C3 Community Catalyst Center Launches!

Graduate Medical Sciences believes that graduate education is enriched by diversity and a strong sense of community among peers. This philosophy sparked the idea for the Graduate Medical Sciences Community Catalyst Center (C3), which officially launches this week. The center’s goal is to foster holistic success for the diverse GMS student community by providing helpful resources, events, workshops and community chats. “As we welcome both incoming and returning students back to campus for the fall, we are excited to offer this additional support to our students,” said Deborah Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD, ad interim Associate Provost and Dean of GMS. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate in C3 programming. The center’s five affinity groups are gSOC (students of color), gFIRST (first-generation students) gMAV (military-affiliated and veteran students), gPLUS (LGBTQIA+ students) and gGLOBAL (international students). “We are so proud of the diverse perspectives of our community and are eager to make sure that all students are comfortable and confident during graduate school, so they feel like an integral part of the GMS community,” said Theresa A. Davies, PhD, Director of Oral Health Sciences and Assistant Dean of GMS Master’s Programs. Upcoming events for September include walking tours of popular Boston neighborhoods, workshops on acclimating to GMS... More

Physician Assistant Graduation Ceremony Sends 30 Graduates into the Field

“When I look out at all of you, that word that comes to mind is ‘grit,’ said Program Director Susan White, MD, as she opened the small, in-person graduation ceremony for the Physician Assistant Program, held Aug. 12 in Hiebert Lounge. “As a class, you’ve shown a tremendous amount of perseverance and strength.” The event marked the end a two-and-a-half-year journey through an intensive course of study, including an integrated pathophysiology and pharmacology course alongside second-year medical students. In addition to classroom work, students also completed 14 months of clinical rotations and a thesis project. Last year, 2020 graduate Jane Chow, MS, PA-C, created a lapel pin for graduates to wear on their white coat upon leaving BUSM as a symbol of the successful completion of their studies. This year’s class was the first to receive their pins in person. Deborah Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD, ad interim Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Medical Sciences, addressed the graduates and expressed her pride for their hard work. “Your participation and contribution to the profession of healthcare is very much needed,” she said. “Thank you for your resiliency, and thank you for your professionalism.” John Weinstein, PhD, MS, Director of Research, read the names for the program’s 30 graduates, More

22 STaRS Share Their Summer Research

The Summer Training as Research Scholars (STaRS) Program concluded its 10-week research experience with a virtual symposium held Aug. 5. Overseen by Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS), the STaRS Program is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH. It has trained over 150 scholars and received more than 3,000 applications since its inception. Trainees work with faculty, fellow students and postdoctoral associates on cutting-edge biomedical research projects, build powerful and lasting relationships and set a course for college and career success. Each week the scholars worked alongside their mentors realizing virtual projects, presenting their research at meetings and attending seminars aimed at preparing them for application to graduate and medical school on a research path. After an opening welcome from Director of the STaRS Program Isabel Dominguez, PhD, who also is assistant professor of medicine, the virtual symposium began by acknowledging the faculty, professionals, student mentors and administrators that contributed to the success of the program. The scholars then introduced themselves and their research project goals. The scholars presented their posters and discussed their work on a variety of topics, including heart-brain axis, cell dynamics, signaling pathways, cardiovascular disease, amyloidosis, COVID-19, lung cancer screening, cerebral small vessel disease, cancer genomics, depression, More

Healthcare Emergency Management Program Trains COVID-19 Response Workforce

Kevin “Kip” Thomas, MBA, PhD, Program Director for the MS in Healthcare Emergency Management, had been working as Executive Secretary of Homeland Security when he completed a vulnerability assessment for Washington D.C. and certified the national labs. That assessment led him to notice a void in the healthcare side of emergency management, and he realized the best way to address this was through education. While working for the Pentagon, Thomas met Peter Bergethon, MD, Head of the Laboratory of Intelligence Modeling and Neurophysics at BUSM, and Mark Moss, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at a meeting on protecting health infrastructure, and the group began conversations about the need for education in this area. In 2007, these discussions resulted in a meeting with Dean Karen Antman and the development of the Healthcare Emergency Management (HEM) Program at BUSM. HEM prepares students to work across the spectrum of emergency and crisis management, with a focus on biomedical sciences and health care. So, it’s no surprise that the majority of HEM alumni are now employed in the COVID-19 planning and policy workforce. With nearly 100 graduates of the program since its inception, 11 now work in emergency management at the federal level, three at... More

Celebrating Juneteenth: The History Behind Freedom Day

Juneteenth, traditionally observed on June 19, marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in America were told they were free. On this date slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Also frequently referred to as Freedom Day, Juneteenth is already celebrated in most states. This is the first year it is an official holiday in the state of Massachusetts. As of this year, Boston University now recognizes Juneteenth as an official holiday as part of ongoing efforts to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive. The United States Senate and House of Representatives approved a bill that would make Juneteenth a legal public holiday, and the measure is expected to be approved by President Biden. BU is hosting various online webinars and events to allow our community to engage with and learn more about this important day - find a list of programming here. To learn more about Juneteenth, we recommend listening to The Juneteenth Mixtape episode of the new podcast, Be Antiracist with Ibram X Kendi. Additionally, BU Senior Diversity Officer Andrea Taylor helped to break down the significance of Juneteenth in a... More

Getting to BUMC in 2021

Dear Colleagues, As we prepare for a new school year and some of you plan your return to campus after being away for some time, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few changes about transportation and commuting programs that will hopefully improve your commute. MBTA Passes The 10th of each month is still the deadline for enrolling in, cancelling, or changing your participation in BU’s 50% subsidized MBTA Pass Benefit. Those not currently enrolled who wish to get a July MBTA pass must be sure to sign up via BUworks by Thursday, June 10th. One change: MBTA passes are now mailed to your home address on file with the University – no need to pick them up! Also: please familiarize yourself with MBTA service changes and COVID-19 precautions. The BUS Like so many things, riding the BU Shuttle is different at this time. Face masks are required, eating and drinking are prohibited, and there’s a rigorous cleaning schedule. Whenever possible, please consider walking or bicycling for short trips. Our new app The old “BUS app” has been retired. Next time you need to figure out whether it would be faster to take the BUS, wait for the T, walk, or bike, look no further than our new... More

Program Spotlight: Summer Research as Training Scholars (STaRS)

Boston University Summer Training as Research Scholars (BU STaRS) is a summer-long program designed to promote access to graduation education for traditionally underrepresented students in research and medicine. Scholars are provided with the opportunity for research, enhancing skills required for admission to graduate programs. Each STaRS scholar is paired with a faculty mentor to participate in research projects of varied interests not limited to substance abuse disorders, neuroscience, and cancer research. In addition, the STaRS program provides bi-weekly seminars focused on research and abstract writing, career advice, including applying to PhD or MD/PhD programs. The 2021 BU STaRS program takes place from May 31 - August 6 (for undergraduate students) and May 17 - July 9 (for medical students). The end-of-program symposium, where students present their research findings to colleagues and faculty, will take place on August 5. The program is grant funded through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH and is run by Boston University’s Graduate Medical Sciences, a recognized leader in graduate education and biomedical research. Learn more about the program here!

GMS Faculty Awards Celebrate Excellence in Teaching

To recognize faculty who adapted quickly and successfully during the COVID-19 crisis and continued to provide students with quality education, mentoring and research experiences, GMS recently created new awards for faculty excellence. GMS students nominated faculty members whose efforts really stood out during the pandemic and the shift to remote learning. The award was broken down into four categories: Didactic teaching in GMS master’s programs Mentorship in GMS master’s programs Didactic teaching in GMS doctoral programs Mentorship in GMS doctoral programs Congratulations to the winners: Shoumita Dasgupta, PhD, Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Genetics and Genomics, in the “Didactic teaching in GMS doctoral programs” category. One nomination praised her “excellent leadership and adaptability to class needs during COVID-19, especially when coupled with stresses around the November 2020 election.”   Aaron Young, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physiology & Biophysics, in the “Didactic teaching in GMS master’s programs” category. This man is literally unmatched in his ability convey complex topics in a simplistic manner. He is engaging with his students and illustrates his compassion in ways others fall short. I have never felt so connected with a professor through Zoom in my life.   Gerald Denis, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, in the “Mentorship in GMS doctoral... More

PRIDE Month Recommended Reads

RAFFLE CLOSED Congratulations to our raffle's winners: Michaela Carrier, Elissa Everton, Meagan Lauber, Yamini Adusumelli, James Merrington and Senegal Carty! Happy reading! All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto By: George M. Johnson         Detransition, Baby: A Novel By: Torrey Peters         Felix Ever After By: Kacen Callendar         Red, White, and Royal Blue: A Novel By: Casey McQuiston         The Hours: A Novel By: Michael Cunningham       We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation By:  Matthew Riemer  

PREP Symposium Celebrates ’21 Scholars

On May 27, BU PREP scholars - Chantal Aaron, Autumn Grimins, Hapshepsut Jackson and Moises Ramirez  - shared their capstone projects with faculty, staff, mentors, and program alumni at this year's Class of 2020-2021 Zoom Symposium. The students highlighted their research and conclusions in their presentations, answered questions, shared the journeys that led them to the BU PREP community and discussed the next steps in their career journeys. GMS applauds our PREP scholars on their hard work and celebrates their bright futures! We'd like to give a special thanks to the program directors, Drs. Fadie Coleman and Andrew Henderson and Program Administrator Nola Tochukwu Ihejirika (Pathology & Laboratory Sciences '21). A special thank you to the PREP mentors - Drs. Jude Deeney, Jennifer Luebke, Maria Medalla, John H. Connor and Scott E. Schaus.  About PREP: Boston University School of Medicine Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (BU PREP) is a year-long preparatory program for recent bachelor’s degree recipients seeking entry into competitive PhD training programs. The program fosters mentoring relationships that enhance personal and scientific development for members of historically underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences, and is supported by a NIH/NIGMS R25 GM125511 grant. BU PREP scholars are paired with BUSM’s outstanding faculty, use state-of-the-art research facilities, More