HMS Faculty Council Proceedings

To begin the May 16 Faculty Council meeting, Nancy Andrews, dean for basic science and graduate studies, gave a presentation on education programs that bridge clinical medicine and the basic sciences. Her report, titled “New Bridging Educational Initiatives at HMS” can be viewed at the Faculty Council website on eCommons.

During the Q&A following the presentation, Andrews discussed how these programs align with the University academic calendar. Because the Medical School starts in August, some classes, such as small tutorials, do not have the capacity to enroll students from other Harvard schools. However, the move to a common semester format across schools increases the possibility that HMS students can enroll in other Harvard courses. The publicity and coordination of these programs is still a work in progress.

Jules Dienstag, dean for medical education, gave an overview of the new initiative to provide additional economic support for medical education. Complete slides are also available for this presentation at the Faculty Council eCommons website.

Dienstag answered questions about the recruitment of teachers and department allocations for teaching. He said that each institution will determine the distribution of the teaching resources and department heads should work with hospital leadership to establish the local mechanism of funding.

Mentors Honored with Annual Awards

The 2006 HMS Mentoring Awards were presented to a standing-room-only crowd in the TMEC amphitheater on June 20. Joan Reede, HMS dean for diversity and community partnership, introduced the keynote speaker, Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital. In his address, titled “Memo to My Mentor,” Slavin noted that although mentoring is experiencing a surge in popularity, it is not a new concept. “In science, mentors have long provided inspiration and courage for their protégés to challenge traditional thinking. It was the great scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton who once said, ‘If I have seen further, it has been by standing on the shoulders of giants.’”

A complete list of winners is below.

Young Mentor Award

•David Altshuler, associate professor of genetics at MGH
•Heechin Chae, instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
•John Frangioni, associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
•Raghu Kalluri, associate professor of medicine at BID
•Lisa Leffert, assistant professor of anesthesia, MGH

A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award

•Carol Bates, associate professor of medicine at BID
•Patricia D’Amore, professor of ophthalmology (pathology) at Schepens Eye Research Institute
•Henry Feldman, associate professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston
•Matthew Gillman, associate professor of ambulatory care and prevention at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
•Jeffrey Katz, associate professor of medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
•Scott Rauch, professor of psychiatry, McLean Hospital

William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award

•Tom Delbanco, the Richard A. and Florence Koplow—James L. Tullis professor of general medicine and primary care, BID
•Michael Moskowitz, professor of neurology, MGH
•Joseph Volpe, the Bronson Crothers distinguished professor of neurology, CHB

Second Academy Chair Honors Education

Morton Swartz and Stephen Calderwood
Sam Riley, MGH Photography Department

When it was his turn to speak at the celebration of the Morton N. Swartz, MD, Academy Professorship, Dennis Ausiello, the Jackson professor of clinical medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, captured the tone of the event, saying, “We are here today celebrating a legend and a legend in the making.” Chair namesake Morton Swartz (left), a 1947 graduate of HMS has been a professor of medicine at the School and MGH since 1970. Stephen Calderwood (right), HMS ’75, the first incumbent of the chair, is an investigator and teacher in microbial pathogenesis and infectious diseases at HMS and MGH. The professorship is the second for the Academy, both recognizing the importance of education, said George Thibault, the Daniel D. Federman professor of medical education. He added that in his mind there was no greater teacher at HMS in the last 50 years than Morton Swartz. Thibault asserted that the chair and the two physician-teachers it honors give the signal to HMS faculty: “You, too, can aspire to greatness as a teacher.” When Swartz took the mic, he began with a confession about his role in a flash flood at Vanderbilt Hall when he was a med student, a story that led into a brief physics lesson and culminated in a testament to Calderwood’s creative achievements. Calderwood returned the favor, insisting that the day was an honor to Swartz. Addressing the establishment of the chair in Swartz’s name, Calderwood said, “I’m so glad that we could get this done in celebration of you.”

News Briefs

•NARSAD: The Mental Health Research Association has awarded eight Young Investigator Awards and two Distinguished Investigator Awards to members of the HMS community. The Young Investigator Award winners are Christina Doring, instructor in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital; Antonia Dow, a research fellow in psychiatry at McLean Hospital; Xiaodu Fan, instructor in psychiatry at MGH; Mei-Hua, a research fellow in psychiatry at McLean Hospital; Eric Morrow, instructor in psychiatry at MGH; Joshua Roffman, instructor in psychiatry at MGH; Gordana Vitaliano, HMS instructor in psychiatry at McLean; and Frances Yang, HMS instructor in psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Each will receive $60,000 over two years for work on specific research projects. The recipients of NARSAD’s Distinguished Investigator Award are James Gusella, the Bullard professor of neurogenetics in the Department of Genetics at HMS, and Louis Kunkel, HMS professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston. The $100,000 one-year award will support Gusella’s work on a candidate gene for autism that he previously identified and Kunkel’s investigation of gene expression patterns in autism and related disorders.

•The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Social Work Department, which makes it the second oldest hospital-based social work department in the nation. In its first 25 years, studies from the department led to the passage of bills in Massachusetts outlawing BB guns and establishing lip reading in schools and led to a change in attitudes about blind children in nursery schools and foster care. Today, the department advances its goal of helping patients and families cope with the traumas that can result from eye, ear, nose, and throat disease and sensory loss through focused interventions, interpersonal relationships, and community services.

•The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) has given the 2007 Chair Award to Cambridge Health Alliance in recognition of a pilot clerkship program instituted at Cambridge Hospital. The Cambridge Integrated Clerkship (CIC) allows 12 third-year HMS students to spend an entire year at Cambridge Hospital, which enables them to develop faculty relationships, get a glimpse of a hospital system, and follow patients through a course of illness. The Chair Award is the top honor in the NAPH Safety Net Awards program, which recognizes hospitals that implement creative programs designed to address the changing health care environment.

Honors and Advances

•The Massachusetts Psychiatric Society has named Joseph Biederman, HMS professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, the winner of the 2007 Outstanding Psychiatrist Award for Research. As the author of more than 500 scientific papers and 70 book chapters, Biederman earned the prize in part for his dedication to research and publishing.

Barry Bloom, dean of HSPH, recently received a Leadership Award from the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB), which was presented to him in recognition of his work to promote public health initiatives worldwide and for his contributions to the fight against infectious diseases. He accepted the award at the UNA-GB’s annual Consuls Ball in April.

Arthur Day, HMS professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has been named chair of the hospital’s Department of Neurosurgery, effective July 1. He previously served as vice chair. As head of the department, he plans to build on collaborations with Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston.

Gökhan Hotamisligil, the James Stevens Simmons professor of genetics and metabolism and the chair of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at HSPH, has received the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association, which recognizes research in diabetes that demonstrates “particular independence of thought and originality.” The award was presented at the organization’s 67th Scientific Sessions in June.

Brian Knep, the HMS artist-in-residence, recently received a $500 IMB Innovation Merit Award at the 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival for his work titled “Aging: Works in Progress from the Harvard Medical School Residency.” Knep observed and filmed frogs in a lab that investigates aging and created a video installation piece.

•The National Patient Safety Foundation in Washington, D.C., will name an institute after Lucian Leape, HSPH adjunct professor of health policy. The Lucian Leape Institute will act as a think tank and advocate for issues relating to patient safety, an area in which Leape has earned international recognition, particularly for his work in the prevention of medical errors.

Tracy Lieu, HMS professor of ambulatory care and prevention, has received the Ambulatory Pediatric Association Research Award for original research in the field of pediatrics. Lieu’s studies on vaccine safety and economics have influenced health policy recommendations. She has also developed the Joint Initiative in Vaccine Economics and is the co-principal investigator of the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project, both supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine the costs, benefits, and risks of vaccines.

•The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) has awarded Scott Lukas, HMS professor of psychiatry at McLean Hospital, the organization’s Mentorship Award for his work teaching and mentoring young scientists entering the field of brain imaging and drug abuse education and treatment. He received the award at the CPDD’s annual meeting.

Rosemarie Meuse, administrative coordinator in the Program for Medical Education–Student Affairs office, is the recipient of the 2007 Dolores J. Brown Staff Award. The award recognizes a staff member who has a record of outstanding service with HMS, demonstrated respect for the HMS mission, and who helps create a good work environment.

•The American Medical Association Foundation has awarded Michael Nevarez, a second-year HMS student, the Minority Scholars Award, a $10,000 scholarship. Nevarez is a coordinator for the HMS Minority Recruitment Alliance Weekend, a mentor at the Judge Baker Children’s Center, and leader of an effort to increase the opportunities to learn medical Spanish at the School. The scholarships recognize academic achievement among students representing groups that are historically underrepresented in the medical profession.

Eli Peli, HMS professor of ophthalmology at Schepens Eye Research Institute, was one of 56 fellows elected to SPIE–International Society for Optical Engineering, an organization dedicated to the advancement of optical engineering technologies. Peli was honored for technical achievement and for service to SPIE and the optical community as a whole.

Amartya Sen, HSPH adjunct professor of population and international health, has been awarded the World Economy Prize, also known as the Kiel Prize, which is given by the Institute for the World Economy, the Schleswig–Holstein State Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and the German City of Kiel. Sen, who also won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, was honored for his economic research.

•In February, the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) elected Robert Soiffer, HMS associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as president for 2007. In 2006, he served as vice president and will serve as past president for 2008. The ASMBT is a professional association for educators, clinicians, and researchers in the fields of cellular therapy and blood and marrow transplantation.

Lawrence Tsen, HMS associate professor of anesthesia at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has been named the new editor-in-chief at the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, which is the official journal of the Obstetric Anesthetists’ Association.

Howard Weiner, the Robert L. Kroc professor of neurology at HMS and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was awarded the John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research by the National MS Society and the American Academy of Neurology. He was honored for his contributions to research in the prevention and treatment of the disease.

Sleep Medicine Prize Goes to Circadian Scientist

Michael Menaker
Graham Ramsay

On June 6, the HMS Division of Sleep Medicine honored Michael Menaker (above), professor of biology at the University of Virginia, with the Peter C. Farrell Prize in Sleep Medicine for his landmark contributions to the study of the circadian system. Menaker gave a special Sleep Grand Rounds presentation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one part of a daylong series of events in honor of the prize, which also included a poster session and award ceremony.

Alpert Winners Trace Path to Life-saving Drug

Rpbert Weinberg Liza Green, HMS Media Services

The 19th annual Warren Alpert Foundation Prize honored four scientists whose work led to the breast cancer therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab), and at the May 30 Alpert symposium, three of the four presented their research. Though prize-recipient Robert Weinberg (left) characterized his skeptical, methodical approach as “sitting on my hands as usual,” the output of his lab includes the first discovery of a human cancer-causing gene, RAS, and lay the foundation for trastuzumab, a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. Weinberg, the Daniel K. Ludwig and American Cancer Society professor for cancer research at the Whitehead Institute, was joined at the lectern by H. Michael Shepard, founder and president of Receptor BioLogix, and Dennis Slamon, professor of medicine at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The speakers described their contributions to the development of the antibody, which binds to the HER2/neu (erbB2) receptor that is overexpressed in a subset of breast cancers, reducing tumor cell proliferation and resulting in a steep rise in survival rates among patients. Axel Ullrich, director of the Department of Molecular Biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, was also among the four honorees, who shared a $200,000 award.