Bright Futures Fund

About the BRIght Futures Fund


The BRIght Futures Fund advances the mission of the BRI by catalyzing innovative translational research only possible at an academic medical center, where basic researchers and clinicians work side by side. Contributing to the BRIght Futures Fund is an opportunity to propel cutting-edge, groundbreaking research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


Since 2012, we have awarded four research projects with $100,000 BRIght Futures Prizes, supported by the philanthropic contributions to the BRIght Futures Fund.  These are just some of the exciting ideas and projects that have been transformed in large part due to donor support.

2016 Winner – David Levine, MA, MD
The Home Hospital

David Levine, MD, MA, a physician and researcher in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, received the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize to fund his project, “The Home Hospital.” The project is wrapping up a small pilot, with preliminary data showing that home hospital care lowers costs, improves patient experience and maintains quality and safety, Levine said. The BRIght Futures Prize will enable Levine to expand the pilot and study its outcomes. “I am proud to be at an institution that supports innovation and outside-the-box thinking,” said Levine.

Past Winners

Wilfred Ngwa, PhD
Tiny Drones to Target Cancer

Dr. Ngwa’s project ‘Tiny Drones to Target Cancer’ was the 2015 BRIght Futures Prize recipient.  “Thank you so much for this award,” said Ngwa, who acknowledged the other finalists and thanked his family members, who were in the audience. “I was born in Africa, where in many places we don’t have a word for ‘cancer.’ Through this campaign, we have been able to create a lot of awareness and education. I really appreciate what the Brigham has done for me; I cannot begin to express my joy.”

Hadi Shafiee, PhD
Fighting Hiv/Aids: A Low-Cost, Flexible Microchip

Hadi Shafiee, PhD, of the Division of Renal Medicine, took home this year’s BRIght Futures Prize during the Research Day Awards Ceremony. The third annual BRIght Futures Prize competition featured compelling projects-all with the potential to solve vexing medical problems.


Dr. Shafiee’s project seeks to develop an affordable, simple and rapid diagnostic platform that can detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and measure viral load-HIV levels in a person’s blood-in infected individuals at the point-of-care. This device can potentially transmit test results to a central laboratory or physician through a cell phone.


Currently, there is no commercially available point-of-care HIV viral load device that meets the requirements for low- and middle-income countries. The majority of HIV viral load testing options available today are expensive, laboratory-based, time-consuming and complex. Therefore, these tests cannot be used in developing countries.

Utkan Demirci
Taking Control of Epilepsy


“I would like to thank BWH for creating such an innovative environment that allows these kinds of projects to come through. This was the hardest and most interesting project proposal I’ve worked on-and the one I stressed the most about until a few seconds ago,” said an overwhelmed Demirci, to a chuckling audience. “All three projects are amazing. I think they all deserved to win. I congratulate the other two projects, and thank you for the opportunity to be chosen.”


“This is a different kind of award, since it was voted by the people, so it carries an important value. Hopefully it will serve people and patients in the long run.”

Robert Green, MD
Genome Sequencing for Newborns


Robert Green, MD, was the first recipient of the BRIght Futures Prize.  His project revolves around finding effective, responsible ways to use DNA sequencing for newborn babies and their families


“BWH has had a remarkable impact on my life,” said Green. “It is where I trained, where my wife trained, where we met, and where our first child was born. As with everything else, it is a place of teamwork and support.”