B.U. Bridge
Concert of American Music by the BU Chamber Chorus, Saturday, February 8, 8 p.m., Tsai Performance Center
Week of 7 February 2003· Vol. VI, No. 20

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Lung cancer study collaboration between Affymetrix and BUMC

Affymetrix, Inc., and the Boston University Medical Center, which includes the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, the School of Dental Medicine, and Boston Medical Center, will be collaborating using Affymetrix GeneChip brand technology to develop a less invasive sample acquisition method and to identify predictive molecular signatures that may enable screening and early detection of lung cancer in at-risk individuals. Currently there are no effective screening tests for early diagnosis of lung cancer, which claims more than 150,000 lives each year in the United States, exceeding the combined mortality from breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. A major hurdle in developing an early detection screen for lung cancer is that present methods for diagnosis require removal of tissue from inside the lung. Jerome Brody, director of the BU Medical Center’s Pulmonary Center, has demonstrated a proof-of-concept for a sample acquisition method that requires only a brushing or scraping of the pulmonary airways. Using GeneChip microarrays, Brody will study the use of airway gene expression signatures for early detection, prognosis, therapy selection, and monitoring of lung cancer. “We are delighted to partner with Affymetrix, a pioneer in creating groundbreaking tools that enable clinical genomics,” says Brody, a widely recognized authority on the molecular and cell biology of the lung. “The preliminary results of our initial microarray study were very encouraging, and we see great potential for introducing microarray-based tools into the clinical routine.”

Another appointment for El-Baz

Farouk El-Baz, a CAS research professor and the director of BU’s Center for Remote Sensing, has been appointed to a three-year term on the board of trustees of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) Research Foundation, the fundraising arm of the DRI, a Nevada-based nonprofit research organization that addresses environmental issues on a global scale. Established 44 years ago, it has evolved into one of the nation’s leading environmental research institutions, dedicated to increasing scientific knowledge of the earth’s environment, promoting preservation of diverse ecosystems, advancing responsible resource management, and improving human health and welfare.
El-Baz is a veteran of the Apollo space program and was involved in the selection of lunar landing sites and in astronaut training, an expert on Middle East issues who has served as science advisor to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, a renowned geologist, and an expert in the origin and evolution of arid landforms in desert regions worldwide. His pivotal role in advancing desert research has been honored by many groups, including the Geological Society of America, which in 1999 established the Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research to encourage excellence in arid land studies.

CAS prof to chair study on European model

The first of two independent working groups formed by the European Commission to discuss the long-term future of the European model is being chaired by Krzysztof Michalski, a professor of philosophy at BU’s College of Arts and Sciences and at the University of Warsaw and the rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. The group will seek to identify the spiritual and cultural perspectives within Europe and discover values and unifying factors that could form a basis for common living in Europe between European citizens, immigrants settled on the European territory, and neighboring populations. It will issue its report and recommendations by the end of this year.

Mini-Med School returns this spring

Now in its fourth year, the School of Medicine’s Mini-Med School features informative lectures from medical school faculty and is open to anyone interested in learning more about the worlds of medicine, science, and health. This year’s 10-part series, which runs from March 11 to May 6, introduces students to the basic principles of medicine and features topics that include anatomy, sports medicine, pulmonary disease, the eye, the brain, the cardiovascular system, infectious diseases, and psychiatry. Students will also learn about cutting-edge developments in medical research, including new discoveries in genetics and treatments for cancer. Lectures are on Tuesdays, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Bakst Auditorium, located on BU’s Medical Campus at 715 Albany St. One lecture, consisting of a hands-on laboratory investigation, will take place on a Thursday at MED’s CityLab. Tuition is $125 and includes a comprehensive course notebook and refreshments. A discount is offered to BU employees. To register for Mini-Med School or for more information, call 866-MED-MINI or e-mail psterlin@bu.edu.


7 February 2003
Boston University
Office of University Relations