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The Connector

Summer 2007

newsletter for graduates, students, faculty and friends of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

HST thanks Bonventre for years of leadership Steve Gilbert

After 15 years, Joseph Bonventre steps down as HST Director. On May 10, the HST family gathered in the Benjamin Waterhouse faculty room at HMS to express gratitude to Joseph V. Bonventre for his exemplary and creative leadership as Director of HST. As HST Associate Director Rick Mitchell expressed it in his role as master of ceremonies, “Joe is one of the few whom one may truly call a gentleman and a scholar, being an incredible supporter of the spirit of HST, a wonderful mentor and innovator, creating many new dimensions for HST.” Speaking for MIT President Susan Hockfield, Chancellor Phillip Clay thanked Bonventre for his contributions to MIT, the expansion of its biomedical programs, Biomatrix, and the new emphasis on entrepreneurship. On behalf of HMS, Jules Dienstag, Dean for Medical Education, lauded Bonventre as a world-renowned, most sophisticated molecular medical scientist, one of the few remaining “triple threats,” equally talented as a scientist, a physician (continues on page 2)

Joseph Bonventre (sitting) surrounded by some members of his family. (from left) Michael Goldberg (brother of Brian), Brian Goldberg (Joe’s son-in-law), Christine Cannon (Joe’s mother-in-law), and Kristie Cannon-Bonventre, Joe’s wife.

Justin Knight

‘Image Is Everything’ at 20th HST Forum

Bruce Rosen talks about brain imaging during the Forum plenary session.

See pages 4 and 5 for more photos and selected excerpts from the student poster session.

Members of the HST community braved a frigid winter’s day on March 8 and made their way to the Charlestown Navy Yard, home of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. For many, the 20th Annual HST Forum drew them away from their respective campuses to this remote location for the very first time. The trip proved worthwhile. Approximately 200 attendees eagerly absorbed the more than 70 research posters presented by HST’s enthusiastic students. In a span of a few feet, a listener could learn about the latest application of optical imaging to understand neonatal brain development, as well as the use of stem cells for cartilage regeneration. A venture across the room rewarded the traveler with tales of both self-learning thoughtcontrolled prosthetic limbs and an auditory theory that recasts the “noise” in the signal-to-noise model as valid “signal.” HST Director Martha Gray, PhD ’86, opened the plenary session by emphasizing the Martinos Center’s importance to HST. She was also excited about the future opening of the contiguous Building 75, which will be a 25,000 square feet Imaging Research Center for the Mar-

tinos Center. After Gray’s introduction, attendees listened as HST faculty Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD ’84, spoke about the exciting research going on at the Martinos Center, where he is the Director. Under the title, “Image is Everything,” Rosen presented a dazzling, superbly illustrated overview of the status of structural and functional biomedical imaging. He placed a special emphasis on brain imaging, a field to which the Martinos Center has made so many contributions since its inception in 2000. The Center has done studies on focal cortical dysplasia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, aging, dementia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholism, brain tumors and even acupuncture. In rapid-fire succession, Rosen explained each of the core technologies at work at the Martinos Center. He explained how, in every case, the work going on there is emblematic of the same tension that drives other HST research forward. That tension comes from a “technological push” that continually evolves new technologies, and a “clinical pull” from constantly emerging new clinical questions. (continues on page 4)

hst news The HST Alumni Association is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. Theresa A. Hadlock, MD ’94, Assistant Professor of Otology and Laryngology at HMS and MEEI, is member-at-large. Jeff Behrens, SM ’07 (Biomedical Enterprise Program) has joined the Board as directors for development. Also, Steven M. Stufflebeam, MD ’94, has succeeded Leann Lesperance, PhD ’93, MD ’95, as the Association’s representative on the editorial board of The Connector. The Annual Alumni Association Reception will be Thursday, August 16, coinciding with the BioTech event. The site for the event will be announced later.

Bonventre (continued from page 1)

and a teacher. Dienstag also recognized many of Bonventre’s administrative contributions: the Advisory Council, the Administrative Board, reorganized the Admissions and Curriculum Committees, and played a leadership role in the group of Society Masters. Next, David Cohen, Associate Professor of Medicine and HST, looking back on 25 years of contacts, praised Bonventre as an extraordinary teacher and friend. Ronald Arky, the CS Davidson Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Master of the Peabody Society, expressed the Masters’ thanks for carrying on the tradition of Irving London and his successors of leading the HST learning community. The Masters will miss him, Arky said. MD student Payal Kohli, speaking for the student body, attested to Bonventre’s unparalleled devotion to students; his door was always open. Finally, HST Director Martha L. Gray attested to the successful partnership and friendship she experienced, proving that with exceptional individuals, dual leadership can indeed be successful. After a few personal expressions of appreciation, Patty Cunningham, HST Manager at the HMS office, assisted Gray in presenting Bonventre a collector’s item: a specially designed Harvard-MIT chair. In final remarks, Bonventre stressed that for him HST was a series of partnerships. He credited Gray for fostering an outstanding example of joint leadership, gave tribute to Mitchell and others at HST, and, most importantly, to the support of his family. The search for Bonventre’s successor is in progress. The HST leadership hopes to announce either a permanent or interim director soon. — Walter H. Abelmann 2

Summer 2007

Admissions Report: Minorities and women are well represented This year HST restructured the MD admissions process so that instead of one main committee, there were three subcommittees. As in prior years, applicants were interviewed by a panel (two faculty and one student), as well as by a “student life interviewer.” Chaired by Matthew Frosch, Jean Elrick and Thomas Byrne, three subcommittees interviewed applicants and discussed the ones who were interviewed previously. By subcommittee vote, highly competitive applicants were advanced to the main committee. This committee consisted of the subcommittee chairs, the chair of the admissions committee (David Cohen), the past chair (Daniel Shannon), the HMS liaison (Darrell Smith), the MD-PhD liaison (Collin Stultz), several senior faculty and two senior students. These members considered the most competitive applicants, then voted to determine their rank order for admissions. In mid-March, the admissions committee extended 39 offers to applicants for the HST MD Class of 2011. These highly talented individuals were selected from a record 689 applicants, a 16 percent increase over the previous year. After screening applications, 136 (20%) were invited for interviews. Women represented 31% of the applicant pool and 36% of those who were offered admission. Underrepresented minorities comprised 9% of the applicants and 10% of accepted students. — David E. Cohen, MD, PhD Chair, MD Admissions Committee

The Connector Editor Walter H. Abelmann, MD Managing Editor/Designer Becky Sun Editorial Assistant Morgan Jaffe Contact Information Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology 77 Massachusetts Ave., E25-519 Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 P: (617) 253-4418 F: (617) 253-7498 E:

HST has just completed the admissions process for its graduate programs and can look forward to the addition of 27 talented new doctoral students in September. Admission to MEMP and its training programs in bioinformatics and integrative genomics, neuroimaging, and bioastronautics continues to be highly competitive, with offers made to fewer than one out of every 13 applicants. A lively recruitment effort by the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology program bore fruit, with a doubling of applications over the preceding year. Yield—the percentage of offers made to offers accepted—continues to be high (close to 70% for SHBT and 80% for MEMP). But perhaps the most exciting figures in this admissions cycle are the numbers of women and underrepresented minority candidates who will be matriculating, especially into the MEMP program. One-third of the entering class are women, and between 20 and 25% are underrepresented minority members. The unprecedented strength of the applicant pool this year was a factor in persuading the MIT Graduate Students Office to provide HST some additional fellowship funding. We are very grateful to retiring Dean Ike Colbert, whose generosity has allowed us to admit the most diverse HST PhD class ever. — Catherine Modica PhD Admissions Coordinator

Volume 21 • Number 3 Editorial Board

Pavan Cheruvu (MD ’09) Patricia A. Cunningham Elizabeth Dougherty Lisa E. Freed, MD, PhD ’88 Steven M. Stufflebeam, MD ’94 Pamela McGill Catherine Modica Arvind Ravi (MD ’10) Konstantina Stankovic, PhD ’98, MD ’99 James C. Weaver, PhD Peter I-Kung Wu (MEMP)

Ex officio

Joseph V. Bonventre, MD ’76, PhD Martha L. Gray, PhD ’86

The Connector is a quarterly publication of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. The staff and board of The Connector would like to thank the HST alumni, faculty, staff, and students who contributed to this issue. Please send reports of your recent activities and personal news to the above address or email. Previous issues of The Connector can be found at

hst news Bonventre Wins Nephrology Award HST Director and faculty member Joseph Bonventre, MD ’76, PhD, has received the 2007 Bywaters Award from the International Society of Nephrology for outstanding contributions to the understanding of acute renal failure (also known as acute kidney injury or AKI). The award was presented at the society’s satellite meeting in Salvador Bahia, Brazil, in April. The society bestows one award every two years for lifetime achievement in the field of acute renal failure.

Brown Promoted to Professor Emery N. Brown, MD, PhD, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, has been appointed Professor of Anesthesia at HMS and MGH. He is also Professor of Computational Neuroscience at MIT.

Bonventre and Schoen to Direct New Technology Initiative HST Director Joseph V. Bonventre, MD ’76, PhD, and Frederick J. Schoen, MD, PhD, HST faculty, are directors of the newly established Technology in Medicine Initiative at BWH’s Biomedical Research Institute. They will also serve as liaisons between the BWH and the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), a consortium of area teaching hospitals, universities and research laboratories that develops medical devices.

Douglas Is Black History Maker Frank L. Douglas, MD, PHD, Professor of the Practice in HST and Executive Director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation, received one of five Black History Makers Awards for 2007. The award, which was presented April 11 in New York City by Associated Black Charities, honors his global contribution and leadership in pharmaceutical research and development. Frank L. Douglas A worldrenowned innovator, Douglas has led the discovery, development and market launch of more than 20 drugs in his 22 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

Two HST Students Elected to Lead MIT Graduate Students Graduate students at MIT have chosen two HST students for the Graduate Student Council. At the Senior Council Meeting on May 2, Leeland Ekstrom (Radiological Sciences Joint Program) was inaugurated as President, and Daz Nir (MEMP/Bioinfomatics and Integrative Genomics) as Secretary.

Kalluri Receives Mentoring Award

Blaya Wins Wilson Award MEMP student Joaquin Blaya has won a Carroll L. Wilson Award, which will allow him to continue working with Professor Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health in Peru. Blaya seeks to facilitate information flow among clinics in Peru which treat patients with multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis.

MD Students Win Research Fellowships

Raghu Kalluri, PhD, HST affiliated faculty and Associate Professor of Medicine at HMS and BIDMC, received the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award on March 20. This award from Harvard University honors faculty members who go out of their way to mentor graduate students. Charles N. Serhan, PhD, HST affiliated faculty and the Simon Gelman Professor of Anaesthesia at HMS and BWH, received the DART/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Award for his work on inflammation and the discovery of lipoxins, a series of anti-inflamatory mediators. Douglas A. Cotanche, PhD, HST affiliated faculty and Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology at HMS and CHB, is one of the recipients of the 2007 HMS Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Cotanche teaches HST 010: Human Functional Anatomy.

Several HST MD students recently won prestigious research fellowships. Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded Sanjat Kanjilal (’10), Ai-ris Yonekura (’10), Joshua Aronson (’09), and Irun Bhan (’10) Research Training Fellowships, Adam Numis (’09) received the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, and Nelson Moussazadeh (’10) won the Sarnoff Fellowship. These fellowships provide support for one year of full-time training in biomedical research, including funds for a stipend, research allowance, tuition and health care fees. They are given each year to students who are deemed as having the greatest promise for future achievement. HST Associate Director Richard Mitchell, MD, PhD, said, “It’s a tribute to the quality of the HST students—and the education they get in the HST program—that they so consistently pull down such a large number of these highly competitive fellowships year after year.”

New Members of ASCI

Suresh Receives Materials Medal

Among the newly elected members of the prestigious American Society for Clinical Investigation are: John V. Frangioni, MD, PhD ’94, Associate Professor of Medicine at HMS and BIDMC. Mathew L. Meyerson, MD, PhD ’93, HST affiliated faculty and Associate Professor of Pathology at HMS and DFCI. Kenneth D. Mandl, MD, HST faculty member and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at HMS and CHB.

HST affiliated faculty Subra Suresh, ScD, the Ford Professor of Engineering and Head of the Department of Material Science and Engineering at MIT, received the 2007 European Materials Medal from the Federation of European Materials Societies for distinguished contributions to materials science and engineering. He will receive a gold medal and deliver a plenary lecture at Euromat 2007 in Nuremburg, Germany, in September.

Tabin Elected to NAS

The 67th Soma Weiss Student Research Day, held at HMS on April 19, included 22 posters by HST students. The keynote speaker was Patricia K. Donahoe, MD, HST affiliated faculty, the Marshall K. Bartlett Professor of Surgery at HMS and MGH, and Director of Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories at MGH. Before her talk on congenital abnormalities, Donahoe presented a formula for meaningful contributions to science: “Invest in the long term, choose an environment that is compatible, choose your mentors with care, establish your credibility, and engage in basic science—but always look for applications.” One of the four students speakers was HST MD student Ilka A. Netravali, who presented her work on “Sialil Acetyl Esterase: A Regulator of Humoral Immune Responses and Susceptibility to Human Autoimmune Disease.”

The National Academy of Sciences has elected as one of its members Clifford D. Tabin, PhD. A member of the HST faculty, Tabin is Professor and Head of the Department of Genetics at HMS.

Sengupta Wins Grant for Breast Cancer Research Shiladitya Sengupta, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology at HMS and BWH, has been granted a two-year, $100,000 award from the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation for his innovative translational research in breast cancer.

HST Has Strong Showing at Soma Weiss Research Day

The Connector


hst forum


ore than 70 HST students presented posters, which covered a wide spectrum of topics and approaches to research. Here are a few highlights. The poster session was underwritten by generous gifts from Les Laboratoires Servier and NeuroMetrix.

The Use of Electrostatically Self-Asembled Nanolayers for Growth Factor Delivery from Implanted Surfaces

MEMP student Mara Macdonald, with Paul Hammond, PhD, Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT, and Robert S. Langer, ScD, Institute Professor, Department of Engineering, MIT, and Professor of Health Science and Engineering, addressed the problems of infection, inflammation and rejection associated with implanted medical devices by coating implanted devices with a coating capable of sustained release of therapeutic drugs. A model protein, lysozyme, was used to test the release profiles of proteins from layer-by-layer films contructed with a biodegradable cationic polymer and polyanions such as chondroitin, dextran, heparin, and hyaluronic acid. Initial data showed that 80-100 percent activity can be retained after 2 months of release.

The Effect of Pulsed Dye Laser on Basal Cell Carcinoma

Sonali Mukherjee (Is she MD-PhD?), working with Lyn M. Duncan MD, Associate Professor of Pathology, HMS, MGH, and Zeina S. Tannous, DM, Instructor in Dermatology, HMS, and Director of Dermatologic Surgery, MGH, to explore the therapeutic effects of pulsed dye lasers (PDL) upon basal cell carcinomata (BCC), a common cancer of the skin, which are dependent upon abnormal blood vessels for their growth. Ten patients with 18 biopsy proven BCCs are being given low treatment at 2 week intervals, after which the BCC are removed surgically and analyzed histologically. Preliminary data are encouraging, demonstrating the potential of PDL to eradicate these tumors.

Mesenchymal Stem Cell- Seeded Type II Collagen/ GAG Scaffolds for Cartilage Regeneration Currently, patients with defects of articular cartilage are treated with autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), osteochondral grafting, or microfracture chondroplasty, none of which are fully satisfactory. Jared A. Niska (MD ’09), with Myron Spector, PhD, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, HMS, BWH and HST affiliated faculty, and Tobias Gotterbarm, MD, BWH and the VA Boston Health Care System, used tissue engineering to devise a new technique to regenerate cartilage using stem cells from the bone marrow of patients with cartilage damage. Few million autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were applied to an 8mm diameter (2mm thick) scaffold and cultured under various conditions. At 14 days, scaffolds were fixed for immunohistochemistry or 4

Summer 2007

placed in minus 20 degrees Celsius for biochemical essays. New tissue was evaluated for DNA, GAG, and type II collagen production. Scaffolds supplemented with plasmid IGF-1 showed the greatest extracellular production of GAG after 14 days immunohistochemical staining was consistent. This data demonstrates the potential for IGF-1 to stimulate a cartilage-like phenotype in mesenchymal stem cells. Incorporation of plasmid IGF-1 in vivo holds promise for stimulating chondrogenesis in established procedures of cartilage repair.

Microsolidics: Co- Fabrication of Metallic Features and Microfluidic Channels in Lab-on-a Chip Systems Lab-on-a-chip systems, operating at micron or submicron scales, simplify chemical diagnostic tests and reduce their costs. MEMP student Adam C. Siegel, working with George M. Whitesides, PhD, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, addressed the desirability to interface microfluidic channels without increasing cost and complexity of the device. Thus they developed a method of fabricating metal wires and microstructures in labon-a-chip systems by injecting liquid solder into microfluidic channels in poly(dimethylsiloxane), and allowing the solder to cool and solidify. These metallic structures are quite flexible. This method, called microsolidics, is rapid and inexpensive, and greatly simplifies the fabrication of hybrid metal-microfluidic components for lab-on-a-chip systems in close proximity to (<10µm), or in direct contact with microfluidic channels.

Perceptional Evaluation of Control of Electrolarynx Speech

SHBT student Yoko Saikachi, worked with Robert E. Hillman PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery, HMS, Co-Director, Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, MGH, and Member of HST Faculty, and with Kenneth N. Stevens, ScD, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, and Clarence O. Lebel, Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT. An Electrolarynx (EL) is a battery-powered device that produces a buzz that can be used to acoustically excite the vocal tract as a substitute for laryngeal voice production. ELs provide laryngectomy patients with the basic capability to communicate verbally. However, EL speech contains persistent acoustic deficits that result in reduced intelligibility and contribute to the poor (“non-human”) sound quality. Thus it is desirable to develop real-time speech processing technology to remedy the acoustic deficits in EL speech and

thereby improve EL communication and quality of life for laryngectomy patients. Two declarative sentences with vowels at the end, recorded both before and after laryngectomy (pre-laryngectomy vs. EL speech) by two male speakers were used in this study. The linear regression coefficients between F0 and RMS amplitude in the prelaryngectomy speech were first determined and applied to the amplitude variation in EL speech. An analysis-by-synthesis approach using the Klatt formant synthesizer was employed to synthesize the EL speech and to vary the F0 synthesis parameter as computed. Perceptual experiments were conducted in order to determine whether using the amplitude to control the F0 of EL speech can significantly improve the naturalness of EL speech. The preliminary results suggested that the F0-modified EL speech generally sounded more natural than the EL speech with constant F0, supporting the idea of using the simple linear relationship to compute a F0 contour.

Engineered Bacteriophages for Enhanced Biofilm Removal

MEMP student Timothy K. Lu and Jim Collins, PhD, of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University, noted that bacterial biofilms, found in chronic infections such as bacterial endocarditis, cystic fibrosis and urolithiasis, may allow bacteria to grow densely and thus increase pathogenicity and resistance to antibiotics. Although bacteriophages have been used to treat bacterial infections, biofilms tend to be more resistant to penetration by bacteriophages. Here, bacteriophages were engineered to expose a biofilm- degrading enzyme to attack bacteria in the biofilm. This method was shown to reduce the E. coli biofilm by 99.997 percent.

Bruce Rosen (continued from page 1)

With optical imaging technologies, for example, researchers can now assess the extent of damage to an injured newborn’s brain. With this information come new clinical challenges that bring together new techniques, new areas of expertise and new progress. How can these newborns be treated? How can their improvement be assessed? The Forum gave everyone at HST a chance to rub elbows, share ideas and raise even more research questions.

photos by Justin Knight

hst forum

(clockwise from top left) Students set up their posters in the Martinos Center’s atrium. MEMP student Mara MacDonald discusses her work on “Polyelectrolyte Multilayers for Sequential Multi-Drug Delivery” with Biju Parekkadan, PhD ’03. Ai-ris Yonekura (MD ’09) demonstrates her research on “Imaging Immune Cell Dynamics in Pancreatic Islet Tumors” to Sanjat Kanjilal (MD ’09). HST Director Joseph Bonventre with HST Founding Director Irving London. SHBT student Daryush Mehta (center) listens as Bruce Rosen chats with Robert Rosenberg.

The Connector


hst news Mikkelsen authors Nature article on marsupial genome

The HST MD Class of 2010 defended the HST Society’s bid for back-toback championships in the annual HMS Society Olympics, and brought home the Pink (flamingo) once again to HST. HST took an early lead in the community service/charitable events, and garnered first- or second-place ratings for most of the more physical displays of talent. Those who witnessed the processional will not soon forget the “explosive” talent displayed on the parade ground! Other highlights included a voracious victory in the pie-eating contest, and a first-place rating for an exquisitely crafted cake, marking the theme of the departure of HMS Dean Joseph Martin. Martin himself judged this contest and found the HST entry as tasty as it was beautiful! Congratulations are in order for this terrific class, whose display of team effort, sportsmanship and creativity mark them as true HST champions. — Patricia A. Cunningham 6

Summer 2007

The genome of the gray, short-tailed opossum was on the cover of the May 10 issue of Nature.

Formally Yours courtesy of Amy Shi (MEMP)

MD Class of ’10 wins another Society Olympics

sum provides a unique perspective on the organization and evolution of mammalian genomes. Distinctive features of the opossum chromosomes provide support for recent theories about genome evolution and function, including a strong influence of biased gene conversion on nucleotide sequence composition, and a relationship between chromosomal characteristics and X chromosome inactivation. Comparison of opossum and eutherian genomes also reveals a sharp difference in evolutionary innovation between protein-coding and non-coding functional elements. True innovation in protein-coding genes seems to be relatively rare, with lineage-specific differences being largely due to diversification and rapid turnover in gene families involved in environmental interactions. In contrast, about 20% of eutherian conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) are recent inventions that postdate the divergence of Eutheria and Metatheria. A substantial proportion of these eutherian-specific CNEs arose from sequence inserted by transposable elements, pointing to transposons as a major creative force in the evolution of mammalian gene regulation.

© Phil Myers/U of Michigan

MEMP student Tarjei S. Mikkelsen is first author of the lead article in the May 10th issue of Nature (447: 167-177) titled “Genome of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica reveals innovation in non-coding sequences.” The research on the opossum’s genome was done by an international consortium led by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Sixty-two authors participated in this Tarjei Mikkelsen paper, which revises our understanding of genetic-evolution. This is not Mikkelsen’s first time in Nature. In the Sept. 10, 2005, issue, he was the lead author of a paper comparing the chimpanzee genome with the human genome. Mikkelsen, a fourth-year PhD student, is originally from Bergen, Norway. The abstract: We report a high-quality draft of the genome sequence of the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). As the first metatherian (“marsupial”) species to be sequenced, the opos-

The annual HST Formal on Friday, April 27, at the Veronique Ballroom in Brookline, was a great success with more than 180 attendees drawn from all areas of the HST community. Surrounded by a group of stunning HST women, Ben Swanson, guest of MEMP student Rachel Scheidegger, enjoyed the evening! Swanson is joined by Ann Cai (MD program), Rachel Scheidegger, Grace Chen (MEMP) and Amy Shi (MEMP). The event was organized by the members of the HST Student Joint Council—Nambi Nallasamy, Sarah Hill, Ann Cai, Kyle Smith, Amy Shi, and Lisa Treat—with expert graphics assistance from Christina Silcox.

List based on information available May 22, 2007; subject to change

Master of Science Biomedical Enterprise Program Rupa Bahri

Hopewell Junction, NY

[Also received MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management]

Enhancing Productivity in Collaborative Innovation: A Study of Geographic Bioclusters

Future Plans: Consultant, McKinsey & Company, Florham Park, NJ

Jeffrey Behrens Newton, MA

[Also received MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management]

Investment Performance of Life-Science Venture Capital Investment Funds, Persistence, and Subsector Analysis

Future Plans: Head of Business Operations, BI3, The Biogen Idec Innovation Incubator, Cambridge, MA

Paul Allen Hawkins, MAB Cleveland, OH Regression Analysis of Oncology Drug Licensing Deal Value Future Plans: Manager of New Venture, Office of Technology Development, Boston University

Trent Yen-wei Lu Los Angeles, CA

[Also received MBA from Harvard Business School]

Genomics Research and Cultivating Serendipity in Pharmaceutical Drug Discovery: Assessing the Competitiveness of R&D Productivity between the West and Asia

Ganesh R. Nair, MBA

Quilon, India Acquisition of Medical Device Start-Ups

Future Plans: Business Development Manager, Johnson & Johnson (LifeScan), San Francisco, CA

Kevin Lee Ohashi, MS, PhD Sanger, CA

[Also received MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management]

Mergers and Acquisitions in the Medical Device Industry

Future Plans: Senior Associate, Vertical Group, Palo Alto, CA

Master of Science Biomedical Informatics Program Samuel Louis Volchenboum, MD, PhD Chicago, IL Identifying Biomarkers for Human Cancer Using Mouse Models Future Plans: Faculty, Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, the Institute of Molecular Pediatric Sciences, and the Computational Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Master of Medical Science Clinical Investigator Training Program James E. Bradner, MD

Highland Park, IL Selective Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase 6

Future Plans: Instructor, HMS, Boston, MA; Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA

Daniel C. Cho, MS, MD

Washington, DC Targeting the PI3-Kinase/Akt Pathway for the Therapy of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Future Plans: Instructor in Medicine, HMS, Boston, MA; Staff Oncologist, BIDMC, Boston, MA

Saumya Das, MD, PhD Delhi, India Molecular Basis of Cardiac Electrical Remodeling

Future Plans: Staff Cardiac Electrophysiologist, MGH, Boston, MA

Christopher H. Gibbons, MD Brookline, MA The Development of a Human Model of Wound Healing during Nerve Fiber Degeneration and Regeneration

Future Plans: Instructor in Neurology, HMS; Director of the Neuropathy Clinic at Joslin Diabetes Center, Staff Neurologist, BIDMC, Boston, MA

Gregory D. Lewis, MD

Sudbury, MA Evaluation of Novel Therapeutics for Heart Failure and Metabolic Profiling in Cardiovascular Disease Future Plans: Instructor in Medicine, HMS, Boston, MA; Staff, Division of Cardiology, MGH, Boston, MA; Researcher, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA

hst graduates Eric M. Morrow, MD, PhD

Antonio John Miller, MS

Future Plans: Instructor in Psychiatry, HMS, Boston, MA, Staff Psychiatrist, MGH, Boston, MA

Future Plans: Senior Electrical Engineer in Auditory Psychophysics, Motorola’s Advanced Product Technology Center, Plantation, FL

Toronto, Canada Dendritic Cell/Tumor Fusion Vaccines as Immunotherapy for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Dost Öngür, M.S., MD, PhD Istanbul, Turkey Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Studies on Cellular Function and Neurotransmission in Bipolar Disorder

Future Plans: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, HMS, Boston, MA; Director, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA

Christopher Dean Owens, MD Milan, IN Endothelial Function and Vein Graft Remodeling

Future Plans: Instructor in Surgery, HMS, Boston, MA; Vascular Surgery Staff, BWH, Boston, MA

Mark M. Pomerantz, MD St. Louis, MO Characterization of the 8q24 Prostate Cancer Risk Locus

Future Plans: Instructor Medicine, HMS, Boston, MA; Oncologist, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Jacalyn Rosenblatt, MD

Montreal, Canada Dendritic Cell/Tumor Fusion Vaccines as Immunotherapy for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Future Plans: Instructor in Medicine, HMS, Boston, MA; Staff Oncologist, BIDMC, Boston, MA

Hans Peter Schlecht, MD

Point Pleasant, NJ A Novel Immunomodulator, A-007, of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Infection: A Phase II Study Future Plans: Assistant Professor of Infectious Disease, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Master of Science in Health Sciences and Technology John Matthew Higgins, MD

Cambridge, MA Mathematical and Mechanical Modeling of Vaso-occlusion in Sickle Cell Disease Future Plans: Residency in Clinical Pathology, BWH, Boston, MA

Saint Paul, MN Using Otoacoustic Emissions to Measure the Transmission Matrix of the Middle-ear

Taro Michael Muso

Northridge, CA Green Fluorescent Protein as a Mechanical Sensor

Doctor of Medicine Andrew James Aguirre Standish, MI

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Genetic Determinants of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, MGH, Boston, MA

Steven Nelson Bailey

Barnesville, MD Using Novel Lentivirus-infected Cell Microarrays and Chemical Genetics to Study Cancer Metabolism

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Emergency Medicine at Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, CA

Jakob Begun, MPhil Maleny, Australia

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Investigating the Host-Pathogen Interaction Using a StaphylococcusCaenorhabditis elegans Model System

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, MGH, Boston, MA

Eugene Kyujin Cha

Muttontown, NY The Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase Pathway in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Surgery at New York Presbyterian, Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY; Residency in Urology at New York Presbyterian, Cornell Medical Center

Eugene Y. Chan

Hopatcong, NJ Single Molecule Methylation Scanning

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Preliminary Medicine, BWH, Boston, MA

Irene Ann Chen San Diego, CA

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Building a Protocell: Physical Aspects and Emergent Behaviors.

Future Plans: Bauer Fellow, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Center for Systems Biology, Cambridge, MA

The Connector


David M. Cochran, SM, PhD Stockbridge, GA The Role of HIF-1 Alpha in the Localization of Embryonic Stem Cells with Respect to Hypoxia Within Teratomas

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Psychology/Child Psychology at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA

Jairam R. Eswara

Beverly, MA Heat Shock Protein 70 Interacts with Aquaporin-2 (AQP2) and Regulates its Trafficking

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Surgery at MGH, Boston, MA; Residency in Urology at MGH, Boston, MA

Jean-Marc Gauguet Wayland, MA

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Normal and Malignant Lymphocyte Migration: Glycosyltransferases and Integrins in Lymphocyte Homing & CXCR4 Inhibition of Multiple Myeloma

Future Plans: Internship in Transitional Medicine at Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA; Residency in Radiology at BIDMC, Boston, MA

Robert S. Griffin New Hope, PA

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Gene Expression Associated with Neuropathic Pain

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at MGH, Boston, MA; Residency in Anesthesiology at MGH

Robert Stewart Hagan Arlington, VA

[Also received PhD from MIT]

Regulation of the Spindle Checkpoint by Mad2 Binding Proteins

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Vanessa Giselle Henke

Riverdale, NY Characterization of Human Orai and STIM, Mediators of CalciumRelease Activated Calcium Signaling

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT; Residency in Anesthesiology at MGH, Boston, MA

Ashutosh Prabhakar Jadhav Zionsville, IN

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Regulation of Vertebrate Retinal Development by the Notch Signaling Pathway

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at MGH, Boston, MA; Residency in Neurology at MGH


Summer 2007

Gyanprakash Avinash Ketwaroo, MSc

Port Antonio, Jamaica Cortical Surface-based Analysis of Subcortical White Matter Microstructural Integrity in Schizophrenia

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, MGH, Boston, MA

Rita Khodosh Sunnyvale, CA

[Also received PhD from MIT]

Beach1 Functionally Antagonizes Rab11 during Development and in Regulating Synaptic Morphology.

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at Stanford University Programs, Stanford, CA; Residency in Dermatology at Stanford University Programs

Sang Do Kim, MS

Orlando, FL Isoform Specific Regulation of Filamin A by TBX5 Plays a Role During Cardiac Septal Formation

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Orthopaedic Surgery, MGH, Boston, MA

Payal Kohli

Aurora, CO Protectin D1 is Generated in Asthma and Dampens Airway Inflammation and Hyperresponsiveness

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at MWH, Boston, MA; Residency in Anesthesiology at MGH, Boston, MA

Marc A. Laberge, MA

Ottawa, Canada Identification of a Novel Regulator of Macrophage and Smooth Muscle Cell Migration in Atherosclerosis

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, CA; Residency in Radiology at University of California at San Franciso, San Francisco, CA

Roxanne Nicole Landesman, MS Baltimore, MD Increasing Surge Capacity for BioIsolation: An Initial Test of Emergency Procedure Performance in Temporary Negative Pressure Isolation Using Medical Simulation Technologies

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Transitional Medicine at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Andrew David Levin, SM, PhD Evanston, IL Specific and General Binding in Arterial Drug Delivery

Future Plans: Consultant, Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge, MA

Choy Rae Ava Lewis

Brooklyn, NY Determining the Role of MUP1 in Adipose Tissue

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at Northwestern McGaw Medical Center, Chicago, IL; Residency in Anesthesiology at BWH, Boston, MA

Ankit Indravadan Mehta Chicago, IL Fibroblasts Role in Cancer Metastasis

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Preliminary Surgery at BWH, Boston, MA

Haley Bharat Naik

Oak Brook, IL Zn2+ Transport by the Parietal Cell of the Stomach: A Subcellular Perspective on the Barrier to Luminal H+

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at Stanford University Programs, Stanford, CA; Residency in Dermatology at MGH, Boston, MA

John Ng

New York, NY Characterization of Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Gadolinium Enhancing Lesions in Multiple Sclerosis MRI

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY; Residency in Radiation Oncology at New York Presbyterian, Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY

Michael Abram Ohliger, PhD Philadelphia, PA Fundamental and Practical Limits to Image Acceleration with Parallel MRI

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine, MGH, Boston, MA; Residency in Anesthesiology, MGH

Douglas Adam Rubinson, MS Suffern, NY

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

A Lentiviral System for RNAi Transgenesis and the Ena/VASP Triple-knockout Defines Neuronal and Non-neuronal Functions in Mouse Development

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, BWH, Boston, MA

Safa Sadeghpour

Santa Monica, CA When to Remember and When to Forget: NMDA-R Normalization: Activity-Dependent, Temporal, and Spatial Properties in Single Neurons Future Plans: Position at McKinsey & Company, Florham Park, NJ

Jennifer Kyung Son

Essex Junction, VT Functional Analysis of SNP’s Located in Noncoding Regions of the Plasmodium falciparum Genome

Future Plans: Internship in Transitional Medicine at Caritas Carney Hospital, Boston, MA ; Residency in Radiology at BIDMC, Boston, MA

Ania Szary

Wroclaw, Poland Deciphering the Estrogen Receptor Histone Code

Future Plans: Internship in Transitional Medicine at Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA; Residency in Radiology at University of California at San Franciso, San Francisco, CA

David Yoshio Takeda Pearl City, HI

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at BWH, Boston, MA; Residency in Radiology at University of California at San Franciso, San Francisco, CA

Regulation of Replication Initiators During the Cell Cycle

Luise Ingeborg Maria Pernar

Danbury, CT T-bet Controls Pathogenicity of cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in the Heart by Separable Effects on Migration and Effector Activity

Göttingen, Germany Huntingtin is Associated with Glutamate Receptor Complexes in the Post-synaptic Density

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in General Surgery, BWH, Boston, MA

Lynn Raju Punnoose

Bellerose, NY Effects of Modified Self Assembling Peptide Hydrogels and Interstitial Flows on Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Function

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, BWH, Boston, MA

James Rhee

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, BWH, Boston, MA

Viviany Rodrigues Taqueti

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, MGH, Boston, MA

Jonathan S. Thierman, SM, PhD Piedmont, CA Sources of Difference Frequency Sound in a Dual-Frequency Imaging System with Implications for Monitoring Thermal Surgery

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Oneonta, NY

Vesselin Tomov Tomov

Partnership of HNF4α with the Transcriptional Coactivator PGC1α in the Regulation of Hepatic Glucose and Lipid Homeostasis

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

[Also received PhD from Harvard]

Sofia, Bulgaria

Codon-Optimized and ReporterPackaging Strains of HIV-1

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Future Plans: Postdoctoral fellow, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Scott Bradley Vafai

Daegu, South Korea Super-resolution Wide-field Optical Microscopy by Use of Evanescent Standing Waves

New York, NY Role of the PGC-1 Coactivators in Cancer Biology

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, BWH, Boston, MA

Neelaksh Kumar Varshney, MSc Huntsville, AL Synapses Adapt Over Long Time Scales

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Medicine at MGH, Boston, MA; Residency in Neurology at MGH/ BWH, Boston, MA

Griffin M. Weber Newport News, VA

[Also received MS and PhD from Harvard]

Data Representation and Algorithms for Biomedical Informatics Applications Future Plans: Chief Technology Officer, HMS, Boston, MA; Instructor in Medicine, BIDMC, Boston, MA

Richelle Williams

Clarendon, Jamaica Compensating Alleles in AcyclovirResistant Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1

Future Plans: Internship and Residency in General Surgery at University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Ernest Nanjung Yeh, MEng Gaithersburg, MD

[Also received PhD from MIT]

Advanced Image Reconstruction in Parallel Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Constraints and Solutions

Future Plans: Internship in Preliminary Surgery at BWH, Boston, MA; Residency in Radiology (Scholar Track) at BIDMC, Boston, MA

Doctor of Philosophy Medical Engineering/Medical Physics Brinda Balakrishnan

Upland, CA Computational Modeling of Local Intravascular Drug Delivery

Future Plans: Candidate for the MD Degree at HMS, Boston, MA

Maya Ella Barley

London, United Kingdom

[Also received SM from MIT]

Bioelectrical Strategies for ImageGuided Therapies

Vincent Chi Kwan Cheung

Vancouver, Canada Sensory Modulation of Muscle Synergies for Motor Adaption during Natural Behaviors

Euiheon Chung, MS

Future Plans: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology, MIT and HMS, Boston, MA

Adrien Emmanuel Desjardins Waterloo, Canada Angle-resolved Optical Coherence Tomography

Future Plans: Research, teaching, and business endeavors in developing novel optical imaging technologies for detecting diseases non-invasively

Blanca Elena Himes

Bucaramanga, Colombia Predictive Genomics in Asthma Management Using Probabilistic Graphical Models

Safa Sadeghpour

Santa Monica, CA When to Remember and When to Forget: NMDA-R Normalization: Activity-Dependent, Temporal, and Spatial Properties in Single Neurons Future Plans: Position at McKinsey & Company, Florham Park, NJ

Kathleen Helen Sienko Endicott, NY

[Also recieved SM from MIT]

Perturbation-based Detection and Prosthetic Correction of Vestibulopathic Gait

Future Plans: Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIT

Neda Vukmirovic, SM

Belgrade, Serbia Drug Deposition and Distribution in Healthy and Atherosclerotic Arteries and in Models of Atherosclerosis Following Bulk or Stent-Based Drug Delivery

Future Plans: Postdoctoral Fellowship at HMS, Boston, MA

Future Plans: Consulting

Nikola Kojic

Zlin, Czech Republic Transitive Inference in Healthy Humans and Implications for Schizophrenia

Kragujevac, Serbia

[Also received SM from MIT]

Mechanotransduction via Airway Epithelial Cells: The Effect of Compressive Stress

Future Plans: Candidate for the MD Degree at HMS, Boston, MA

Francisca Pais Leite

Estremoz, Portugal Detection Power, Temporal Response, and Spatial Resolution of IRON fMRI in Awake, Behaving Monkeys at 3 Tesla Future Plans: Postion at a Consulting Firm, Portugal

Gopal Sebastian Ramachandran Redmond, WA Modular Architecture in Biological Networks

Future Plans: Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA; Candidate for the MD Degree, HMS, Boston, MA

Andrew Garmory Richardson Indianapolis, IN

[Also received SM from MIT]

Role of the Precentral Cortex in Adapting Behavior to Different Mechanical Environments

Future Plans: Postdoctoral researcher, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Adam David Rosenthal, MEng Boca Raton, FL Cell Patterning Technology for Controlling the Stem Cell Microenvironment

Future Plans: Consultant, the Boston Consulting Group

Martin Zalesak, MSc

Future Plans: Candidate for the MD Degree at HMS, Boston, MA

Keith Noble Darrow, MS

Staten Island, NY Role of the Lateral Olivocochlear Efferent System in Hearing: Selective Lesioning Studies Future Plans: Clinical Fellowship in Audiology, BWH, Boston, MA

Steven Michael Lulich

Bend, OR The Role of Lower Airway Resonances in Defining Vowel Feature Contrasts

Future Plans: Research Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

Anthony Obiesie Okobi, Jr. Pittsburgh, PA

[Also received SM from MIT]

Acoustic Correlates of Word Stress in American English

Future Plans: Candidate for the MD at Brown Medical School, Providence, RI

Teresa Patricia Goncalves Santos

Lisboa, Portugal Tone-evoked Fos Labeling in the Central Auditory Pathway: Effects of Stimulus Level and Auditory Fear Conditioning Future Plans: Consulting

Daniel E. Shub Boston, MA

[Also received SM From MIT]

Doctor of Philosophy Radiological Sciences Joint Program Caroline Boudoux

Saint-Nicolas, Canada Wavelength Swept Spectrally Encoded Confocal Microscopy for Biological and Clinical Applications

Future Plans: Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory for Optics and Biosciences, Ecole Polytechnique de Paris; followed by Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering Physics, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal

Monaural Perception under Dichotic Conditions

Future Plans: Postdoctoral research in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania

Daniel T. Wehner Byron, IL

[Also receiving SM from MIT]

Phonological and Semantic Influences on Auditory Word Perception in Children with and without Reading Impairments using Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Electroencephalography (EEG)

Future Plans: Technology Specialist: Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, Boston, MA

Darren Mark Whiten Doctor of Philosophy Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Christopher Bergevin

Potomac, MD Comparative Approaches to Otoacoustic Emissions: Towards an Understanding of Why the Ear Emits Sound Future Plans: Postdoctoral Fellow, Math Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Sound Beach, NY

[Also received EE and SM from MIT]

Electro-Anatomical Models of the Cochlear Implant

Future Plans: Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and HMS, Boston, MA

Julie J. Yoo, MASc

Toronto, Canada FMRI Studies of Effects of Hearing Status on Audio-Visual Speech Perception Future Plans: Postdoctoral Associate, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT, Cambridge, MA

The Connector


research news Improved Protein Sorting with New Microchip HST MD-PhD student Anna L. Stevens is co-author of “A patterned anisotropic nanofluidic sieving structure for continuous-flow separation of DNA and proteins.” Stevens and colleagues report a new microchip system, which has several advantages over the standard porous gel networks for the separation and sorting of biomolecules. This microfabricated anisotropic sieving structure consists of a two-dimensional periodic nanofluidic filter array, which accomplishes a faster and more effective separation of smaller, physiologically relevant macromolecules such as proteins. This work may lead to improved detection of molecules associated with specific diseases. (J Fu et al., Nature Nanotechnology 2006; 2:121-128.)

Absolute Enrichment Regulates Both Up and Down Gene Expressions Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD, the Lawrence Henderson Associate Professor of HST and Director of HST’s Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics Training Program, is senior author of “Absolute enrichment: gene set enrichment analysis for homeostatic systems.” Gene set enrichment analysis is a powerful technique for elucidating genes that may be important for gene expression data, but it identifies only gene sets regulated in one direction. In most homeostatic processes when one component is upregulated, there is a downregulation in response, and vice versa. This work introduces a simple, novel and powerful method—called Absolute Enrichment—that assesses both up- and down-regulated expression, applied to a dataset from patients who underwent hysterectomy or abdominal myomectomy. (V Saxena et al., Nucleic Acids Res 2006; 34:22, e151.) Dennis Orgill, PhD ’83, MD ’85, who works at BIDMC as Associate Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery and Director of the Burn Center, is co-author.

New Approach to Inhibit Viruses that Cause Hemorrhagic Fever MD-PhD candidate Jonathan Abraham is co-first author of “Transferrin receptor 1 is a cellular receptor for New World haemorrhagic fever arenaviruses.” New world hemorrhagic fever, caused by arenaviruses, is fatal in 30 percent of cases. This infection is also of current interest because of the potential use of these viruses for bioterrorism. Working with cell lines from hamsters and African green monkeys, and with four new world arenaviruses, this research demonstrated a specific, light affinity association between transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) and the entry glycoprotein of the Machupo virus. Expression of human TfR1 in hamster cells enhanced the infection of three of these viruses, while an anti-TfR1 antibody efficiently inhibited the replication of all four. Furthermore, depletion of iron in the culture medium enhanced and 10

Summer 2007

supplementation of iron decreased the infection of two of the viruses. Thus, this work establishes that TfR1 is a cellular receptor of New World hemorrhagic fever arenaviruses. This major contribution to our understanding of the pathophysiology of hemorrhagic fever may facilitate the development of therapeutic approaches pathophysiology. (SR Radoshitzky, J Abraham et al., Nature 2007; Feb. 7; [Epub ahead of print].)

Nanoparticles Enhance Tumor Imaging Sangeeta Bhatia, PhD ’97, MD ’99, Associate Professor of HST and of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, is co-author of “Biomimetic amplification of nanoparticle homing to tumors.” A delivery system has been developed in which nanoparticles home to tumors and amplify their own homing in a manner which resembles platelets. The authors studied a peptide comprised of Cysteine-Arginine-Glutamic acid-Lysine-Alanine (CREKA) that had a fluorescent dye attached to the N terminus, synthesized it, and looked at the in vivo distribution in tumor-bearing mice. CREKA formed a meshwork in the tumor stroma and also highlighted its blood vessels. Whole-body imaging with CREKA labeled with fluorescent dye demonstrated selective accumulation of the peptide in breast cancer xenografts. The tumortargeted nanoparticles were found to cause selective clotting in tumor blood vessels, which resulted in concentrating the particles and thus improved tumor detection by microscopic and whole-body imaging techniques. The researchers are now optimizing the process where nanoparticles can strangle the tumor through self-amplification. A synergistic goal would be to add a drug-delivery function to the nanoparticles so that they can slowly release the drug at the tumor site. (D Simberg et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104: 932-6.)

Universal Insurance Reduces Mortality Disparities between Income Levels A study at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, co-authored by Allan S. Detsky, PhD, MD ’89, examined mortality rates by income levels in Canada 25 years after universal health insurance was established there. From 1971 to 1996, differences between the richest and poorest quintiles in expected years of life lost amenable to medical care decreased 60 percent in men and 78 percent in women. Those amenable to public health increased insignificantly. The researchers concluded that access to medical insurance narrowed mortality disparities across socioeconomic levels. (PD James et al., J Epidemiol Community Health 2007; 61: 287-96.) Detsky is a Senior Scientist in the Division of Clinical Investigation and Human Physiology, Toronto, General Research Institute, and Professor of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto.

Angiogenesis Inhibitor Shows Promise for Deadly Brain Tumor Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, and A. Gregory Sorensen, MD, are two of the authors of a paper studying the effects of AZD2171, a pan-VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, on tumor vasculature and edema in glioblastoma patients. Sixteen patients with recurrent glioblastoma, the most common and malignant brain tumor, were treated daily with AZD2171 and then studied every 28 days by several MRI techniques. The patients’ tumor vessels normalized, and incidents of cerebral edema reduced. However, the length of therapy time ranged greatly among patients. Some had positive results as early as 28 days after onset of therapy, but others had to wait several months before they saw any benefits. (TT Batchelor et al., Cancer Cell 2007; 11: 83-95.) Jain, the senior author, is an HST affiliated faculty and the A. Werk Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology at HMS and MGH. Sorensen, Associate Professor of Radiology at HMS and MGH and Associate Director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, is co-author.

New Insights into the Cellular Mechanisms of Motility Michael D. Buschman, PhD ’92, MD, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal, is senior author of “Migration of bone marrow stromal cells in 3D: 4 color methodology reveal spatially and temporally coordinated events.” This work addresses the central role the cytoskeleton plays in directed cell migration with new technology which simultaneously images vimentin, actin, tubulin and the nucleus with high resolution confocal microscopy of bonemarrow stromal cells migrating through a porous membrane. The cells were derived from femurs of white rabbits. Colocalization of actin and microtubules with distinct spatial arrangements at the cellular leading edge during migration confirms the pivotal role of microtubules in cell migration. (MM Thibault and MD Buschmann, Cell Motil Cytoskeleton 2006; 63: 725-40.) `

Chronic Hypoxia Affects Artery Walls

Naomi C. Chesler, PhD ’96, is senior author of a study of the effects of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension on pulmonary vascular impedance in isolated mouse lungs. In mice exposed to hypobaric hypoxia for 10 and 15 days, resistance, input impedance and index of wave reflection increased whereas characteristic impedance decreased. These changes suggest that not only distal arteriolar muscularization but also proximal arterial stiffening occur and significantly affect the dynamic load on the right ventricle (HA Tuchscherer et al., J Biomech 2007; 40: 993-1001.) Chesler is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin.

research news Location Matters When It Comes to the Severity of Stroke Nina M. Menezes, PhD ’02, is first author and A. Gregory Sorensen, MD, is senior author of “The Real Estate Factor: Quantifying the Impact of Infarct Location on Stroke Severity.” Although a moderate correlation of the severity of neurological deficit after ischemic strokes has been shown with infarct volume, a relationship to location has not been explored quantitatively. To do so, the authors developed atlases, consisting of location-weighted values indicating the relative importance, in terms of severity of the neurological deficit, for every voxel of the brain. These atlases were used to estimate the severity of the clinical deficit in 80 patients with a first ischemic stroke, who had undergone MRI and an NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) examination at time of discharge. Whereas the severity of the neurological deficit based upon volume correlated only moderately with NIHSS scores (r=0.62), a combination of volume and location resulted in a significantly better correlation (r= 0.79, P= 0.032). (Stroke 2007; 38: 194-7). Menezes is a research fellow at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, where this work was done. Sorensen is an HST faculty member and Associate Professor of Radiology at HMS and MGH; he is also Associate Director of the Martinos Center.

Novel Confocal Microscope Thomas D. Wang, PhD ’86, MD ’98, is senior author of “Miniature near-infrared dual-axes confocal microscope utilizing a two-dimensional microelectromechanical systems scanner.” This report describes a novel, miniature dual-axes confocal microscope, with an outer diameter of 10mm, for subsurface imaging of biological tissues with 5-7 microm resolution. Depth-resolved en face images are obtained at 30 frames per second, with a field of view of 800 x 100 microm, by employing a two-dimensional scanning microelectromechanical systems mirror. Reflectance and fluorescence images are obtained with a laser source at 785nm, demonstrating the ability to perform real-time optical biopsy. (JTC Liu et al., Opt Lett 2007; 32: 256-8.)

New Ultrathin Membrane Could Improve Dialysis System James L. McGrath, PhD ’98, is co-author of “Charge-and size-based separation of macromolecules using ultra thin silicon membranes.” Commercially available membranes for ultrafiltration and dialysis, having broad pore size distributions and being much thicker than molecules, are inefficient. The authors developed an ultrathin (15nm), porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si membrane with average pore sizes of 5nm to 25nm. This membrane can retain proteins while allowing the transport of small molecules faster than existing material. These ultrathin membranes are expected to permit the construction of large-scale dialysis

systems and facilitate their use in pressurized filtration devices at both macro- and microscale. (CC Striemer et al., Nature 2007; 445: 749-53.) McGrath is in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.

Engineered Tissues Resemble Meniscus Thomas M. Quinn, PhD ’96, is co-author of “Use of hydrodynamic forces to engineer cartilaginous tissues resembling the non-uniform structure and function of meniscus.” Meniscus is a fibrocartilaginous tissue, comprised of two main regions: a peripheral vascular zone mainly exposed to circumferential tensile loads, and an inner vascular zone predominantly exposed to compressive forces. The peripheral region is mainly composed of collagen fibers, whereas the inner region is characterized by a unique network of type I and II collagen containing glycosaminoglycans. This study tested the hypothesis that the outer region is more resistant to tension, whereas the inner region is more resistant to compression. Bovine articular chondrocytes were cultured for four weeks and assessed histologically, mechanically and immunohistochemically by scanning electron microscopy. The effects of compression and tension were analyzed. It was demonstrated

that exposure of the articular chondrocyte-based constructs to hydrodynamic flow generated tissue with locally different composition and mechanical properties, resembling some aspects of the complex structure and function of the outer and inner zones of native meniscus. (A Marsano et al., Biomaterials 2006; 27: 5927-34.) Quinn is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal.

UV Pigmentation Directly Controlled by Tumor-Supressing Protein Jennifer Y. Lin, MD ’03, is co-author of “Central role of p53 in the suntan response and pathologic hyperpigmentation.” Ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer. UV-induced pigmentation requires induction of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) secretion by keratinocytes. Using knockout mice deficient in the tumor-suppressor protein p53, the authors provide biochemical and genetic evidence that UV induction of pigmentation is directly controlled by p53. (R Cui et al., Cell 2007; 128: 853-63.) Lin is first author in a recent review of melanocyte biology and skin pigmentation (JY Lin & DE Fisher, Nature 2007, 445: 843-50.) She is a Clinical Fellow in Dermatology at HMS and MGH.

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Microscopy One misconception in optics and imaging is that only an in-focus image contains useful information. State-of-the-art methods in highresolution 3-D optical microscopy, therefore, require that the focus be scanned through the entire region of interest. By solving the inverse scattering problem for interference microscopy, computed reconstruction yields volumes of image data with a resolution in all planes that is equivalent to the resolution achieved only at the focal plane for conventional high-resolution microscopy. In short, the entire illuminated volume can have spatially invariant resolution, thus eliminating the historical compromise between resolution and depth of field, and making the blurry regions sharp. This novel computational image-formation technique, called interferometric synthetic aperture microscopy (ISAM), was demonstrated and published in Nature Physics by Stephen Boppart, PhD ’98, MD ’00, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ISAM has the potential for real-time volumetric microscopy and analysis in the fields of cell and tumor biology, as well as in clinical diagnosis, where in vivo imaging is preferable to biopsy. (Ralston et al., 3:129-134, 2007.)

Three-dimensional reconstructions of a celltissue phantom acquired using standard interferometric data (top) and ISAM (bottom). Note that the ISAM reconstruction shows improved, spatially-invariant resolution of cell-like features throughout the entire volume.

The Connector


alumna profile



by Elizabeth Dougherty


udy Lieberman loves learning. This isn’t much of a surprise considering she’s a theoretical physicist, an HST trained physician, and that she keeps tabs on a wide range of cutting-edge scientific research. Her boundless curiosity has led her down several research paths, all of which point toward her ultimate goal of defeating AIDS. The question is, how does someone so ambitious relax? Sudoku? Crosswords? Some other kind of mental gymnastics? No. This HMS Professor of Pediatrics, CBR Institute Senior Investigator and Director of the Division of AIDS finds rejuvenation by painting. “It’s important to me. It uses the non-rational side of my brain and it’s more sensual. I like the colors,” she said. “If I don’t paint, I’m much more grumpy.” She also enjoys gardening and the joy of playing with the colors of the different flowers in her perennial garden—a kind of three dimensional, ever-changing, backyard canvas. Unlike her research, which she pursues very methodically, she approaches painting loosely. She says it’s more “painterly” that way. And she has some idea of what that means because she’s been painting for most of her life, starting at the age of nine when she attended summer art courses at the Museum of Modern Art not far from her home in the New Jersey suburbs. There was only one phase of her life during which she suspended her artistic pursuits. That was during medical school—her time at HST—and residency. Lieberman came to HST late in her career, in her early thirties, so medical school corresponded with the arrival of her first child. The second was born during her internship. Both children are graduate students in biology today. “The day I finished my residency, I started painting again,” she said. Given Lieberman’s academic work prior to coming to HST, it’s hard to imagine how she ever had any time for painting. Having earned a PhD 12

Summer 2007

This tireless AIDS researcher finds rest with paints on canvas. from Rockefeller University in theoretical physics, she worked at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, which she describes as the “mecca of advanced physics.” While she was there, her work on relativity and elementary particles was at the center of the action. According to HST Founder Irving London, MD, who knew Lieberman first as an HST student and who still collaborates with her today, she had “a kind of meteoric rise in physics.” Nevertheless, Lieberman felt unfulfilled. “There was nothing more than a blank sheet of paper facing me everyday,” she said. She longed for a more interactive and more connected environment. But leaving physics was not easy, because that and math were two subjects in which she excelled. Plus, being one of only a handful of women physicists in the world at the time was to some extent a badge of honor. Then one day a friend, a mathematicianturned-MD familiar with her dilemma, suggested she apply for medical school. His suggestion reminded her that biology was her first love, even before college. She recalled the fateful high school science enrichment sessions—Saturday biology courses at Columbia that bored her, and a summer physics course at Cornell that thrilled her—that turned her away from biology and toward physics. After all this time, medical school sounded right, though she admits that “it wasn’t the most efficient career pathway.” She decided to become a clinician and help patients directly. She even remembers thinking “I’ll never do research.” Ironically, she ended

up at HST, an arguably research-heavy medical program. She chose HST because she was attracted to the intellectual stimulation and the multidisciplinary model. She also thought that, by understanding things well, she would become a better doctor. “We were delighted to accept her,” London said. Lieberman received her MD from HST in 1981. After her residency, she decided to do her required postdoctoral research program before her clinical year because lab work, arduous as it was, offered more flexible hours for her as a young mother. This decision placed her in Herman Eisen’s lab in the MIT Cancer Center during a pivotal time in the early eighties when the lab essentially launched the beginning of T cell immunology. (Eisen, whom London recruited to MIT, was one of the first HST affiliated faculty.) An early discovery from the lab identified the receptor on T cells that enables them to recognize and destroy infected cells and tumors. For Lieberman, this discovery converged with an emerging health crisis. The first cases of AIDS occurred during her residency. HIV-1 was identified as the causative agent in 1984. In those days, AIDS was inexorably painful and certainly fatal. Lieberman thought that the T cells she studied in Eisen’s lab could be harnessed to fight HIV infection. She later turned this idea into two lines of research in her own lab at Tufts University, one focused on understanding how these cells kill off viral cells and the other on how they might be used as an immunotherapy for HIV.

Walter H. Abelmann

Judy Lieberman with “Tulips” at a recent showing of her work at the Harvard Neighbors Gallery.

She was also the first to show that siRNA could be used as a drug in mice to prevent death from hepatitis. This was an exciting breakthrough, but the mechanism she used to get siRNA into the liver cells of the mice required injecting the drug under high pressure, a method unsafe for humans. She is still on a quest to find a safe delivery method. One of several possible strategies has been licensed to the leading biotechnology company developing RNAi-based drugs. Because the challenge of getting siRNA into cells is so difficult, Lieberman has explored other ways to help prevent HIV transmission. For example, she recently developed a microbicide that delivers an siRNA-based drug topically in the vagina. The drug knocks down the herpes virus in cells in the genital area in mice, taking advantage of the fact that it is easier to deliver the drug locally than systemically.

Help the HST Alumni Office locate missing graduates. If you have contact information for any of the following alumni/ae, contact The Connector at Thank You!

George Ming-Shang Huang, MD ’92

Lea Marcie Alhilali, MD ’04

Orlando Rodriguez, MD, SM ’98

Anna Berkenblit, MD, SM ’04

Christopher Brian Reid, MD ’00, PhD

J. Alan Groff, PhD ’04

Nachman Ash, MD, SM ’01

Bradford Clark Backus, PhD ’05

Peter G. Danias, MD, PhD, SM ’01

E. Kevin Heist, MD, PhD, SM ’06

Hafiza H. Khan, MD, SM ’01

Maria Houtchens, MD, SM ’06

Christopher R. Wright, MD, SM ’01

Judy Shih-Hwa Liu, MD, SM ’06

Siobhan Hutchinson, MD, SM ’02

Teresa Patricia G. Santos, PhD ’06

Missing Alumni/ae

Her current research in her lab at the CBR Institute at HMS focuses on tackling AIDS with RNA-mediated interference (RNAi), a mechanism in which ribonucleic acid chains inhibit certain genes. This natural system promises to be a viable weapon against any disease because small interfering RNA (siRNA) can be synthesized to selectively turn off any single disease-causing gene. Lieberman first heard about RNAi by reading a 1998 Nature paper that described how RNAi acts in worms. For several years, she was intrigued by this puzzling phenomenon and kept asking her colleagues doing research with worms, “That’s neat, but how does it work?” No one knew for sure. In 2002, Thomas Tuschl, PhD, found that RNAi works in mammals, too. At this point, Lieberman took on the challenge of determining if it could be used as a drug to inhibit HIV infection.

Lieberman gets her seemingly endless supply of ideas by being “broadly intellectually curious,” something fostered at HST, she said. And her tireless determination comes from that same medical training, which encouraged her to believe that her work “should have broad applications.” In the case of the herpes microbicide, the potential implications for people are great. If the experimental concept proves effective in humans, women with herpes could apply this cream periodically to suppress the herpes virus. In turn, they might reduce their risk of getting AIDS, since herpes is a significant risk factor in the transmission of HIV. Add to all of this work the fact that Lieberman is also pursuing an AIDS vaccine, it becomes clear why she needs an outlet like painting to relax. What remains murky is exactly when she finds time to do it.

David Asher Klapper, MD, SM ’03

The Connector


alumnus profile

S pending time on important things like research, heading the MD admissions committee and family by Lisa E. Freed, MD, PhD ’88


hen David E. Cohen, MD ’87, PhD ’87, was a chemistry and physics concentrator at Harvard, he worked during the summers with researchers who were applying physics and engineering to medically related problems in a materials science laboratory. He found this approach fascinating, and thus HST was a natural next step. He began his HST career in 1982. Cohen’s introduction to biochemistry was a notorious MIT undergraduate course (7.05) that he took concurrently with the first-semester HST core courses in anatomy and pathology. Despite this somewhat uncomfortable plunge into the life sciences, HST was an exciting experience from the outset. After the first two years, Cohen began his PhD research with Martin Carey in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at HMS. Carey, now a colleague and good friend, was “a wonderful and inspiring research mentor.” Reflecting back on those years, many highlights came to Cohen’s mind. “This was a time when I was free to enjoy the

scientific environment of two great research institutions,” he said. “I also enjoyed the collegiality of my class and learned a tremendous amount from my classmates, many of whom I still interact with. I also had the feeling that there were no limits on the kinds of research that I could do.” Cohen’s first postgraduate experience was as a “Hemi-doc,” in which he combined postdoctoral research with a residency in internal medicine at BWH. This was followed by fellowship training in gastroenterology and hepatology, at the same hospital. In 1995 Cohen joined the faculty at Harvard and started his own laboratory in the Division of Gastroenterology at BWH. Two years later he was recruited to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in Bronx, N.Y., with joint appointment in the Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry, and as a member of the internationally recognized Marion Bessin Liver Research Center. He spent seven happy years at Einstein and had the opportunity to meet new

David Cohen, Erica Schulman and their children in the autumn of 2006 14

Summer 2007

and wonderful colleagues. “It was fun to be away from Boston for the first time in 20 years. When we left here I had no intention of returning,” he said. “That is an important part of what makes academic medicine so much fun—the unexpected changes!” Indeed, another highlight was his homecoming, which included the added benefit of becoming involved in HST in new and significant ways. Cohen returned to Boston as an Associate Professor of Medicine and HST, a faculty member in the Harvard graduate program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, an affiliate of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Director of Hepatology at the BWH. Cohen currently runs a laboratory at BWH that is home to five postdocs, one HST student, and one technical staff. Cohen’s research focuses on the mechanisms by which the liver processes cholesterol for elimination from the body, an area of high clinical significance in treating cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and obesity-related diseases. Cohen’s group was first to identify a role for a specific lipid-binding protein—phosphatidylcholine transfer protein—in directing the movement of cholesterol within liver cells. Cohen’s group also studies the impact of obesity on hepatic cholesterol metabolism and showed the involvement of the regulatory molecule leptin. Of all his accomplishments, he is most proud of his trainees. “I find nothing more gratifying than to see it all work out and for a trainee to move on to become a successful colleague,” Cohen said. He added that students and postdocs entrust a mentor to play an important role in their career development. “I take this responsibility very seriously, and worry most about the feasibility and importance of the research projects that I advise them to take on,” he said. In addition to research, Cohen has been extensively involved in teaching. While at Einstein, graduate students voted to award him the LaDonne Schulman Faculty Recognition Award. Currently Cohen teaches HST 140: Molecular Medicine together with Irving London and George Daley, his longtime friend and classmate. (continues on page 15)

alumni news 1970s Dennis W Choi, MD ’78, PhD, formerly EVP for Neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories, has joined Boston University as Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He is a member of HST’s Visiting Committee.

1980s Michael J. Koren, MD ’85, practices cardiology and internal medicine in Jacksonville, Fla. He is Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology at Memorial Hospital Jacksonville. He is also the founder and chairman of Jax Research Systems and “e-Trial Doc,” a web-based service that helps clinical research sites in their day-to-day activities. Susan E Voss, PhD ’86, Associate Professor of Engineering at Smith College, has been awarded a five-year, $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development Award by the National Science Foundation. Her research focuses on the transmission of sound through the normal and diseased ear. She is also developing better diagnostic approaches to the evaluation of auditory function. At the invitation of Peter Diamandis, MD ’89, Chairman of the Zero Gravity Corporation, British cosmologist Stephen Hawking took a zerogravity ride on April 26 to experience weightlessness out of his wheelchair. The specially equipped Zero Gravity Boeing 727-200 jet, which takes off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., produces the feeling of weightlessness for about a half-minute at a time. Diamandis said, “[The flight] is a very enjoyable, Zen-like experience and everyone is laughing.” Hawking, who is a quadriplegic, plans a trip into space in 2009 on one of Virgin Galactic’s spaceships.

1990s Jack Tsao, MD ’97, DPhil, and his wife, Joan Han (HMS ’99), wish their friends a happy Chinese New Year. Tsao writes that he is still seeing neurology patients and teaching at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. Among his interests are phantom limb pain and mechanisms of nerve degeneration. He has started a new project: a neurology telemedicine system for the military. In fall 2006 he was promoted to commander of the US Navy. Last year the couple’s vacation took them to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Marta T. (Taylor) Becker, MD ’98, writes: “I recently had a baby! Naomi Leah Becker was born on March 16, and everybody’s doing fine. She’s our third child—Isaac is 4 and Jacob is 2. I continue to practice otolaryngology in the Philadelphia area.”

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange has awarded the 2007 Louis Sullivan Award to John D. Halamka, SM ’98, MD, Chief Information Officer at HMS and Associate Professor of Medicine at HMS and BIDMC. Halamka is being recognized for his work as chair of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel. Daniel J. DiLorenzo, SM ’99, MD ’99, PhD, MBA, writes, “After getting my first company funded (>$10MM), staffed, and on target with its milestones, I am back in Neurosurgery residency at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. I had taken leave from training at Tulane to get the company (BioNeuronics) launched, and after Katrina, the patience value was low, to say the least. So, I’m wrapping up in Houston and the program is fantastic! Any HST student interested in Neurosurgery has to check out the program at Methodist. It is new and on its way to become one of the very top programs in the country.”

2000s Ravi V. Joshi, MD ’00, is living the San Francisco Bay area. He writes, “I finished my medical internship and anesthesia residency at MGH in 2004.In 2005 I completed a clinical fellowship at Emory University in Cardiothoracic Anesthesia as well as TEE training. I am now in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at UCSF as an assistant professor in residence since last year, trying to restart a research career with a 50 percent clinical commitment.” Jeremiah M. Scharf, MD ’01, PhD, Instructor in Neurology at HMS and MGH, was awarded the 2007 Raymond D. Adams Clinical Research Training Fellowship from the American Academy of Neurology. The fellowship provides support for two years of neurological clinical research. Scharf won the award for his research on the genetic component of Tourette syndrome, a heritable neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and/or vocalizations. The award was presented at AAN’s 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, held April 28 through May 5.

David Cohen (continued from page 14)

“The superb students and dedicated faculty make this experience a highlight of my teaching career,” Cohen said. He also lectures on lipoprotein metabolism in Harvard’s graduate program in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. With regard to clinical practice, Cohen intentionally selected to do “something very focused, in order to be able to stay in balance.” He currently spends one long afternoon per week in the hepatology clinic, two full-time weeks per year on the GI consult service at BWH, and carries out endoscopic procedures. In 2006, Cohen became Chair of the MD Admissions Committee for HST, a service requiring enormous commitments of time and energy. When asked about the basis of this commitment, Cohen explained, “The students represent the core of what makes HST such a wonderful institution. The applicants appreciate the almost limitless opportunities that are embodied in HST. They are highly accomplished young scientists, they are highly enthusiastic about HST, and each has an interesting life story.” During the admissions season, Cohen meets with every applicant who is invited for an interview, which he finds especially rewarding. Among the positive aspects of this job is knowing that the admissions process is critical to HST’s success. In addition, the people who participate in this process are similarly passionate about HST. “They willingly donate their time, and it’s a privilege to work with them,” Cohen said. One less appealing aspect of this job is the

heavy time commitment, which sometimes keeps Cohen out of the laboratory longer than he would like. Another negative is the reality that many very qualified applicants must be turned down, which—although distressing—is made easier by the knowledge that they will find spots at other excellent medical schools and become highly successful physician-scientists. The part of the job Cohen finds the most fun is the opportunity to call and congratulate the accepted applicants. “Their excitement and delight makes it all worthwhile,” he said. Cohen is married to Erica Schulman (AB ’82, MS ’86, MD ’90—all from Harvard). The couple met in college and married when he was an intern and she was a medical student. Their first child, Samantha, who is now 17 years old and a junior in high school, was born just as Schulman was completing medical school. This began many happy years of balancing career and family. As a pediatric intern at MGH, Schulman arranged to share a position with another mom/intern. This was a rare occurrence at that time and a testament to her chairman’s foresight and support. As the couple completed their training, Samantha was joined by a brother, Alexander, who is now 10 years old and in the fifth grade. Their most recent addition is Eliza, born in June 2006. When asked how he balances the challenges of an academic career with being a parent, Cohen replied, “While a career as a physician-scientist is demanding, it offers inherent flexibility. The key is to be focused and efficient. Balancing family and career has not been the source of a lot of stress because both are so rewarding and fun!”

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Friends, family gather to celebrate Lees’ career file photo, Mario Casal

At the MIT Faculty Club, with a view of Boston behind him, Robert S. Lees, MD, (aka Dr. Bob) held the crowd rapt as he relayed an early lesson. After the young Lees referred to a patient as a “case,” his mentor corrected him with an unorthodox yet apparently effective method: He grabbed Lees’ inner thigh with an unyielding grip and commanded him never to refer to anyone as a “case” of anything again. Lees never did. As a result, he has always seen his patients as people first. Though this lunch on April 29 celebrated a career full of inventions, enterprises, discoveries and top-notch clinical care, it also recognized Dr. Bob the teacher. Those who offered their reflections—Lees’ daughter, former graduate students, colleagues—consistently came back to his teaching. According to Ray Chan, one of Lees’ former students, Lees was the rare kind of role model whom his students and colleagues could follow in all aspects of life—as a physician, inventor, researcher, and even as spouse and parent. A Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Lees was chair of the MD thesis committee and a member of the core faculty committee. He has been an integral part of HST’s academic program, and today the HST MD thesis program is a model for the HMS honors program mainly due to his efforts. — Elizabeth Dougherty

(above) A young Robert Lees at work, circa 1968. (right) Lees thanks the crowd at his retirement party.


Summer 2007 Bruce Rosen talks about brain imaging during the Forum plenary session. newsletter for graduates, students, faculty and friends...