Petri Dishes: From the Immediate Past-Director: November Issue

A Note From the Immediate Past-Director

The outstanding work of the Brigham research community is what drives us forward towards our goal of a healthier world through scientific discovery. Being a part of the BRI leadership has given me broader exposure to our passionate and talented research community; I have been both inspired by what I’ve seen and honored to continue to serve in this capacity.

All of the work here at BWH deserves to be recognized; I started publishing this newsletter to celebrate the work of researchers and the BRI and will continue Petri Dishes in my enthusiasm to stay entirely involved among our passionate and innovative community as the immediate past-director. I am so grateful to be a part of this vibrant group of researchers and look forward to each and every new endeavor and discovery.


Elizabeth Petri Henske, MD



A Successful Day at Discover Brigham!


More than 500 people attended Discover Brigham on November 7th to take part in a day of innovation, education, and, of course, discovery. While it is impossible to cover all of BWH research in just six hours, this annual event showcases our researchers and highlights the amazing work they do on a daily basis. Patients, employees, media personnel and the general public had the chance to attend their choice of 12 different sessions ranging from weight loss to sleep medicine to opioid treatment. The more interactive portion of the day included 15 demonstrations, at which attendees could participate in meditative chair yoga, practice tourniquet application and learn to identify nonmelanoma skin cancer. Researchers also had the opportunity to share their work by participating in the poster session, where electronic poster boards lined the hospital’s hallways and lobbies. The event culminated with the highly anticipated awards ceremony which honored all 2018 BRI award recipients, most notably, the BRI Director’s Transformative Award recipient and the BRIght Futures Prize winner. Events such as Discover Brigham help convey and celebrate the tireless dedication of our researchers, who are pivotal to the success and progress of BWH. Thank you to all who attended, we hope you enjoyed it!

Didn’t get a chance to check out a demo or session that interested you? Want to relive the most exciting moments of the day? Check out the highlights in BWH Clinical and Research News!


And the Winner of BRIght Futures Is…


Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD, Time to Heal Chronic Wounds

Click here to check out a short clip explaining his research and how he will use the BRIght Futures $100k prize!


Previous Shark Tank winner gets published!


In 2015, Richard Sherwood, PhD, an Instructor in the Department of Medicine, received the Health and Technology Innovation Award at the 5th Shark Tank event for his project, titled, “Simplified high-throughput cellular reprogramming screening.” In November 2018, his paper, “Predictable and precise template-free CRISPR editing of pathogenetic variants,” was published in NatureWe are so proud to have been able to help Dr. Sherwood fund this exciting research.

Read Dr. Sherwood’s paper here!



In Case You Missed It: From Bench to Boardroom


This panel session, jointly hosted by MassBio and the BRI, featured experts who discussed tech transfer and the path to entrepreneurship, during which attendees learned how discoveries in BWH labs can make their way to start-up companies, as well as how they can successfully move their ideas forward and bring them to life. The session was moderated by Frank S. David, MD, PhD, who engaged in a lively discussion with Jonathon Thon, PhD, Glenn Miller, PhD, and Alexander Lin, PhD (from left to right in picture).





Want to Showcase Your Research at Discover Brigham Next Year?


Inspired to participate in Discover Brigham after this year’s event took place? Now is your chance! We have officially released the Discover Brigham 2019 Request for Sessions and Demos! BWH researchers, clinicians and staff are invited to submit ideas for sessions focused on research and/or clinical innovation topics and/or demos at this annual research showcase. Proposal submissions are due February 15th, 2019. Click here to view the information for this exciting opportunity!