Category: School of Medicine

Making New Year’s Resolutions with Your Child

December 18th, 2014 in 2014, Benjamin Siegel, Newsmakers, PBS, School of Medicine 0 comments

Benjamin Siegel, School of Medicine

For many of us, the New Year means it’s time to take stock of our lives and fix what we don’t like…

Expert quote:

“Each one of us is going to state a few things that we want to continue to do and things we’d like to change that would make us feel better about ourselves and how our family works.”

View full article

$1 million Mass. grant bolsters hunt for Ebola test

December 17th, 2014 in 2014, Boston Globe, John Connor, NEIDL, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

Connor-150x150Boston Globe (subscription required)
John Connor, School of Medicine, NEIDL

A Cambridge nonprofit, one of several groups worldwide racing to develop a rapid test for the Ebola virus, received a boost Tuesday when state officials gave the organization $1 million to help bring its finger-prick device to market…

Expert quote:

“What’s clear is there is not a good point-of-care test for Ebola or Lassa, for that matter, and the exact path that is going to lead to a test is not very clear. If it were very clear, people would have done it already.”

View full article

Thyroid may be causing your obesity

December 16th, 2014 in 2014, Elizabeth Pearce, Newsmakers, Newsmax, School of Medicine 0 comments

Elizabeth Pearce, School of Medicine

Thyroid disease affects millions of people worldwide and an underproductive thyroid can cause obesity. This is because the thyroid produces hormones that help regulate metabolism, which in turn affects body weight…

Expert quote:

“We found that modest weight loss following initiation of levothyroxine treatment for hypothyroidism occurs in only about half of patients.”

View full article

China’s E-Cigarette Boom Lacks Oversight for Safety

December 14th, 2014 in 2014, Avrum Spira, New York Times, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

avrumspiraNew York Times (subscription required)
Avrum Spira, School of Medicine

In a grimy workshop, among boiling vats of chemicals, factory workers are busy turning stainless steel rods into slender tube casings, a crucial component of electronic cigarettes…

Expert quote:

“We need to understand what e-cigarettes are made of and the manufacturing process is a critical part of that understanding.”

View full article

Local Researchers are Working on a Canine Gum Disease Vaccine

December 10th, 2014 in 2014, Blogs, Boston Magazine, Newsmakers, Paola Massari, RESEARCH @ BU, School of Medicine 0 comments

Boston Magazine “Hub Health Blog”
Paola Massari, School of Medicine

Gum disease, a.k.a. gingivitis, is something most people try to prevent by brushing and flossing (hopefully). But, it turns out, that it’s also one of the most prevalent medical conditions in adult dogs…

Expert quote:

“Gingivitis, oral bone and teeth loss are major consequences of periodontitis, a disease caused by infection with oral pathogens, and widely affects companion animals. In most adult dogs, halitosis is also highly reported.”

View full article

Two BUSM Graduates Chosen for New England Journal of Medicine Editorial Fellowships

December 10th, 2014 in 2014, News Releases, School of Medicine 0 comments

CONTACT: Gina DiGravio; 617-638-8480,

(Boston)Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) graduates MaryAnn Wilbur, MD, MPH (MED ’11, MPH ’11), and James Yeh, MD, MPH (MED ’10), have been chosen for prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) editorial fellowships.  With more than 600,000 readers in 177 countries, NEJM is the most widely read and cited general medical journal in the world and has a rigorous peer-review and editing process. The yearlong program involves fellows in the day-to-day editorial activities of the journal, work on journal articles and an independent project.

“The fellowships help us inject new ideas into the NEJM,” says Jeffrey Drazen, MD, editor-in-chief of the NEJM.  “We are interested to hear each fellow’s fresh perspective, and we hope their relationships with us continue well after their fellowships end.”

Chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mary Ann Wilbur served as the case manager for the Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center, BUSM’s primary teaching hospital,

before being accepted to medical school. “For me, medicine is the perfect marriage of science and advocacy, and BUSM was the natural choice for my medical education,” she said.  “I had been working on campus at BMC, which cares for the underserved populations of Boston and shares my personal mission.” As a co-founder of the BU Advocacy Training Program, Wilbur also completed a Master’s in Public Health, “because I recognized the importance of understanding the social determinants of health and wanted a framework on which to build when advocating for marginalized populations.”

A co-author of a number of published articles while a medical student, Wilbur learned about the NEJM fellowship from doing a BUSM elective at the journal. “NEJM is a prestigious periodical, and I hope to learn more about how editors review medical literature, a key to successful publishing in the future,” she says. “I also am very interested in the NEJM Perspective articles, which strongly influence the politics of medicine and will help facilitate my career as a physician advocate.” After completing the fellowship, Wilbur plans to stay in Boston to focus on women’s health while caring for the city’s underserved populations.

Yeh practices urgent care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and is a hospitalist on the inpatient medicine service.  He completed his internal medicine residency at Cambridge Hospital and is completing a research fellowship in general internal medicine through the Harvard Medical School (HMS) faculty development program.  He also is completing a Master’s in Public Health in Clinical Effectiveness at Harvard School of Public Health.

He is the author and co-author of a number of research articles and book chapters, and editor of several books.  Yeh serves as deputy editor for the Harvard Public Health Review and as an ad hoc manuscript reviewer for the Journal of General Internal Medicine, contributing editor to the DynaMed EBM Journal, and was an abstract reviewer for the American College of Physicians Annual Meeting 2010-2013.

“I am interested in evidence-based medicine and knowledge translation, and I hope to gain insights in how a medical journal can help communicating medical research into clinical practice,” says Yeh of his participation in the NEJM fellowship. He also is interested in understanding the effectiveness of the communication process about drug effectiveness and safety, and in the FDA’s regulatory policies and drug risk communication.  The recipient of HMS awards for excellence in teaching, he plans to continue in academic medicine because of his love of teaching and research along with patient care.

“The New England Journal of Medicine plays a pivotal role in communicating many of the best biomedical research studies as well as framing many medical policy positions,” says BUSM Dean Karen Antman, MD. “Our recent graduates, Drs. Wilbur and Yeh have earned this important opportunity to broaden their perspective on medical communication.”

# # #

Why Haven’t We Found a Cure for Ebola in Boston?

December 9th, 2014 in 2014,, Ebola, John Connor, NEIDL, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments
John Connor, School of Medicine, NEIDL

In West Africa alone, the World Health Organization reports that the current Ebola outbreak— the most severe on record—has killed more than 6,000 out of the 17,000 people who have contracted it. Here in Boston, you could literally bump into someone working on a cure, but it’s a process often hampered by lack of funding and facilities…

Expert quote:

“Having a facility that can operate safely and effectively in close proximity to lots of intelligent people should speed up a lot of the development process, because it’s a lot easier to have conversations and get things started when it’s 15 minutes on the T and on the No. 10 bus, versus going down to the CDC or the NIH. There’s a ceiling on the amount of work that can be done because of the amount of facilities.”

View full article


December 8th, 2014 in 2014, Deborah Frank, Newsmakers, School of Medicine, 0 comments

Deborah Frank, School of Medicine

In 1985, as crack cocaine use was surging in American cities, the New England Journal of Medicine published a provocative study

View full article quoting expert Deborah Frank

Meniscal Surgery: Common Knee Procedure May Lead To Arthritis And Cartilage Loss

December 4th, 2014 in 2014, Frank Roemer, Newsmakers, RESEARCH @ BU, School of Medicine 0 comments

roemer_frank-02a-214x300Science 2.0
Frank Roemer, School of Medicine

Popular meniscal tear surgery may increase the risk of osteoarthritis and cartilage loss, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America…

Expert quote:

“Meniscal surgery is one of the most common orthopedic procedures performed to alleviate pain and improve joint function. However, increasing evidence is emerging that suggests meniscal surgery may be detrimental to the knee joint.”

View full article

Sex differences: Luck of the chromosomes

December 3rd, 2014 in 2014, David Waxman, Nature, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

David WaxmanNature
David Waxman, School of Medicine

A multitude of well-studied factors influence a person’s susceptibility to cancer — genetic background, chemical exposure, diet and behaviour all contribute. But one factor that seems to play a major part in malignancy has received surprisingly short shrift from scientists: whether someone is male or female…

Expert quote:

“The liver is perhaps the best example to date of a non-reproductive tissue that shows wide differences between males and females in gene expression in general.”

View full article