Petri Dishes: From the Immediate Past-Director: October 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


Cast Your Vote for BRIght Futures

Cast your vote on three compelling research projects that have the potential to solve vexing medical problems. Help us to decide which finalist will receive $100,000 towards their research! Visit the website here to view the three finalist’s brief videos for an impassioned visual representation of the work they are doing


Michael Halle, PhD: The Open Anatomy Project
Bharti Khurana, MD: Making the Invisible Visible: Bringing Intimate Partner Violence into Focus
Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD: Time to Heal Chronic Wounds



Another Successful Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board


From left: Betsy Nabel, MD, Jeff Leiden, MD, PhD, Gerald Chan, PhD, Susan Hockfield, PhD, Geoffrey Smith, JD, Terry McGuire, MS, MBA, Jay Bradner, MD


On October 2nd, the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) convened in the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine. This annual meeting, chaired by BWH trustee, Jeff Leiden, MD, PhD, is tasked with providing strategic counsel and vision to further enhance research at BWH. The board is comprised of basic scientists, venture capitalists and pharmaceutical leaders. A portion of the meeting is dedicated to live presentations from the two finalists of the BRI Director’s Transformative Award (BDTA) in which the recipients receive $500k for support in their projects/activities aligned with the BRI’s mission. See below for the winner of this prestigious award.


Congratulations to the Recipient of the BRI Director’s $500k Transformative Award

The BRI Director’s Transformative Award (BDTA) promotes cross-departmental and inter-disciplinary projects that are transformative in nature.

2018 BDTA Recipient: 

Vikram Khurana, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology: A multidisciplinary program at BWH to stratify and precisely target neurodegenerative disease


 BDTA Seed Funding Recipient:

Ali Tavakkoli, MD, Department of Surgery: Center for Metabolic Research and Innovation


2018 Fall Shark Tank!

From left: Mary Delaney, MA, Scott Lovich, MD, PhD, Shadab Rahman, PhD, Elizabeth Klerman, MD, PhD, Hidemi Yamamoto

This month we hosted the 9th Shark Tank, now a bi-annual event, which featured researchers and innovators who pitched their research to an audience of internal reviewers and philanthropic supporters.

Recipients of the $50,000  Health Technology Innovator Awards:
1. Raina Fichorova, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Biology, and Hidemi Yamamoto, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, for “Medicinal Vaginal Lactobacillus Cocktail”
2. Shadab Rahman, PhD, Instructor, Department of Medicine, BWH, for “Shortening the Duration of Induced Labor & Delivery by Changing the Start Time of Induction”

Recipient of the $25,000 Schlager Family Award for Early Stage Digital Health Innovation:
Scott Lovitch, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, BWH, for “Development of Virtual Teaching Sets for Digital Pathology Education”

Congratulations to our Newest ROC Representatives!

In support of the BRI’s overarching mission to raise the profile of research at BWH, elected representatives will help bring forward the needs and concerns of their colleagues, promote the interests of their respective communities, and participate in open discussions.

Howard D. Sesso, ScD, MPH, FAHA Population Science Senior Faculty Representative

William Oldham, MD, PhD Basic Science Junior Faculty Representative












It’s Almost Time for Discover Brigham!


Let the countdown begin! We are so excited for this year’s event as November 7th quickly approaches. Be prepared to witness ground-breaking science, expert speakers, sessions featuring the most compelling and current healthcare topics, and much more. Check out all the session’s details on our website and don’t forget to register!






Don’t Forget to Register for Next Month’s PCERC Seminar