Leadership

CenterDavid Center, MD
Associate Provost for Translational Clinical Research, BU CTSI
Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
Gordon and Ruth Snider Professor of Pulmonary Medicine
Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry

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David Center, MD, is Associate Provost for Translational Clinical Research at Boston University and Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He directs Boston University’s efforts to facilitate translational research and leads initiatives that identify new areas for development.

Dr. Center’s laboratory studies two major themes that revolve around roles for Interleukin-16, which was co-discovered with Bill Cruikshank in 1982. The first theme relates to the functions of IL-16 as an immunomodulatory cytokine. In collaboration with Bill Cruikshank, Dr. Center has studied the role of IL-16 in the recruitment and development of Regulatory T cells and demonstrated its key role in tolerance to airborne allergens. His laboratory is researching the patterns of CD4+ T cell trafficking through lymph nodes and lung parenchymal in normal and immunologically-challenged lungs. Their innovative work is identifying potential therapeutic implications of altering recruitment patterns of Regulatory T cells.

Dr. Center’s laboratory also researches the functional properties of the precursor protein for IL-16, Pro-IL015, as a nuclear scaffold that assembles a histone deacetylase complex. This histone deacetylase complex silences transcription of genes associated with progression of T cells through the cell cycle. Through these studies, Dr. Center’s research team, along with Yujun Zhang, has shown that Interleukin-16 is synthesized as a precursor, which is present in cytoplasm and the nucleus of resting T cells. It is down regulated on activation and permitting release of inhibition of cell cycle progression. Mutations are associated with development of cutaneous T cell lymphomas.

AdamsWilliam Adams, MD
Function Leader, Clinical Informatics, Medical Informatics Division
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William Adams, MD, is an epidemiologist, medical informatician and practicing pediatrician at Boston Medical Center.  He is Director of BU CTSI Clinical Informatics, an associate professor of pediatrics and Director of Child Health Informatics in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Adams is a co-investigator for informatics initiatives with the American Academy of Pediatrics, his state department of public health and the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality. Dr. Adams developed the first electronic health record, including all software development, at his medical center in 1995. He is also a member of several committees that promote and standardize health information technology and support electronic health record  applications within his institution and 15 surrounding community health centers in Boston.

CabralHoward Cabral, PhD, MPH
Function Leader, Study Design and Biostatistics, Clinical Research Enhancement Division
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Howard Cabral, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the department of biostatistics and Co-Director of the Biostatistics Graduate Program (MA, PhD) and Biostatistics Consulting Group in the department of biostatistics. Dr. Cabral earned a PhD in biostatistics and an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics from Boston University, and a BA from the College of the Holy Cross. His methodologic research interests involve the analysis of longitudinal data and the effects of missing data on parameter estimation and statistical computing. Dr. Cabral’s collaborative research projects include studying:

  • The growth and neurodevelopment of children born exposed to cocaine in-utero
  • The association in separate studies of factors, e.g., treatment for substance use problems, fertility treatment, on birth outcomes, and long-term health care utilization of mothers and their children in Massachusetts
  • The long-term follow-up of body mass index in school-aged children in Cambridge public schools
  • Neurobiological changes in the brain during aging
  • Randomized clinical trials assessing the efficacy of problem solving interventions in preventing maternal depression

ChaissonChristine Chaisson, MPH
Study Design and Biostatistics, Clinical Research Enhancement Division
Director, Data Coordinating Center

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Christine Chaisson, MPH, is Director of the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) and an assistant research professor of biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics at Boston University School of Public Health. Chaisson is also Director of the Data Management and Statistics Core for the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center and was Director of Bioinformatics at Boston University’s Medical Campus General Clinical Research Unit. She received her MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics from Boston University School of Public Health and a BA from University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her research interests include study design, data management methodology, statistical methodology and electronic data capture methodologies. She has a particular interest in incorporating new technologies into the research setting.

FelsonDavid Felson, MD
Training and Education Division
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David Felson, MD, is Chief of the Multidisciplinary General Clinical Research Unit Grant at Boston University and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Felson’s research involves studying treatments for rheumatic diseases (particularly, osteoarthritis), identifying biomechanical risk factors for disease, testing biomechanical treatments and characterizing MRI features of normal knees and knees with pain.

FournierDeborah M. Fournier, MS, PhD
Director, BU-CTSI Evaluation
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Deborah Fournier, PhD, is Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Evaluation at Boston University Medical Campus and Director of Evaluation for the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (BU-CTSI). She has more than 20 years of experience in applied social science research and education and social program evaluation. She collaborates with BU-CTSI directors and researchers to evaluate processes and outcomes related to advancing team science and improved interconnectivity of researcher networks. At the national-level, she also serves on the CTSA Evaluation Key Function Committee, participates in the national CTSA evaluation workgroup on Bibliometrics and Social Network Analysis, as well as the CTSA Education and Career Development and Community Engagement Key Function Committees. She also serves on External Advisory Boards of individual CTSA institutions. At the local-level, she sustains professional working relationships with other Massachusetts-based CTSA evaluators. Her applied scholarship at Boston University includes her collaboration with administrators and faculty to build and sustain capacity for institutional assessment and accreditation compliance, comprehensive program evaluation plans for educational programs and research institutes, outcomes assessment processes and dashboards to guide operational and strategic decision-making, faculty annual evaluation and development systems, and numerous faculty workshops on evaluation methods, institutional research and competency-based assessment. Her research interests center on evaluation methods and program theory-driven approaches used in complex adaptive systems. Her primary contributions to the field of evaluation include exploring evaluative reasoning, warrantability and the inferences drawn from types of evidence in applied field studies. She has edited such volumes as Reasoning in Evaluation: Inferential Links and Leaps, New Directions for Evaluation, 68 and Progress and Future Directions in Evaluation: Perspectives on Theory, Practice, and Methods, New Directions for Evaluation, 76. She is actively involved with the American Evaluation Association, having served on the Editorial Advisory Board of The American Journal of Evaluation, established and chaired the Topical Interest Group, Theories of Evaluation, and has served as national program conference chair.

FriedmanRobert Friedman, MD
Director, Medical Informatics Division
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Robert H. Friedman, MD, is a professor of medicine and public health at Boston University and Boston Medical Center and Director of Biomedical Informatics in the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (BU CTSI). Dr. Friedman’s primary focus is his position as Chief of the Medical Information Systems Unit (MISU) in the Department of Medicine. Here he directs a research group of 41 individuals, including six full-time medical school faculty.

Dr. Friedman currently studies the adoption of fully automated systems, which are designed to deliver health and human services by promoting evidence-based cancer screening, chronic disease monitoring and modification of behavioral risk factors in developed countries with different health care systems than the United States and developing countries. Research at the MISU is supported by 40 externally-funded research grants, including 23 NIH grants, of which 11 are currently active. Dr. Friedman has authored almost one hundred scholarly papers on these subjects.

HolickMichael F. Holick, PhD, MD
Program Director, General Clinical Research Unit, BU CTSI
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Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, is Program Director of the General Clinical Research Unit at Boston University Medical Center and a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Holick’s research interests include increasing awareness of the vitamin D deficiency pandemic in the pediatric and medical communities and its role in causing metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis, and increasing the risk for developing deadly cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, infectious diseases and heart disease.

Dr. Holick is also a recipient of numerous awards and honors for his basic, clinical and translational research, including the American Skin Associations Psoriasis Research Achievement Award, the American College of Nutrition Award, the Robert H Herman Memorial Award in Clinical Nutrition from the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, the Annual General Clinical Research Centers Program Award for Excellence in Clinical Research and the Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Award from the Institute for Functional Medicine, the Linus Pauling prize from the Linus Pauling Institute for International Nutrition, the DSM Innovation Award for International Nutrition, the Van Slyke award from the American Association of Clinical Chemists, the Delbert A. Fisher Research Scholar award from the Endocrine Society and the American College of Nutrition’s Communication Media Award.

HylekElaine Hylek, MD
Director, Training and Education Division
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Elaine M Hylek, MD, MPH, is a professor of medicine and Associate Director of the Education and Training Division of the CTSI. She received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine and a Masters in Public Health (quantitative methods) from Harvard University School of Public Health. She completed her residency training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Her research areas include arterial (stroke) and venous thrombosis, anticoagulant therapies, and atrial fibrillation. Recent investigations have included the role of biomarkers in atrial fibrillation related stroke, factors associated with major hemorrhage and antithrombotic therapy, and the efficacy and safety of novel oral anticoagulant drugs. She has served on the Executive Steering Committees for international clinical trials and national registries, Event Adjudication Committees, and Data Safety Monitoring Boards. Dr. Hylek is a Section Editor for Thrombosis and Haemostasis and the Director of the Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Service at Boston Medical Center.

MooreThomas Moore, MD
Function Leader, Regulatory Knowledge and Ethics Division
Associate Provost and Director, Office of Clinical Research

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Thomas J. Moore, MD is Associate Provost and Director of the Office of Clinical Research at Boston University Medical Center.  He is also Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Moore is responsible for all human research that is conducted on the medical campus and at Boston Medical Center.   Dr. Moore’s research interest is in the area of nutrition and blood pressure.  He was the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the DASH Trial, a NIH-funded, multi-center trial of nutritional approaches to prevent and treat hypertension.  The dietary pattern that emerged from the DASH Trial, the “DASH Diet”, has now been recommended by the USDA and Health and Human Services in their 2005 and 2010 dietary guidelines as the way all Americans should eat. Since coming to BUSM in 2001, Dr. Moore has served as Acting Provost for the Medical Campus (2004-5) and as Interim Chairman of the Department of Medicine (2005-6).

Helia Morris, MSM
Executive Director, General Clinical Research Unit, BU CTSI

Ms. Morris oversees the finance and administration of this large multi-faceted project. She has several years of experience managing and administering basic and clinical research programs. She is responsible for grant information, fiscal resources, and maintains an administrative liaison between NCATS and BU School of Medicine.

OconnorGeorge O’Connor, MD, MS
Director, Translational Science Incubator Division
Director, Clinical Research Enhancement Division

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George O’Connor, MD, MS, is a specialist in pulmonary and critical care medicine and an epidemiologist. His research involves epidemiologic studies, genetic epidemiology and clinical trials that focus on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea. Dr. O’Connor has been a Boston University principal investigator for a number of NIH-funded multicenter investigations, including the Inner-City Asthma Study, the Feasibility of Retinoid Therapy for Emphysema Trial, the Sleep Heart Health Study and the Inner-City Asthma Consortium. Since 2006, he has been a liaison between the Boston University Medical Campus, the Boston University’s College of Engineering and Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT).

SeldinDavid Seldin, MD, PhD
Director, Translational Technologies and Resources, Novel/Translational Methodologies and Technologies Division
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David Seldin, MD, PhD, is a professor of medicine and microbiology, Chief of the Section of Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Amyloid Treatment and Research Program. In addition to serving as Co-Chair of the Core Advisory Committee, Dr. Seldin has chaired the Transgenic Animal Committee and served on the Institutional Review Board and the GCRC Advisory Committee.

 

ShanahanChristopher Shanahan, MD, MPH, FACP  
Function Leader, BU-Profiles and CTSI Research Networking for BUMC
Director, Clinical Research Informatics and Technology Consultation (CRITC)

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Christopher Shanahan, MD, MPH FACP is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and an attending physician in BMC’s Section of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Shanahan has 12+ years of experience in clinical and research Information Technology. Previous projects have included implementing an ambulatory electronic health record for 8 community health centers; conception, design, development, implementation, and ongoing operation of a secure, web-based substance use screening data system; and work as a core development team member for an innovative i2b2-based cell called the Health-Disparities Monitoring Repository. Current projects include Chief architect for a secure Web-based Patient Registry, and an automated workflow software package that will support the transformation of the care for Chronic Pain patients and management of their Opioid-based treatment as key component of a cluster randomized Clinical Trial studying the effectiveness and sustainability. Dr. Shanahan served at BMC’s Medical Director for Information Technology Systems and as Director of the Department’s Research and Innovative System Unit. He is the Director of CRITC (Clinical Research Informatics and Technology Consultation) Service for BU/BMC researchers to assist them with planning for or current use of information technology and informatics to facilitate clinical studies under the auspices of the Office of Clinical Research and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). He serves as the Physician Lead for the CTSI’s Research Networking Efforts including BU-Profiles (a state-of-the-art University branded Research Networking Software package).

SpiraAvrum Spira, MD, MSc
Function Leader, Bio-Informatics and Computational Biology, Medical Informatics Division
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Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, is an associate professor of medicine, pathology and laboratory Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and adjunct assistant professor of bioinformatics at the College of Engineering at Boston University. Dr. Spira is an active clinician and scientist and attends in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Boston Medical Center. His research interests involve the application of bioinformatics tools to genome-wide gene expression studies of smoking-related pulmonary disease. Dr. Spira directs the Pulmonomics Lab at Boston University and is Director of the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Program at the Pulmonary Center at Boston University.