HSPH has announced that David Hunter, the Vincent L. Gregory professor of cancer prevention and a professor of epidemiology and nutrition, will become the School’s next dean for academic affairs. He succeeds James Ware, the Frederick Mosteller professor of biostatistics, who is stepping down after 19 years in that role.
In his 20 years at HSPH, Hunter has principally studied the etiology of cancer, particularly breast and prostate cancer. He has analyzed inherited susceptibility to cancer and other chronic diseases and established the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Core Laboratory for High-Throughput Genotyping at the School. He is co-chair of the National Cancer Institute’s Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium and a co-director of the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility special initiative. In recent years he has led teams that codiscovered the most common genetic variant associated with breast cancer risk and that have made discoveries of novel genetic variants for a variety of nutritional exposures and physical traits. Earlier in his career he helped HSPH develop collaborations with colleagues in Tanzania, studying interventions to reduce HIV incidence and disease progression.
Hunter was director of the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention from 1997 to 2003 and is now director of the Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology at HSPH. He has held leadership positions in several professional organizations and is an affiliate member of the Broad Institute.
HMS dean Jeffrey Flier led the program announcing the Professorship in Psychiatry in the Field of Psychosomatic Medicine/Consultation at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital, recognizing the many grateful patients who contributed to the chair. He said it honors Ned Cassem, an HMS professor of psychiatry, a consultation psychiatrist at MGH, and a Jesuit priest. Flier also commended Theodore Stern, the chair’s first incumbent. David Torchiana, chairman and CEO of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, pointed to the professorship as the first at Harvard in psychosomatic medicine, a discipline focusing on psychophysiologic disorders originating with the mental patterns of the patient. He credited the philanthropic Steele family, with Lisa Steele, her mother, the late Jane Cook, and aunt Jessie Cox, for helping to make it possible.
Stern sidestepped the plaudits, asserting “this is not my day, it’s the department’s day.” And he described the important work the department does, exploring problems at the interface of psychiatry and medicine, including cardiac disease, obesity, and dementia.
It was this kind of care that Jane Cook had received from Ned Cassem. His extraordinary compassion inspired Lisa Steele to honor him by working to establish this chair in psychosomatic medicine, which will ultimately take his name. “He embodies patient-centered care,” said Steele.
Cassem himself was the final speaker. After saluting Stern and his consummate skill, Cassem said that in healthcare, the most important people are, of course, the patients. “This is a celebration for Jane Cook,” he said.
“It gives me great pleasure,” said Jeffrey Flier, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, “to preside over the celebration of the Commonwealth Professorship in the Field of Cardiovascular Medicine, which will eventually be renamed for Jane Newburger, whom we are honoring today as the first incumbent.” Based at HMS and Children’s Hospital Boston, the chair was made possible by many grateful patients, colleagues, and friends who have recognized the importance Newburger plays in the care of young patients. The chair can take Newburger’s name only after she retires, a rule that Children’s CEO James Mandell referred to in his remarks at the May 27 event: “We do not expect the name change for at least 20 more years,” he said.
At the lectern, James Lock, the Alexander S. Nadas professor of pediatrics at HMS and Children’s and head of the hospital’s Department of Cardiology, described Newburger as having a “virtually inexhaustible well of empathy and sympathy.” He also said that she is “nothing short of brilliant.”
Newburger turned the spotlight back to the Cardiology Department in her remarks, insisting that the members set an extraordinarily high standard for research and patient care. “This is one of the greatest thrills of my life,” she said.
At the opening of the May 29 celebration for the Laurie Carrol Guthart Professorship, HMS dean Jeffrey Flier said that the gathering pays “tribute to the memory of Laurie Carrol Guthart, a woman known for her incredible devotion to her family and doing good for others.” He said that it also honors the achievements of Anne Klibanski, the first Laurie Carrol Guthart professor in medicine in the field of neuroendocrinology at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital. MGH president Peter Slavin said the professorship would not have been possible without Leo Guthart and his daughters Becky and Peggy. In thanking them, he also praised the first incumbent as an outstanding “role model and mentor.”
Dennis Ausiello, the Jackson professor of clinical medicine at HMS and MGH, extended the tribute to Klibanski, calling her a leader in translational research, which focuses on understanding and curing human disease. “Today we are honoring someone who has lived that pathway and has set the standards for that pathway,” he said. In his introduction to Klibanski, Flier echoed Ausiello, saying he has been “incredibly impressed with Anne’s work in Harvard Catalyst,” the Harvard clinical and translational science center.
Klibanski expressed her gratitude at being named to the chair and her hope that its recognition of neuroendocrinology would help the field develop and educate clinician-scientists. Her thanks to the Guthart family rang with the expectation that their support would strengthen the teams in the field brought together for patient care. Closing the ceremony was Leo Guthart, who recounted his deep indebtedness to Klibanski for care of his daughter and his gradual awareness of the importance of an endowed chair for leadership in neuroendocrinology.
In opening the celebration for the Robert G. and A. Jean Ojemann Professorship in Surgery in the field of neurosurgery at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital, HMS dean Jeffrey Flier thanked all those who had made the professorship possible, past and present grateful patients, colleagues and friends. “In particular,” Flier said, “I would like to thank our Board of Fellows members John and Ginny Kaneb for their support of this chair and alumnus Griff Harsh for his wonderful contributions.”
Gerald Austen, the Edward D. Churchill professor of surgery, lauded chair honoree Robert Ojemann, whom Austen met when they were both in training. “My admiration for Bob started in 1957 and has never changed,” Austen said, adding that he and his colleagues are also extraordinarily proud of first incumbent Christopher Ogilvy. Commenting on Ogilvy, Robert Martuza, the Higgins professor of neurosurgery at HMS and chief of the Neurosurgery Service at MGH, said he “has been a pioneer in the field of neurovascular surgery and called him a “perfect match for the first incumbent of this professorship.”
In expressing his deep appreciation, Ogilvy said that being named to the chair was the high point of his professional career. He praised the Ojemanns, saying, “Bob and Jean had a profound influence on the institution.” There was also a bonus, he said: Bob “was a heck of a lot of fun to work with.”
Robert Ojemann closed the speaking program applauding all those who had made the chair possible and describing his relationship with Ogilvy as something he has treasured from the very beginning.
The Carl Walter Amphitheater in the TMEC was standing-room only for the 2008–2009 Excellence in Mentoring Awards, which took place June 11. The awards recognize the efforts of extraordinary mentors and stress the importance of mentorship in faculty development. Joan Reede, HMS dean for diversity and community partnership, the department that established the awards, noted that this year, a record-breaking 599 nominations were submitted.
In their remarks, many of the recipients said that mentorship was just as valuable on the giving end as it is on the receiving end. Martha Shenton, who received the William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring award, said it was the “most important award I can ever imagine having.” Shenton is pictured above (right) with nominator Zora Kikinis, who introduced Shenton and presented her with the award.
A complete list of winners is below.
William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award
S. Jean Emans, professor of pediatrics, Children’s
A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award
Maurizio Fava, professor of psychiatry, MGH
Young Mentor Award
Christian Arbelaez, assistant
professor of medicine, BWH
Two HMS affiliates will be home bases for multi-institution grants aimed at developing new treatments for cancer. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital will each host a cancer “Dream Team,” supported by the charitable initiative Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), which was created by the Entertainment Industry Foundation and is administered through the American Association for Cancer Research. SU2C was created one year ago with the goal of getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated time frame. In all, five teams received funding, which totals $73.6 million.
The BID team will be led by Lewis Cantley, the William Bosworth Castle professor of medicine at BID and an HMS professor of systems biology. This project is titled “Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Women’s Cancers.” Cantley, together with co-leaders Charles Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Gordon Mills of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, will work with a group of more than 20 scientists from the country’s leading cancer research institutions to investigate the role that PI3K mutations play in women’s cancers, specifically breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. A key component of their work will focus on developing new approaches to more accurately predict which patients will respond positively to PI3K pathway inhibitors, a group of targeted cancer therapies currently being tested in clinical trials around the country.
Daniel Haber, the Kurt J. Isselbacher/Peter D. Schwartz professor of medicine, will lead the MGH team, whose project is titled “Bioengineering and Clinical Applications of Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) Chip.” The grant will help accelerate research being done on the CTC chip, a microchip-based device for detecting and analyzing circulating tumor cells carried in the bloodstream. The CTC chip can capture extraordinarily rare cancer cells—one tumor cell in a billion blood cells—from a small blood sample using advanced microfluidic technology. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way oncologists detect, monitor and treat cancers in the future. Haber’s team also includes Mehmet Toner, HMS professor of surgery at MGH and the inventor of the CTC chip; Bruce Johnson, HMS professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Sangeeta Bhatia of MIT; Mark Kris of Memorial Sloan-Kettering; and Roy Herbst of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Each HMS-based Dream Team will receive $15 million over three years.
Nicholas Christaskis (left), HMS professor of medical sociology in the Department of Health Care Policy, and Douglas Melton, codirector of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, cochair of the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and a Howard Hughes investigator, have both been named to the 2009 Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people.
Melton was recognized for his work in stem cells, specifically, his research leading to the creation of stem cell lines from adult skin cells. Melton targets the malfunctioning pancreatic cells that result in diabetes, work that was inspired by his own children’s diabetes diagnoses. His work has paved the way for the creation of additional stem cell lines using adult cells, including those being developed that could replace the dopamine-producing brain cells in Parkinson’s patients.
Two participants in the Armenise–Harvard Italian Science Writer Fellowship have each won a journalism award in Italy. Luca Sciortino, who was a 2006 fellow, and Guido Romeo, a 2004 fellow, each received the Prize Voltolino for Scientific Dissemination, which honors journalists for excellence in science writing and for contributions to the development of scientific culture in Italy.
Each year, the Giovanni Armenise–Harvard Foundation brings early- or
mid-career Italian journalists to the HMS campus, where they meet with faculty,
develop story ideas, make contacts and immerse themselves in scientific learning.
Sara Beth Fazio, HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has been appointed associate master of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Society.
Fazio had already demonstrated her commitment to medical education. After completing a fellowship as a Rabkin Fellow in Medical Education, she focused her professional efforts on training, advising and mentoring students in internal medicine at BID. She has also played key leadership roles in the development of medical education and curriculum on the local, regional and national levels. Fazio serves as the director of the Core Clerkship in Medicine for HMS.
She will join Anthony D’Amico, master of the Holmes Society, on Sept.
The Association of American Physicians (AAP) and the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) inducted 16 members of the HMS faculty into their organizations at their joint annual meeting in Chicago in April. David Altshuler, professor of genetics and of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital; John Ayanian, professor of healthcare policy and professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Paul Farmer, the Maude and Lillian Presley professor of social medicine; Janet Hall, professor of medicine at MGH; Jean-Pierre Kinet, professor of pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Robert Sackstein, associate professor of dermatology at BWH; and Ramesh Shivdasani, associate professor of medicine at BWH, are all new members of the AAP, an organization whose goals include the pursuit of medical knowledge and advancement though experimentation, discovery and clinical application.
Dan Barouch, associate professor of medicine at BID; Levi Garraway, assistant
professor of medicine at BWH; David Lee, assistant professor of medicine at
BWH; Anthony Letai, assistant professor of medicine at Dana–Farber Cancer
Institute; Xian Chang Li, associate professor of medicine at BID; Vamsi Mootha,
associate professor of systems biology and professor of medicine at MGH; Mary-Elizabeth
Patti, assistant professor of medicine at Joslin Diabetes Center; Stephanie
Seminara, associate professor of medicine at MGH; Sapna Syngal, associate professor
of medicine at BWH; and Hensin Tsao, associate professor of dermatology at
MGH, are newly elected to the ASCI, which is dedicated to the advancement of
research that extends the understanding and improves the treatment of human
diseases. Induction into the ASCI recognizes early-career excellence; members
must be 45 years old or younger at the time of their election.
Rafael Campo, HMS associate professor of medicine, has been appointed director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The office is based in the BID Center for Education, where Campo’s initial efforts will include coordination of undergraduate and graduate programs to enhance minority recruitment and retention at HMS and BID. He will also seek to collaborate with colleagues in faculty development and academic careers in order to increase support for minority faculty at the hospital.
Campo is an HMS graduate and a poet, who has an honorary doctorate in literature
from Amherst College. He recently received the 2009 Nicholas E. Davies Memorial
Scholar Award for humanism in medicine, given by the American College of Physicians.
His medical practice has focused on individuals from underserved and minority
populations, and both his medical and artistic careers have been directed to
furthering understanding of the human condition and empathic care.
The International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) has created a biannual award in the name of Thomas Gutheil, HMS professor of psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Gutheil has previously served as president of the academy, and he is on the board of editors for the IALMH’s publication, the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. The Thomas Gutheil Award will be given to a distinguished member of the Francophonie of the Academy for accomplishments in the field of “humanistic forensic practice.” The first such award was presented at the academy’s annual meeting earlier this month.
Two students from HMS, Gretchen Domek and Theodore Nyame, have been named 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society Scholars. The scholars awards are presented annually to fourth-year medical students who demonstrate excellent academic performance, community involvement and financial need. Each honoree receives a $10,000 scholarship. Domek has volunteered and conducted research in South Africa at an AIDS orphanage, highlighting the struggles of children afflicted with AIDS. The research resulted in several awards, including a Lancet perspectives piece and an article in The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and inspired her decision to pursue pediatrics. While in medical school, Nyame returned to his native Ghana, which he left as a young boy, to work at a government hospital. There, he observed the devastating effects of limited healthcare resources. That trip reaffirmed his commitment to help serve the people of Ghana and those in underserved communities in the United States. He hopes to become a surgeon.
A return-on-investment calculator developed by HMS researchers received the Best Prevention Idea of the Week award from Partnership for Prevention, a policy and advocacy organization. The calculator was developed to measure the value of healthcare prevention services and was tested by the Family Van, an HMS-based mobile healthcare resource for underserved neighborhoods in Boston. The van, which was cofounded by HMS dean for students Nancy Oriol, provides screening, testing and education in areas such as nutrition, weight management, diabetes, heart disease and pregnancy. The calculator found that for every dollar invested, the Family Van saves the community $36 in healthcare costs.
The Cancer Research Institute has presented Frederick Alt, the Charles A. Janeway professor of pediatrics and professor of genetics, and Klaus Rajewsky, the Fred S. Rosen professor of pediatrics and professor of pathology, both at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Immune Disease Institute, with the 2009 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology. They were recognized for their fundamental contributions to the understanding of B cell development and function and the mechanisms underlying B cell lymphomagenesis.
Several members of the HMS community were recently elected to leadership positions on the Massachusetts Hospital Association’s board of trustees. Dennis Keefe, CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance, will serve as chair-elect (equivalent to vice chairman) and Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital, will serve as secretary. In addition, Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was elected chair of the Clinical Issues Advisory Council and David Storto, president of Partners Continuing Care, was made a trustee-at-large.
The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) has announced that six physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are among the first to earn the new Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation. Among those recognized during a recent convention are Alex Carbo, assistant professor of medicine; David Feinbloom, assistant professor of medicine; Joseph Li, assistant professor of medicine; Melissa Mattison, instructor in medicine; Anjala Tess, assistant professor of medicine; and Nancy Torres-Finnerty, instructor in medicine. The BID faculty are among a group of 500 chosen by the society from nearly 30,000 hospitalists in the country. The designation was created to recognize hospitalists who have achieved unique accomplishments in the field of hospital medicine. To be designated a fellow, an applicant must be a hospitalist for five years and a member of SHM for three years. Successful candidates must demonstrate dedication to quality and process improvement and commitment to organizational teamwork and leadership.
The American Psychiatric Association has presented Margarita Alegría, HMS professor of psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance, with the Simon Bolivar Award, which honors a prominent Hispanic statesman or spokesperson and raises awareness of the problems and goals of Hispanics. Alegría is director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance and researches disparities in mental health and substance abuse services.
Robyn Birdwell, HMS associate professor of radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has been inducted as a fellow by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The induction took place at a formal convocation ceremony during the recent 86th ACR Annual Meeting and Chapter Leadership conference in Washington, D.C. Birdwell is also a section head in the Division of Breast Imaging at BWH.
Michael Chernew is a recipient of the National Institute for Healthcare Management Foundation’s Health Care Research Award, which recognizes outstanding work that furthers innovation in healthcare financing, delivery and organization or the implementation of healthcare policy. Chernew, an HMS professor of healthcare policy, received the award for a Health Affairs paper titled “Impact of Decreasing Copayments on Medication Adherence Within a Disease Management Environment.” He shares the honor with his coauthors on the paper.
The Massachusetts Medical Society has named Joseph Dorsey, HMS clinical professor of medicine, the 2009 recipient of the Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health. The award is given to a Massachusetts physician who demonstrates creativity, initiative, innovation and leadership in the public health and advocacy fields. Dorsey was honored for his advocacy and public service, which includes volunteering in Walpole’s Medical Reserve Corps.
Jesse Ehrenfeld, HMS instructor in anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been elected vice speaker of the house of delegates of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS). The House of Delegates is the legislative and policy-making body of MMS, a professional association for physicians, residents and medical students throughout the Commonwealth.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital has appointed Paul Farmer, the Maude and Lillian Presley professor of social medicine, as chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at the hospital. He succeeds Jim Yong Kim, who left to become president of Dartmouth College. Among many accomplishments in the field of global health, Farmer founded the country’s first residency in medicine and global health equity at BWH.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists installed Jeffrey Garber, HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and chief of endocrinology at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, as president of the association at the annual meeting last month. As president, Garber will preside at all meetings of the board of directors and executive committee and at all meetings of the membership and ensure that all actions and resolutions are carried out, as well as serve as the association’s principal spokesperson.
Alfred Goldberg, HMS professor of cell biology, received an honorary degree from the Watson Graduate School at Cold Spring Harbor in recognition of his scientific contributions and for his contributions to the undergraduate research participation program. His laboratory is studying the regulation and mechanisms of protein breakdown in animal and bacterial cells.
Todd Golub, HMS associate professor of pediatrics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, was awarded the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research. The Rosenthal award recognizes early-career investigators who have made or show promise to make a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer. Golub’s research has contributed to development of diagnostic tests, and his current research in genomics has led to potential new treatments for acute myeloid leukemia, prostate cancer and Ewing sarcoma.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has named Michael Greenberg, the Nathan Marsh Pusey professor of neurobiology at HMS and head of that department, the recipient of the Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize. The Perl Prize recognizes a seminal achievement in neuroscience and was awarded to Greenberg for his discovery of signaling pathways underlying activity-regulated gene transcription in neurons.
Dennis Keefe, CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance, has been named the 2009 Massachusetts Healthcare Executive of the Year by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Recipients are selected based on qualities such as leadership ability, innovative and creative management, executive capability in developing their own organization and promoting its growth and stature in the community and contributions to the development of others in the healthcare profession.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has honored Joseph Kvedar, founder and director of the Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare, with the Individual Leadership Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of connected health and telemedicine. Kvedar, an HMS associate professor of dermatology at HMS, was also inducted into the ATA College of Fellows at the association’s annual meeting in April.
The American Diabetes Association presented the Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology to James Meigs, HMS associate professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, at the association’s annual meeting in June. Meigs was honored for his research on the biochemical and genetic causes of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and for his focus on translating clinical research findings into innovations to improve type 2 diabetes prevention and care.
Alexander Meissner, an assistant professor in the Department
of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University, was named a Pew
Scholar in Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Awards are given
to early-career scientists who display outstanding promise in research
relevant to the advancement of human health. As a Pew Scholar, Meissner will
receive $240,000 over four years to support his research, which is focused
on understanding how pluripotent stem cells are dynamically programmed through
Brett Simon has joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. He comes from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he has spent the past 17 years. In the clinic, Simon works with patients undergoing major abdominal, vascular, transplant and thoracic surgery, and in the lab he focuses on functional lung imaging, lung mechanics and acute lung injury.
Matthew Vander Heiden, HMS instructor in medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is a recipient of the 2009 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists. The Career Award for Medical Scientists is a five-year, $700,000 bridge grant that supports the last years of a mentored position and the beginning years of an independent position. Vander Heiden received the award for his project “Metabolic control of cancer cell proliferation by pyruvate kinase M2.”
HST graduate student Geoffrey von Maltzahn has been named winner of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, which honors an MIT senior or graduate student who has demonstrated innovation and invention in his or her field. Von Maltzahn is working to combine nanotechnology, medicine and engineering to improve tumor detection and revolutionize chemotherapy treatment, such as through use of gold nanorods, very small particles that are designed to absorb infrared radiation, to detect and destroy tumor cells. His adviser is MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia.
Bruce Yankner, HMS professor of pathology and professor of neurology at Children’s Hospital Boston, received the Nathan W. Shock award from the National Institute on Aging. This award recognizes a scientist who has made significant contributions to the understanding of basic mechanisms of aging. As part of the award, Yankner will also give the Nathan W. Shock Memorial Lecture.
Copyright 2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College