Petri Dishes: From the BRI Director: July Issue

A Note From the Director

The Brigham research community is the key to the success of our research mission. Your outstanding work each day is what drives us forward towards our goal of a healthier world through scientific discovery.

This work deserves to be recognized and celebrated, so with this newsletter, we want to tell the stories of research at Brigham by featuring some of the winners and recipients of our awards and funding opportunities, highlights from our recent events and sharing the achievements of the research community with you.


Elizabeth Petri Henske, MD


Awards & Honors

BRIght Futures Prize

The BRIght Futures Prizes support investigators across BWH as they work to answer provocative questions or solve grand problems. This Fund, which is supported philanthropically, and the work it sponsors advances the mission of the BRI by catalyzing the kind of innovative translational research that is only possible at an academic medical center, where basic researchers and clinicians work side by side. Through a competitive review process, three finalists have been selected to compete for this $100,000 prize; the winner will be determined by public vote and announced at Discover Brigham on November 7th.

Congratulations to our finalists!

Michael Halle, PhD, Instructor in Radiology, Open Anatomy Atlases; Bharti Khurana, MD, Assistant Professor in Radiology, Making the Invisible Visible; Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD, Instructor in Anesthesia, Engineered Nanofibrous Scaffold for Wound Healing Applications.

BRI Pilot Funding Awards

The new pilot funding awards are intended to support basic, clinical and translational projects/activities related to any scientific theme with the goal of obtaining preliminary data that will be used to apply for new funding from the National Institutes of Health, other federal and state grantors, foundations, industry and other granting agencies. Up to $50,000 may be requested but the applicant must be applying for a larger grant which will result in a 10-fold return on investment if funded. Through a competitive review process, four recipients were selected this month.
Congratulations to Ana C. Anderson, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology: Mechanisms of steroid resistance in inflammatory IL-17-producing cells; Jean Lee, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases: Staphylococcus aureus extracellular vesicles: host-pathogen interactionsPeter Sage, PhD, Instructor of Medicine in the Renal Division: Discovery of Pathways Regulating Antibody Responses using Genome Editing and Junichi Tokuda, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology: Individualized ventriculostomy guidance using a 3D-printed patient-specific stereotactic frame. The next deadline for this mechanism is October 31st.

External Awards

Between June and July the BRI coordinated internal reviews and selected nominees to represent the institution for the following three limited submission awards: Pew Scholars Award, the NIH Early Independence Award and the Smith Excellence in Biomedical Research Award.

Click here for all funding opportunities!

2018 BWH Summer Research Celebration

Just two days before the summer solstice of 2018, the Brigham Research  Institute held its first annual research celebration to kick off the changing of seasons. It was a way to express our appreciation for all of the researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as an opportunity for attendees to meet and mingle with research alumni.

Upon entering the celebration, the 72 people who gathered in the atrium were greeted with festive decorations, a burger bar, and music in tune with the summer solstice theme. We received a lot of positive feedback from investigators who made meaningful scientific connections with current employees as well as alumni. Guests enjoyed the informal atmosphere and appreciated the celebration as an organized, interactive, and fun way to meet others. We hope to continue this annual event in order to build camaraderie and connection amongst all of our incredible researchers.