and virtual Graphic Medicine speaker event will be held in conjunction with the exhibit.
- New and existing learning technologies: We have partnered with BUMC IT, Faculty Development, and others to provide a Provost Workshop on ChatGPT and Generative AI on October 26, 2023. We are working with Medical Sciences & Education, EdMedia and vendors to educate faculty on educational resources, such as VisualDx and BioDigital.
- Enhance discovery: In FY24, the library will assess the preservation of archive materials and make archives materials more accessible through BU’s discovery platforms. Last year, we piloted a Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA) program, adding over 9,000 ebooks accessible to users. In FY24 we’ll assess and expand DDA program, adding more ebooks.
- Services to researchers: The library has updated our Systematic Review and knowledge synthesis services. Through a gift from Questrom alumnus Bob Ayan, BU researchers now have full access to Rayyan, an AI-assisted research collaboration platform for systematic literature reviews.
- Premier service: In FY23, the library implemented a new ticketing system. Since implementation, 86% of queries are responded to in 24 hours and 46% in less than an hour!
BUMC IT – Ern Perez
- MedHub Implementation Completion: With a new curriculum/evaluation platform (MedHub) live as of May 2023 for all four years (for students, faculty, courses/modules), AY24 will add the clerkship lottery function to run in MedHub. EdTech will continue working with client stakeholders and the vendor to maximize efficiencies through best practices and platform enhancement requests.
- Student Information System integration – Complete integrations between Campus Solutions, the Admissions Information Management System (AIMS), MedHub and other Chobanian & Avedisian SOM systems. Data exchange will include admissions, financial aid, courses, enrollment, student demographics, grades, lottery results, advising, and USMLE / MCAT scores.
- Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) improvements – Create a new application to support the generation of the MSPE, leveraging Campus Solutions, MedHub and OnBase.
- Consolidate the MD early assurance pathway programs – Create a single system to support the Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP), the 6-year MD-Integrated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Program (OMFS-MD), the Modular Medical/Dental Integrated Curriculum (MMEDIC), and any future pathway programs. The new system would streamline the gathering of materials from admissions applicants, and facilitate applicant review, interview scheduling, interview reports, and final selection. It would also integrate with the Admissions Information Management System (AIMS).
- Upgrades to Windows 11 – Microsoft plans to end security updates for Windows 10 in October 2025. About 40% or 1,000 BUMC IT supported computers running Windows 10 do not currently support Windows 11. New computers may need to be purchased to replace computers that cannot be upgraded.
- Framingham Heart Study Active Directory Migration – Client Services is working with Framingham Heart Study (FHS) IT to complete the migration of over 100 FHS computers and servers to the bu.edu domain. Major project benefits include:
- Improved technology support for staff at Framingham, MA from BUMC IT.
- Improved performance accessing BU file shares for staff in Framingham, MA.
- Continuing seven-year mission of upgrading campus instructional space – Keefer, Bakst and L211/L213 are slated for upgrades in 2024.
Continuing Education – Dan Alford
- Increase the number of interprofessional activities that we accredit.
- Increase our offering of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit for Regularly Scheduled Series such as grand rounds.
- Increase attention to DEI in continuing education program planning.
- Increase familiarity of the impact of AI on Continuing Education.
- Increase our visibility at the school promoting our many skills and expertise in educational design, quality improvement, project ECHO, and project management.
Diversity & Inclusion – Angelique Harris
- In addition to our new Assistant Deans for Diversity: Shoumita Dasgupta, Karin Schon, and Alexis Ramirez, we have also added Brandan Farquharson as the new Office Manager and Felipe Agudelo as the new Associate Director for Diversity and Inclusion. In his role, Felipe will help us track, organize, and assess DEIA programming, activities, and goals at the school.
- The year’s programming and events will kick off with our second annual Medical School Student Mixer, followed by Encuentro Latino, our networking event held during Hispanic Heritage Month recognizing the contributions Latinx clinicians have made to the city of Boston.
- In January, we will again host our annual MLK Health Activism & Social Change Lecture and in February, our Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler Lecture recognizing the contributions of our faculty, students, staff, and alumni to promoting social change and health equity.
- We are especially excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP). The ~220 alumni from all over the country who have completed this program will be invited in September to join us to celebrate the program, and to honor Dr. Frederick Powell, an anesthesiologist and a EMSSP alum and who earned his PhD/MD from our institution in 2011 for his continued support and championing of EMSSP.
- Finally, thank you for participating in the BU Climate and Belonging Survey. The data has been analyzed and the finding and next steps will be discussed Wednesday 10/18/23 at 2pm in Hiebert and via zoom.
Faculty Affairs – Hee-Young Park
- Lunch with the Dean: Faculty Affairs hosts informal lunches with Deans Antman and Park to get to know faculty and to hear about barriers to research, teaching and academic advancement.
- How to Get Promoted Workshops: Faculty Affairs and the Faculty Development Office virtual workshops to review faculty promotion guidelines and criteria, followed by individual CV reviews will be held in October & December 2023 and Spring 2024.
- Propelling Rise of Faculty (PROF) Mentoring program supports the efforts of early career faculty and educators toward their academic promotions. The Faculty Affairs and Research Offices and the Professional Development Committee will pair interested early career faculty with senior faculty to facilitate their academic promotion in early 2024.
- Appointment and Promotion Tracking (AdAPT): Faculty searches and Appointments and Promotions have transitioned into the AdAPT web-based process that allows departments to track job searches and Affirmative Action documents and to submit and track the status of appointment or promotion dossiers. Faculty can check with their Chair on the progress of their promotion once their dossier has been submitted.
- Training session for the department administration: Faculty Affairs provides departmental administrator training to prepare faculty appointments and promotions (FAP) documents and sessions with BU ISSO representatives to learn about visa related processes. Meetings facilitate networking among administrators to share best practices for faculty managements.
- BUMC Orientation: The three medical campus schools, BU HR, BUMG and Faculty Affairs offers new faculty orientation (open to all medical campus faculty). Key campus and school offices introduce key staff and provide a quick overview of the office.
Development – Suzanne Maselli
FY24 Goals: Secure $68M cash in through 381 prospect meetings, 110 $100K+ solicitations, 12 cultivation and stewardship events, and 30 annual fund and department-specific appeals.
FY24 Strategy: The Edward Avedisian Naming Gift enhances the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine’s reputation, provides significantly more student scholarship support, and inspires alumni and parents. Development will seek to match the Avedisian fund with support from other donors. Regional events in California and Florida will provide a platform for Dean Antman and other faculty to focus on School strengths and opportunities. On-campus programming and regional alumni relations events throughout the year will highlight our outstanding programs and emphasize our goals and priorities. In addition to continuing to focus on scholarship, research, and faculty support (particularly for junior faculty), we will highlight these initiatives:
- Graduate Medical Sciences
- Clinical Skills & Simulation Center
- Center for Aging Research
- Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP) discretionary fund and scholarship support
- Cancer Center
The Foundation Relations (FR) staff will continue to disseminate summaries of RFPs, introduce faculty members to foundation program directors, outline proposal requirements, and edit proposals. FR will also work with the school’s academic leadership to develop fund-raising strategies for high-priority institutional research programs. While most private funding requests are in the 6-figure range, the FR team has been increasingly involved with 7-figure requests and has several pending in FY24. The team will continue to proactively seek to develop these high-value opportunities.
Our team collectively will create a strategic plan for the next five years, with the expectation that the school will be a major contributor to the University campaign.
Graduate Medical Sciences – C. James McKnight
- GMS Academics and Enrollment Remain Strong – GMS graduated 427 students from our 14 PhD and 18 master’s programs (29 PhD students, nine MD/PHD, 38 MA, 341 MS, eight MS/MPH and two MS/MS) over our three graduation dates (Aug. 2022, Jan. 2023 and May 2023). Admissions numbers for fall 2023 were 376 master’s students and 41 PhD students, and our expected admissions numbers for fall 2024 are on course for a similar incoming class size.
- Community Catalyst Center– The Community Catalyst Center (C3), spearheaded by Assistant Dean Theresa Davies, continues to help students acclimate to Boston and the Medical Campus and adjust to the academics of graduate school while gaining a sense of belonging early in the programs at GMS. This center welcomes all GMS students, including international, first-generation college graduates, students of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ students, veterans and military-affiliated students. C3 develops community among peers across GMS programs by providing resources, events and workshops that support and help students thrive.
- Emerging Scholars Awards– Emerging Scientific Scholars Program (ESSP) welcomed its first class of five Awardees in Fall 2022, and another five will arrive on campus this fall. These monetary awards, funded by donations from PhD programs and matched by GMS funds, are given with the express goal of mitigating moving and housing concerns for prospective students, particularly those with socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
- New Awards for GMS Master’s and PhD Students – The first Outstanding Research Achievement Awards were conferred to GMS graduates Claire Burgess, PhD in Molecular and Translational Medicine, and Erika Minetti, MS in Medical Science. Rhode-Armelle Jean Jacques, from the MS in Physician Assistant Program, received the first Community Service Award.
Medical Education – Priya Garg
- The class of 2026 is the first school of medicine class to enter the redesigned 1st and 2nd year curriculum. Two new courses were launched, PISCESs (Principles Integrated Science, Clinical Medicine and Equity) and LEADS (Learn, Experience, Advocate, Discover and Serve). The major curricular changes included a new instructional design where foundational content was delivered in the form of Self Learning Guides (lovingly now called SLuGs by our students) followed by in-class Team Based Learning (TBL) cases, large group application sessions, and consolidation sessions facilitated by faculty.
- Application sessions allow students to apply content in clinical cases, learn from one another, and identify knowledge gaps as they plan for their own personal studying. In this first year, the faculty, module, course directors and Medical Education staff have dedicsted hundreds of hours to create this new and innovative learning experience. We very much appreciate the efforts of our education community who are now evaluating student’s performance to determine whether they are better prepared to provide healthcare.
- In our new health equity course called Learn Experience Advocate Discover Serve (LEADS) M1s began school with an immersion into health equity so they could better understand the impact of sociopolitical structures on health and learn a framework needed to promote health for all before seeing patients. Through visiting local community health centers, community organizations, and hearing from patients and community experts on the impact of racism on health, the opioid epidemic, local refugee health, LGBTQ+ health and care for those experiencing homelessness, students widen the breadth of their experiences and perspectives on caring for vulnerable populations while advancing systems that promote health for all on a societal level.
- Midway through the year, students selected an area of focus to explore in more detail in a smaller group setting with close guidance from faculty track directors. The track areas include Addiction and Health, Community and Environmental Health, Gender and Sexual Diversity/LGBTQ+ Health, Global and Refugee Health, Homeless Health, Racism in Medicine, Research, Social and Structural Drivers of Health, Teamwork and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in Healthcare.
- M2s returned from the summer ready to develop a project proposal in their track area of focus to address an identified need designed to advance health, that will provide experience and skills they can continue to employ as students and in their future careers as physicians.
- In conjunction with the curriculum redesign, we used several methods to evaluate the changes made to the education program and are continuing to collect outcome data. We worked closely with students to receive real time feedback including lunch meetings with the Med Ed Dean and the formation of the PISCEs Student Engagement Panel (P-SEP) a longitudinal student feedback group. Students shared both successes and areas for improvement and faculty, working collaboratively with students, adjusted the curriculum in real time during the year, delveloping best practices during this time of change.
- As M3 and M4s explore their clinical and professional interests, rotation directors continue to innovate in their specialties. The clerkship clinical assessment form was redesigned to provide students with clearer descriptions of specialty specific behaviors in all the competency domains. New electives for M4s included a transition to internship course in pediatrics. Transition to internship course are now available in all the major specialties that students enter as interns.
- We continue to educate all students, faculty and staff to ensure that the Learning Environment this actually what we envision. The MEO, SAO and students worked together to collaboratively build a new central website that all members of the medical school community could visit to ensure transparency in our expectations. https://www.bumc.bu.edu/camed/education/medical-education/learning-environment/
Student Affairs – Angela Jackson
- MATCH 2023 was successful, reflecting the accomplishments of our students. SAO sponsores workshops, 1:1 meetings with the assistant SAO deans and meetings of all students with the ADSA as well as with their Field Specific Advisors to support the application process.
- The SAO welcomed two new team members, Tiffany Wong and Royisha Young, coordinators of Wellness and Advising and Student Activities, allowing the SAO to expand the wellness programing. We implemented 1:1 wellness check-ins for students for wellness goal reviews, targeted wellness initiatives for M3 students and a coordinated wellness programing throughout the year. A Career Guidebook for M1s was created and distributed to the entering class, outlining the four-year career development program, as well as a short video to review the advising program, highlighting available resources and how to best use them. The Wellness and Advising SACs continue their work, along with the Conversation Coalition, a group of students and faculty who serve in an advisory role for the SAO.
- Student Affairs successfully launched a three-part new career development seminar series for students, Practical Aspects of Practicing Medicine, addressing practical aspects of career selection, practice settings, financial models and more, inviting recent alums, BMC leaders.
- Student activity groups, currently ~ 90 distinct groups, continue to be a venue for our students to develop their various interests and provide community outreach. We implemented a Wellness in Leadership seminar for the student leaders and an expanded Student Activity Report
- We have worked to streamline the compliance process, working with the Registrar’s office, BU’s Student Health Services and BMC. Shadowing for medical students is also being streamlined and centralized, and these efforts will continue in the coming year.
- The SAO-coordinated White Coat Ceremony welcomed the Class of 2027, who were coated by their assigned AMEs and heard from Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kate Walsh.
- The SAO thanks Dr. Kenneth Grundfast for his many years of service to the SAO and the students, and looks forward to ongoing collaborations and we welcome Dr. Bob Vinci, as a new assistant dean in the office.
Research – Andrew Taylor
- Data Science Core — Initiated in January 2022, the Data Science Core has reached its full complement of faculty to provide computational analyses such as high throughput data analysis, biostatistical analysis, machine learning, and natural language processing associated with specific biological, biomedical, and health research questions. In addition, the facility is available to assist with publications, reports, grants, and analysis source codes. There are now three faculty members in the core, Drs. Ignaty Leshchiner, Chao Zhang, and Jinying Chen, each with their own expertise to help medical school researchers in their data science needs. In addition, the faculty have developed a GMS graduate-level course on bioinformatics.
- Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) core. With support from an NIH shared instrument grant awarded to Esther Bullitt, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Structural Biology, and the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, a $3,000,000 faculty being built to support our structural biology researchers with the most advanced Thermo Fisher Glacios 2 systems. The Glacios 2 Cryo-TEM provides near-atomic resolution with a resolution limit of 2.1 Å. This core will be used by researchers to understand how proteins, the fundamental biological players in biology and disease, adopt multiple conformations and work with other proteins to form functional complexes. The Cryo-EM provides in 3D the structure of functional native proteins, the dynamics of complex biological systems, and the changes with disease.
- Proteomics service core – This is a new core that originated in the CNSB and is now directed by Joe Zaia, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. The core offers mass spectrometry support to the research community providing multiplexed and label-free workflows for proteomics and phosphoproteomics, along with workflows for on-slide tissue proteomics, laser microdissection, immunoprecipitation proteomics, proximity labeling proteomics, and glycoproteomics.
Basic Science Departments
Anatomy & Neurobiology – Jennifer Luebke
- Continue to recruit talented new faculty who do research in the field of neuroscience.
- Continue to excel in medical, dental and graduate education and training.
- Continue outreach to the community through presentations and demonstrations of anatomy and neuroscience.
- Optimize space and equipment resources for all members of the department.
- Establish physical and virtual archives of human, non-human primate and rodent brain materials.
- Present high profile scientific symposia related to archives and also in honor of distinguished faculty and alumni.
- Enhance outreach to department alumni through a variety of alumni events including symposia.
Biochemistry & Cell Biology – David Harris
- Recruitment of additional outstanding faculty, most recently Mohsan Saeed (RNA Viruses, including SARS-CoV-2; joint with the NEIDL; 2019), Shawn Lyons (RNA metabolism during stress; 2019), and Mike Blower (Mitosis, transcription, chromatin structure; 2020). We are currently recruiting for a new assistant professor to begin in 2024.
- Renovation of new departmental space on the 5th floor of the K Building.
- Establishment of a Proteomics Service Center, headed by Dr. Joseph Zaia, to expand the availability of high-quality proteomic analysis to the medical school.
- New departmental instrument resources, including an Olympus TIRF microscope.
- Continuation of the Early Career Development Awards program (pilot grants to promising postdoctoral trainees) and a graduate student support program (providing departmental assistance to PIs for funding of early-stage graduate students). Both of these programs are now in their second year.
- Establishment of a Junior Faculty Advancement Program for promotion of promising research-track faculty to independent positions.
Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics – Vanna Zachariou
- Strengthening drug discovery and translational research: New CryoEM equipment and recruitment of Structural Biologists, to enhance collaborative research on disease pathophysiology and drug discovery.
- New treatments for chronic pain: We are establishing a network of preclinical and clinical laboratories to identify and test novel and safer treatments for the management of chronic pain conditions.
- Treatment of addiction disorders: New faculty positions for the study of substance use disorders. New collaborations with clinicians for studies on addiction biomarkers, establishment of tissue banks, genetic and epidemiology studies.
- Expanding out cancer research team: new positions for translational research on cancer therapeutics.
Virology, Immunology & Microbiology – Ronald Corley
The Department of Virology, Immunology & Microbiology had a productive year, moved to new contiguous space, successfully changed our name to reflect our research and educational missions, and successfully recruited a new faculty member who will focus efforts on our educational mission. For the coming year our goals are to:
- Recruit a new chair to replace Dr. Corley, who has been in this position since 1994.
- Recruit new research faculty, especially those focusing on immunology to complement our existing research efforts.
Anesthesiology – Rafael Ortega
- Publishing our new patient safety hybrid book titled “What Did you Say? Enhancing Patient Safety Through Communication” written with the collaboration of faculty, residents and medical students.
- Growing the Violeta Martinez and Rafael Ortega Research Fund, which was recently bolstered by a $1.3 million donation by the late Dr. Marcelle Willock, former chair of the Department of Anesthesiology.
- Establishing the Department of Anesthesiology as the leader in using multimedia for medical education through the section in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia “Videos in Clinical Anesthesia”.
- Preparing our medical students and residents to join the most competitive residency programs and fellowships in the country.
Dermatology – Rhoda Alani
- Launch of Campaign to Support Aging Research at Boston University.
- Onboarding of new BU Center for Aging Research faculty and promotion of outstanding BU-wide Aging Center seminar series.
- Increase departmental federal research funding through individual and collaborative grants and industry support, with a special focus on our new Center for Aging and Skin Health and novel Naked Mole Rat facility.
- Recruit additional clinical and research faculty to expand areas of health disparities research, basic research on inflammatory diseases of the skin, research in skin cancers and wound healing, and clinical research and care programs in Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
- Continue developing and promoting faculty to the next academic rank.
- Continue with recognition for excellence in teaching to medical students in the pre-clinical and clinical programs.
Family Medicine – Stephen Wilson
The Department of Family Medicine entered its 26th year at Boston University by reviewing, reflecting, reimagining, and reinforcing who we are and why we exist. We are here to bring about meaningful improvements in the health outcomes of our patients. Everything occurs through that lens.
Our Vision: To make health equity the reality.
Our Mission, Vision, and Strategic Goals are grounded in our belief that all people, no matter race, ethnicity, heritage or neighborhood, should have a fair opportunity to achieve their full health potential, so we strive to remedy differences in health that are systemic, unjust, and avoidable.
Our overarching strategic goal is to define, develop, and demonstrate value-based care in Family Medicine to improve individual and population-level health equity. To accomplish this, we will:
- Build a robust patient-centered and comprehensive accountable care model.
- Increase and leverage scholarship and research.
- Scale up our impact by strengthening our teaching and communication.
- Improve the wellness of our faculty, resident, and staff resulting in increased vitality, resilience, and intention to stay and reduce burnout.
- Excel across the education continuum.
- We are actively engaged in transforming care delivery to a more value-based in design, delivery, and outcomes.
- We provide care across the continuum of life (womb to tomb), health (well to sick), and settings (office, hospital, labor & delivery, patient home, nursing home), wherever patients are locally and globally.
- Our international collaborations continue:
- Lesotho continues to thrive and advance. The residency program we helped them establish is accredited and producing doctors for the country; new infrastructure is being built; and we are working together to open a medical school.
- Medical education and family medicine infrastructure work in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos are rebounding from COVID limitations, including two Cambodian family physician leaders being able to spend a month with us.
- We continue to have a strong presence in medical student education through our highly rated Family Medicine Clerkship, mentoring, course instruction, and service on committees.
- Our Family Medicine-Psychiatry residency graduated its first class in June 2023. This five-year program is one of eight in the country.
- Our commitment to health equity includes advancing research and scholarship through faculty development and partnership, collaborations, and work with BU Center for Anti-racism Research, BMC Health Equity Accelerator, Boston HealthNet Research Committee, the Grayken Addiction Center and others.
- We continue to increase our depth and breadth by enhancing our point-of-care ultrasound program, addiction training and services, sports medicine presence at the Ryan Center and in community health centers, Family Medicine hospitalist service, research infrastructure, and community engagement. Additionally, to buttress our collaborative partnership with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, we are adding more operative family medicine-obstetric physicians.
- Our faculty continue to provide national leadership, one as President of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and another elected to American Board of Family Medicine board of directors.
- We continue to work hard to diversify our faculty and trainees to better reflect, reach, and advance the health of the communities we serve.
Our dedicated, committed faculty, residents, administration, and staff make all we do possible.
Medical Sciences & Education – Hee-Young Park
- With a grant from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the BU Med-Science Program (MSP) for the Boston Public High School (BPS) students was held in-person during the Summer, 2023 under the direction of Dr. Maura Kelley. MSP will continue during the AY23-24 academic year as virtual programs for the fall 2023 and spring 2024 for BPS high school students.
- A Summer Biomedical Research Internship was offered during July – August 2023 to six high schools students from John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Boston with funding from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. This has been one of the first major initiative to expose STEM to BPS students by actually spending 6-weeks in the biomedical research laboratories under the mentorship of Chobanian & Avedisian SM faculty and students.
- Educators’ Collaborative Lunch will be offered each month starting September 2023. Workshops presented at the 18th Annual BUMC McCahan Education Day will be featured, as well as other topics on how to do educational research.
Medicine – Anthony Hollenberg
The Department of Medicine continues to focus on goals for improvement in each if its core areas: patient care, research, education and diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Patient Care: the Department continues to grow clinically and develop new programs to meet unmet medical need. In the coming year there will be focus on expanding reach, quality and access of our clinical programs in addition to the recruitment of new leaders of our Sections of Cardiovascular Medicine and Gastroenterology. We also celebrated the career of Alice Jacobs, MD who retired this June and have begun the search process for a new Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs.
- Research: The Department continues to grow its extra-mural research programs with a particular focus on supporting young investigators in the Department via its support of Career Development Awards (ie K awards) and the development of a new pre-K program, the Research Accelerator Program to support promising young investigators. These programs will be further coupled with a focus on T32 training programs and other fellowship directed programs and our R38 research in residency mechanism to ensure that our trainees and junior faculty have the mentorship and support to succeed as they begin their research careers.
- Education: The Department is fortunate to have outstanding training programs and superb faculty educators. In the upcoming year we will continue to focus on these programs and also began to examine the overall training of educators within the Department of Medicine. Developing the ability to support and mentor educators at every level will be a critical goal of the Department.
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: We continue to focus on all of our programs to enhance the diversity of our staff, trainees and faculty. We will continue to review and enhance our recruiting programs in the Department also at all levels. Finally, we will have our first weeklong focus on diversity this year with featured speakers and events.
Neurosurgery – James Holsapple
- Develop complex neurosurgery spine program under leadership Jose Fernandez, MD (Dir Spine Surgery).
- Continue human trial non-invasive intracranial (MIT-BUSM-BMC collaboration; J Holsapple, MD/T Heldt, PhD).
- Continue CNS drug delivery research (MIT-Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine-BMC collaboration; U Upadhyay, MD).
- Expand Summer Program in Neuroscience (SPIN collaboration including Graduate Program Neuroscience, Neurology, Neuro Pathology, Neuro Radiology, Neurosurgery).
- Expand Neurosurgical Residency Training Program (J Holsapple, MD, Program Director).
- Continue Master’s Medical Engineering Program (BU-BUSM Neurosurgery collaboration, P Rohatgi, MD).
Obstetrics & Gynecology – Aviva Lee-Parritz
Maintain and increase access for family planning services, in particular abortion services, in light of national political forces.
Advocate for APP Compensation Plans.
- Reduce severe maternal morbidity by 10%, and reduce racial disparity; sustain our excellent rates of optimal fetal outcomes.
- Improve performance on surgical site infection (SSI) O/E for hysterectomies (currently at 1.28).
Ensure all faculty in new leadership positions have to access external coaching / leadership training.
- Fill all vacancies to secure adequate staffing, given access to and use of extended leave policies.
- Improve Mean Professional Fulfillment score on the Clinician Wellness Survey to >6.71 (this year’s score)
Diversity & Inclusion
- Recruit patient advisory board group/members
- Full leadership engagement in Obstetric Anti-Racism Programs
- Maintain 50% or > URMs in Residency program.
Education – Medical Students
Meet or exceed 90% on key metrics in the end-of-rotation evaluation.
Education – Residency/Fellowship
Improve both quantity and quality of feedback on faculty education metrics by Residents.
Increase external research funding by 10%.
Ophthalmology – Stephen Christiansen
- Expand multiple clinical services including Comprehensive, Cornea and Anterior Segment, Optometry, and Glaucoma
- Optimize utilization of our clinical research infrastructure to grow clinical research with an emphasis on health care delivery disparities in ophthalmology, especially in urban populations that are multi-cultural and multi-lingual
- International Education
- Under the direction of Dr. Manishi Desai, Director of International Education, provide guidance to the Lesotho Ministry of Health for development of new competency-based curricula for in-country ophthalmic nurse education
- Expansion of indigenous surgical capacity for cataract care in Lesotho using both traditional and non-traditional models of education and training
Orthopaedic Surgery – Paul Tornetta III
- Paul Tornetta III, MD, PhD is the first vice president of the AAOS American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
- Dr Ayesha Abdeen has initiated a robotic joint replacement program.
- Hired new Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon to complete our Subspecialty care team.
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery – Gregory A. Grillone
- Clinical: Continue to expand our Head and Neck division to provide exceptional care and easy access for our head and neck cancer patients. Continue to expand our Pediatric Otolaryngology division to provide comprehensive management of craniofacial disorders (including Cleft Lip/Palate and Treacher Collins Syndrome), and Congenital Hearing Disorders with state-of-the-art technology (including pediatric cochlear implants).
- Research: Continue aggressive efforts to build our research infrastructure and footprint by identifying and leveraging a variety of funding mechanisms to support our many research efforts in the department, including submission of at least one federally funded grant application.
- Education: Develop a guide for medical students wishing to complete a full year of research in otolaryngology. This would include contact information and links to otolaryngology departments, federal agencies, and foundations around the country that offer opportunities for one year of research for students interested in Otolaryngology.
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine – Chris Andry
- Brian Moore, MD, MEd, Clinical Professor served as Vice Chair for BUSM Education and Director for the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Pathology Course. His goals are to continue to support the educational mission of the department and continue to improve and update the GSDM lectures and curriculum in particular. His work was acknowledged by the GSDM with an award recognizing him for Professional Oral Health Excellence in Teaching in the Basic Sciences. Daniel Remick, MD, Professor has successfully taken on leadership of Medical Immunology education for BUSM and GMS in the department. The Immunology courses were completely re-written and he led these successful courses with teaching from Dennis Jones, PhD, Nick Crossland, DVM and Anna Belkina, PhD. Approximately 140 Masters students PA600-700 “Introduction to Pathology” course, Tiffany Mellott, PhD served as the course director and the course was very well received this year.
- The Master’s in Pathology Laboratory Sciences program led by Elizabeth Duffy, MA graduated a very diverse body of students. We initiated expanding marketing initiatives and web development to successfully recruit new students traditionally underrepresented in science and medicine and female candidates. The program will award the Adrianne E Rogers, MD, Emeritus Professor scholarship, named for the co-founder of the Master’s program.
- We recruited two candidates for the new GMS certificate program Path 2 Path, with a goal to recruit scholars from groups underrepresented in science and medicine. Oluwatoyosi Peter Ayenuyo, MB, BS, MPH, MS was the first student to complete this new program and matched to our Pathology Residency Training Program for AY2024.
- We continue to recruit a diverse class of Pathology Resident Trainees, 75% of the AY24 matched class were from historically under-represented groups.
- We actively participated in the BU Education, Advising and Mentoring in STEMM (BEAMS) program, hosting six high school students from the John D. O’Bryant High School in the Pathology department, hosted by Dennis Jones, PhD, Liz Duffy, MA Gareth Morgan, PhD and Chris Andry, PhD (with one student placed in Dermatology with Dan Dempsey, PhD).
- We continued to recognize the life and career of Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller and recognize his role in the field of Neuropathology and neuroscience on the New England Society of Pathologists website.
- Projecting a growth year, we recruited faculty with sub-specialty expertise in Breast pathology, Cytopathology and Hematopathology and Microbiology.
- Aishatu Ladu MD, MPH joined the department July 1, 2023. Dr Ladu is fellowship trained in Cytopathology and Breast & Gyn Pathology. Ilyas Yambayev, MD, a fellowship trained Hematopathologist also joined the department this year. Marisa Nielsen, PhD a board-certified Microbiologist joined the clinical pathology division as Assistant Director for Clinical Microbiology. Sheng Feng, PhD, DABCC will join in October 2024 as Assistant Director for Clinical Chemistry.
- Laboratory services were expanded to offsite locations including: Codman Square Community Health Center (CHC); Upham’s Corner CHC, South Boston and Roslindale in the Boston ACO.
- Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has been added to the clinical repertoire in Anatomic Pathology and went live this year. NGS equipment was purchased using a BU-BMC Cancer Center Award.
- Ivana Delalle, MD, PhD, a neuropathologist and collaborator in neuroscience research returns to the department with R01 funding, partnering with J. Krzysztof Blusztajn, PhD, Tiffany Mellott, PhD and Joel Henderson, MD, PhD. Thomas Clarke, PhD was also recruited and joined the department. His field of interest and expertise is cancer epigenetics. Jim Crott, PhD has expanded his laboratory and is actively collaborating with other colleagues in his field of interests, aging, nutrition and GI cancer. Dennis Jones, PhD continues his AACR funded studies on improving anti-breast cancer immunity by targeting solid stress. Joel Henderson, MD, PhD received a contract extension from Pfizer for his renal pathology studies.
- We expanded the Shipley Prostate Cancer biobank with supporting annotated data base and preparation of Tissue Microarrays. Faculty continue as active collaborators in the BU-BMC Cancer Center.
- Faculty continued to successfully secure extramural funding, both Federal and Industry.
Surgery – Jennifer Tseng
- Reestablish cardiothoracic surgery investigation into best outcomes and practices in the department of surgery
- Build research infrastructure to allow Surgery faculty and collaborators to successfully compete for NIH funding in the basic, translational, and health services research realms, including an HSR T32 training grant.
- Continue to raise the bar for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in the department of surgery.
Centers and Institutes
Aging Research – Vladimir Botchkarev and Slava Labunsky
The Center for Aging Research (CAR) was established in 2022 under support of the Dermatology Chair Rhoda Alani, MD, and leadership of Co-Directors Vladimir Botchkarev, MD, PhD, and Slava Labunskyy, PhD. Its mission is to advance our knowledge of basic mechanisms driving aging and translate these discoveries to clinical practice, to promote healthy aging in humans. Its goal is to bring together investigators and research labs in different departments across the University that apply systems biology, quantitative, genomic approaches to understand aging.
The Center, which currently includes 35 labs from the Medical and Charles River campuses, established a bi-monthly seminar during AY 2023 that allowed investigators focusing on aging research to receive important updates on their research programs, share the unique models including Naked mole rats, research techniques and make plans for future collaborative projects and joint grant applications.
Dermatology recruited Dr. Sam Beck, an expert in the computational biology of aging, who received a grant from the American Federation of Aging Research. Plans for AY 2024 include organization of an annual symposium, continuation of the bi-monthly seminar program and efforts to obtain external funding for support collaboration between different BU CAR labs.
Amyloidosis Center – Vaishali Sanchorawala
- Gareth Morgan, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine and pathology of the Amyloidosis Center, was awarded Johnson & Johnson Innovation QuickFire Challenge (IDEA) award. This award supports the development of diagnostic tools to identify individuals at risk of developing AL amyloidosis, using biochemical characterization of free light chains from patients.
- The Wildflower Foundation has been supporting our groundbreaking research for many years. The Wildflower Foundation committed to support update and upgrade of ALBase, a publicly available repository of the Amyloidosis Center with approximately 4000 protein sequences associated with AL amyloidosis and related diseases. It is widely used by the academic and industrial scientific communities for research projects dealing with mechanisms of amyloidogenesis and development of new therapeutics. Over 100 new sequences have been identified and will be added to the ALBase.
- Vaishali Sanchorawala, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Amyloidosis Center, was selected as the chair of the working group for “Establishment of Multidisciplinary Amyloidosis Centers” of the International Society of Amyloidosis.
BU-BMC Cancer Center – Gerald Denis, Matthew Kulke, Julie Palmer
We have continued to provide pilot funds to early-stage cancer researchers from all parts of Boston University and Boston Medical Center (BMC) through our American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant, recently renewed for another three years, and through the BMC Cancer Innovator’s award. One of our recent ACS IRG awardees, Chris Heaphy, PhD, an assistant professor in the Section of Hematology/Oncology, received his first R01 this year for “The telomere biomarker as a tool to inform decision making for aggressive salvage therapy in men with rising PSA post-prostatectomy.”
The outside consultant brought in to evaluate where the university and hospital stand in relation to readiness for a Cancer Center Support Grant application conducted an extensive evaluation of all aspects required for NCI-designated cancer centers. We recently received the written report and will be sharing it with key stakeholders.
Activities planned for the coming year:
- Begin regular meetings of members of the Cancer Center research programs – Cancer Biology, Population Sciences, Cancer Therapeutics – so that Center members have a chance to meet each other and develop collaborations.
- Initiate site-specific meetings (e.g, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma) that include researchers across all disciplines.
- Continue to expand cancer-focused Community Outreach and Engagement.
- Host an annual Cancer Center symposium, featuring a keynote speaker from outside as well as posters and brief oral presentations from BU/BMC investigators.
CTSI – David Center
- The BU CTSI 2022 Annual Impact report was released earlier this year with several noteworthy achievements, accomplishments and success stories highlighted including the following:
- Named Megan Bair-Merritt, MD, MSCE, professor of pediatrics, CTSI co-director.
- In 2022, the BU CTSI Community Engagement Program adopted a Building a Culture of Community Engagement as the overarching theme for our program recognizing that translational research to advance health equity cannot happen without community leadership.
- The Community Engagement Program launched a Research Partnership Scholars Grant awarding three community-academic partnerships $10k each to build a collaborative relationship. As part of the award, partnerships participated in a nine-month learning collaborative intended to support the development of a collaborative research plan for submission to a community-academic pilot grant opportunity
- the BU CTSI Biomedical Informatics Core (BU-BIC) technical team continues to work with BMC-ITS staff to transform EHR data for BMC and health center patients into two “Common Data Models (CDM)”, “Informatics for Integrating Biology with the Bedside (i2b2)” and “Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP CDM).” Each CDM offers self-service query tools and data extracts which are available for research.
- Health Equity Research continues to be a foundational priority for the BU-BIC. In collaboration with the BMC Health Equity Accelerator, we have expanded our systems to extensive place-based data in our OMOP CDM-based “Data for Equity (D4E).” We recently completed development of software to support self-service exploration of a substantial (and growing) number of health accounts accounting for a substantial number of predictor variables. D4E now includes extensive de-identified clinical data linked to a broad and expanding set of features related to the census tracts that live in American Communities Survey, Social Vulnerability Index, and Child Opportunity Index.
- In 2022 twenty pilot projects were funded that totaled $768,305 with 75% of these one-year pilot awards supporting early career investigators, with 70% of these awards advancing multidisciplinary team science projects.
- We are currently supporting four KL2 Scholars, Dr. Kelsey A. Egan, Dr. Brittany Gouse, Dr. Erika Cordova Ramos and Dr. Nicholas Bosch.
- We also currently support two CIIS fellowships in partnership with the Evans Center for Implementation and Improvement Sciences (CIIS) fellow program helping to build institutional capacity for implementation science, a critical component of a continuously improving and learning healthcare system.
Center for Regenerative Medicine – Darrell Kotton
- The Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) had a year of successful faculty growth, with two newly recruited investigators opening their labs in our physically contiguous Center space on the 2nd floor of 670 Albany St. These labs headed by newly minted Principal Investigators – Assistant Professor Kim Vanuytsel, PhD, and Assistant Professor Kostas Alysandratos, MD, PhD – will study regenerative and stem cell-based therapies for blood borne diseases and lung diseases, respectively.
- A highlight was the growing number of publications successfully regenerating epithelial lineages in vivo in the livers and lungs of mouse models – this work to be featured in the fall of 2023 in Cell Stem Cell represents the culmination of several years of discoveries related to the generation of engraftable progenitors from induced pluripotent stem cells.
- An additional highlight of the past year were the many publications from the CReM featuring organoids and stem cells profiled by single cell RNA sequencing, providing new atlases of human development and disease.
- Several CReM groups worked together to gene edit pluripotent stem cells or organoids in order to publish new models of human genetic diseases, including the first human models revealing how gene loci identified in genome wide association studies (GWAS) contribute to disease risk.
- The Center continues to be a popular home for PhD and MD/PhD graduate student dissertations and a leader of Boston University’s Regenerative Medicine Training Program funded by the NIH/NCATS through a successfully renewed TL1 training grant.
- This year the CReM will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its launch as a physically contiguous Center with planned to festivities that highlight a decade of stem cell discoveries, organ regeneration, gene editing, iPSC biobanking, and international resource sharing as champions of “Open Source Biology”.
Framingham Heart Study – Joanne Murabito and George O’Connor
- The Framingham Heart Study Center is under the new leadership of Co-Directors Joanne Murabito and George O’Connor, both professors of medicine.
- The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) is celebrating the study’s 75th anniversary this year with two planned events. On October 25, 2023, we will host an open house for study participants at the Research Center in Framingham, MA. Participants will have an opportunity to hear from FHS researchers about how their participation has contributed to advancements in our understanding of cardiovascular disease, brain aging, and a range of health conditions. In April 2024 we will hold a celebration of the study’s accomplishments over the past 75 years.
- We are restructuring the governance committees of the Framingham Heart Study with the goal of ensuring opportunities for a larger pool of investigators to participate in FHS research. The committee restructuring will facilitate representation of investigators from under-represented groups, women, early and mid-career investigators, and investigators with mission-critical domain expertise both within Boston University and the wider scientific community.
- FHS participates in multiple consortia undertaking cutting-edge research, including the Collaborative Cohort of Cohorts for COVID-19 Research (C4R), NHLBI’s Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed), the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology(CHARGE), and the Cross-Cohort Collaboration Consortium. In addition, FHS continues to share phenotype and genetic/genomic data in both dbGaP and NHLBI BioLINCC.
- We are currently planning the next cycle of examinations of FHS participants, which is projected to begin in the fall of 2025. We are holding research retreats that allow investigators to learn about FHS and to propose novel testing components for the next examination. We welcome collaboration across the BU community.
Genome Science Institute – Nelson Lau
- The GSI held a very successful annual Research Symposium in-person in November 2022 drawing a strong 100+ attendance towards a return to research normalcy from the pandemic.
- The GSI has also held a very busy seminar schedule in the Fall ‘22 and Spring ‘23 semesters, a combination of notable faculty speakers as well as genomics companies presenting new technologies and yielding career insights in the Biotech industry to our Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program (GPGG) trainees.
- Our GPGG student body has also grown to 16 PhD students across multiple departments at the school, and our GSI faculty membership welcomes the new faculty members with genetics and genomics research portfolios.
Pulmonary Center – Joseph Mizgerd
The goals for the Pulmonary Center for the upcoming year are to make further and greater advances against lung disease.
- We will grow and strengthen our team, via new recruitments and collaborations, with DEIA principles guiding the team building.
- We will expand our extramural research funding to empower bold new investigative directions.
- We will continue our teaching activities through coursework, non-credit curricula, and mentorship to provide future generations of scientists bolstering lung health and fighting pulmonary disease.
Slone Epidemiology Center – Julie Palmer
During the past year, the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) infrastructure grant was renewed for another five years, bringing the number of continuous years of funding for this project to 30. The new grant will support additional questionnaire data collection from the entire cohort, as well as supplemental questionnaires on treatments and patient-reported outcomes in cancer survivors.
Goals for the coming year:
- Continue the Slone Center major research emphasis on health disparities, both through BWHS research on adult populations and through clinical trials of newborns and pediatric patients.
- Extend BWHS research into the areas of lung cancer screening, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and heart failure.
- Recruit additional faculty to expand research into additional diseases other than cancer that disproportionately affect Black women and/or are understudied in Black women.
- Continue to increase the number of medical campus clinical faculty who collaborate with BWHS investigators on research in their own areas of expertise.