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A Note From the Immediate Past-Director

This month was full of noteworthy events appealing to researchers across the Brigham. In addition to the usual recurring BRI events , a symposium on aging was hosted by the BRI Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Research Center and a brand new series focused on Cancer Research was introduced to the community based on feedback received at research round tables last year.

Our latest newsletter, Science Spotlight , has been well-received since it’s inception in August. We hope that you enjoy browsing through the publications of your colleagues and we welcome any feedback that you have on it! Please enjoy our Research Paper of the month featuring Drs. Murphy and Lian. 

Elizabeth Petri Henske, MD
Immediate Past-Director, BRI
December 2019
Aging and Cardiometabolic Health and Disease Research Symposium
This symposium was hosted by the BRI Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders (CVDM) Center earlier this month on December 3rd. The overarching goal was to build bridges between institutions and promote collaborations around the important multidisciplinary topic of health and aging. The event featured keynote speaker, James Mitchell, PhD, who is renowned for his work on dietary restriction and its effects on lifespan and metabolic fitness. Following his presentation and three short talks, there was a poster session and awards ceremony.
Selected short talk speakers received $500 and two poster presenters won $250 each. Congratulations to all!

Short Talks:

  • Rajat Gupta, MD: Single cell analysis of the mouse aorta reveals and importance of shear stress in driving heterogeneity and the cellular signature of vascular senescence

  • Stefan Haemming, PhD: LncRNA SNHG12 regulates vascular senescence and atherosclerosis by targeting a DNA-PK-mediated DNA damage response

  • Alice Kane, PhD: Age and life expectancy clocks based on machine learning analysis of mouse frailty

Poster Winners:

  • Laura Holsen, PhD: Memory Network Activation Associated with Insulin Resistance in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity

  • Michael MacArthur, MS: Predicting efficacy of lifespan and healthspan extending interventions on an individual level using non-invasive frailty assessment
December was full of events for our researchers!
Disease Deconstruction by Single Cell Genomics
This month’s Research Connection LIVE Lunch featured Kevin Wei, MD, PhD. He talked about the BWH Single Cell Genomics Core which provides cutting-edge single cell technologies for the research community; it bridges the gap in the application of single cell technologies and analysis of high-dimensional data. 
Affinity Group for Machine Learning Applied to Radiological Imaging
As a result of the BRI's NextGen award , these interactive lunchtime meetings bring together investigators from diverse departments who are interested in using machine learning methods for research involving radiological imaging. The sessions include short presentations, small group discussions, a chance to talk about resources, funding opportunities, and provide a forum to create future collaborations among attendees. 
Professors and Associate Professors Luncheons
In December, the BRI hosted a Professor and an Associate Professor luncheon, as part of the BRI Faculty and Trainee luncheon series. These lunches, held by rank, provide an opportunity for researchers across departments to meet with the BRI executive committee and provide feedback directly. They are held twice a year so that all have a chance to offer ideas as to how the BRI and institutional leadership can help support investigators’ research and professional goals.   Find your meeting here.
Cancer Research Talk Series
This newly founded series provides a forum for BWH investigators working on cancer-related topics to convene, share ideas and form collaborations. Each session features short talks followed by a social hour. This month, attendees heard from Mykola Zdioruk, PhD, Research Fellow in Neurosurgery (top photo), and Rafik Boudra, PhD, Research Fellow in Dermatology (bottom photo). 
Have you seen Science Spotlight ?
Check out the news section of our website for all of the publications from the past four months!
Research Paper of the Month
Christine Lian, MD
Associate Dermatopathologist, Pathology, BWH
Associate Professor of Pathology, HMS
George F. Murphy, MD
Director of Dermatopathology
Professor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Murphy, Dr. Lian and their team's findings were recently p ublished in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Investigators from BWH and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have been studying the mysteries of psoriasis and new strategies for developing novel therapies.

Co-senior author, George Murphy, MD, explains that there has been no cure for this condition because they haven't yet found the cause. “Our initial finding that skin thickening in psoriasis is due to build-up of dysregulated stem cells and their progeny are exciting because it represents a new way of thinking about an old and significant skin disease,” said Dr. Murphy. They hope to transform current therapies in order to allow for more targeted approaches for this difficult condition.

Read the full press release here.
Resources & Funding Opportunities
Questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to our Research Helpline: