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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Scott Allen
Alice Dembner
Carey Goldberg
Liz Kowalczyk
Stephen Smith
Colin Nickerson
Beth Daley
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
 Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
 Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
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Friday, November 2, 2007

Compassionate caregiver connects with patients and families

barbara%20moscowitz%2085.bmpBarbara Moscowitz (left) thinks older adults are overlooked by people who can't see past their walkers and hearing aids, their illnesses and infirmities, to the human beings inside.

"I want to live in a universe that will see me not as a long list of chronic diseases but as an individual first who might have to cope with illness," Moscowitz, 54, said in an interview.

For her work at Massachusetts General Hospital with people with Alzheimer's and their families, she received the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center's Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award last night at a dinner attended by 1,700 people. The honor is named for the Boston lawyer who, while being treated for the lung cancer he would die of, wrote movingly in the Boston Globe magazine about how his caregivers' human touch "made the unbearable bearable."

Coordinator of geriatric social work at Mass. General, Moscowitz focuses on the needs of families confronting their loved ones' diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease.

"So many families of Alzheimer's patients need so much support and guidance. It's like learning a new language," she said. "It just disturbs me greatly that a lot of people are given a diagnosis and then a web site or telephone number and told to go off and figure it out."

Moscowitz gave unwavering assistance to Kasey Kaufman when her mother was slipping away into the fog of dementia, the former CBS4 reporter said in a letter nominating Moscowitz for the Schwartz award.

"I like to say that Barbara saved our lives but that would be telling only part of the story," she wrote. "Barbara helped us to understand my mom's illness."

Kaufman's mother called Moscowitz "that tiny gal with the big heart," Kaufman's letter said.

Patricia Bresky, a psychologist in California, said in her first phone conversation with Moscowitz, she grasped not only her father's medical condition but also the family dynamics.

"For the first time since the onset of my father's symptoms two years before, I felt the ground beneath me," Bresky said in a letter to the Schwartz Center.

Moscowitz said she values the Schwartz Center's work to keep human connections alive in healthcare that can be hurried.

"They are the penicillin for what ails medicine now," she said.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 09:18 AM

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brigham to study health IT and medication safety

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has won federal funding to study how health information technology can help medications be used more safely.

The Boston hospital is one of four new Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics named today by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It will receive $4 million over four years.

Six previously funded research centers won renewals, including Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 02:06 PM

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Monday, October 22, 2007


David H. Koch, an MIT alum and prostate cancer survivor who earlier this month pledged $100 million to build a new cancer research center at MIT, will donate $5 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation for an initiative using nanotechnology. Four research institutions will collaborate on ways to use the technique, in which tiny particles are designed to attack tumors but spare normal cells, according to the foundation. Dr. Omid Farokhzad of Brigham and Women's Hospital is the principal investigator, Robert Langer of MIT will lead engineering and manufacturing for the project, Dr. Philip Kantoff of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Prostate Cancer Program will head clinical research, and Dr. Neil Bander, an antibody expert, will direct a group from the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Jonathan Winickoff of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children has won a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a trial to help protect children from second-hand smoke by encouraging their parents to quit smoking. The study is based on a pilot program that targeted parents in their children's pediatrician's office. Fifty pediatric practices are being recruited through the American Academy of Pediatrics' Pediatric Research in Office Settings network.

Dr. Jeffrey Flier, dean of Harvard Medical School, and Lita Nelsen, director of MIT's Technology Licensing Office, have been named 2007 Biomedical Research Leaders by the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research. Flier was honored for his commitment to diabetes and obesity research and medical education, according to the nonprofit society, whose members include universities, hospitals, research institutes, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Nelsen was recognized for managing 500 new inventions per year from MIT, the Whitehead Institute and Lincoln Laboratory.

Dr. Joseph Vacanti, chief of surgery at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, has won the 2007 John Scott Award for his work in tissue engineering. Since 1834, the awards, administered by a board acting for the city of Philadelphia, have recognized inventions that contribute to mankind's "comfort, welfare and happiness," according to the board. Vacanti's work combines engineering and biology to develop substitutes to help tissue or organs function. He shares this year's prize with Dr. Albert J. Stunkard of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, who is being honored for his work to understand and treat eating disorders.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 05:50 PM

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Howard Hiatt honored by Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine today presented the 2007 Gustav O. Lienhard Award to Dr. Howard H. Hiatt, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, former dean of its School of Public Health and a senior physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The $25,000 award recognizes Hiatt's contributions to improving the performance of personal health services in the United States and around the world, the institute said in a news release.

"Throughout his professional life, Howard Hiatt brought compassionate and innovative approaches to health and medical care," said Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine. "He introduced fresh analytic methods to medical and public health education, fostered interdisciplinary approaches to complex health problems, cultivated a new generation of socially responsible physicians, illuminated key challenges to making the best use of limited health resources, pioneered in research on patient safety, and championed successful programs to reduce health disparities. Many of today's leaders in health can trace the roots of their accomplishments to the inspiration, example, and guidance of Howard Hiatt."

Hiatt was formerly chief of medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, led a pioneering study of medical malpractice, called the Harvard Medical Practice Study, and helped to create the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at the Brigham in 2001.

« Today's Globe: doctor-patient divorce, flu shots for healthcare workers, genes and financial choices, teaching climate change | Main | Five Boston researchers named to Institute of Medicine »

Nobel for medicine honors gene targeting in mice


Mario R. Capecchi
(from left), Sir Martin J.
and Oliver Smithies

Three scientists who modified genes in mice using embryonic stem cells have won this year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, the Swedish Academy announced this morning.

Mario R. Capecchi
of the University of Utah, Sir Martin J. Evans of Cardiff University and Oliver Smithies of the University of North Carolina will share the prize for discoveries that made gene targeting possible. Their work led to creation of "knockout mice," or animals whose genes have been modified so scientists can study development, physiology or disease.

Capecchi, born in Verona, Italy, in 1937, earned a doctorate in biophysics at Harvard in 1967 and is now a US citizen. Evans was born in Great Britain in 1941. Smithies was born in Great Britain in 1925 and is now a US citizen.

At Harvard, Capecchi's Ph.D. advisor was James D. Watson, a previous Nobel winner for his co-discovery of the DNA double helix. Capecchi, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, credits Watson for inspiring his development as a scientist and his pursuit of big questions, according to the institute's website.

"He taught me not so much about how to do science but rather provided me with the confidence to tackle any scientific question that fascinated me, regardless of its complexity," Capecchi is quoted on the site. "He also taught me the importance of communicating your science clearly and to pursue important scientific questions."

Capecchi told the journal Nature in 2004 that his relationship with Watson was not always smooth. He recounted a disagreement they had about the results of an experiment. Capecchi was unconvinced by the data and wanted to repeat the experiment while Watson wanted to publish the results. Capecchi then threw away glass plates containing crucial bits of data, ensuring that the results could not be published and prompting Watson to explode in anger. Capecchi recalled: "I came that close to being thrown out of the lab."

Capecchi's childhood was disrupted by World War II in Italy, according to the Nature article and the Hughes website. When he was 4 years old, his mother, a poet, was taken by the Gestapo to a concentration camp, and he lived on the streets, begging and stealing, until they were reunited five years later. After the war, they emigrated to the United States, where Capecchi began school at age 9, knowing no English and unable to read or write.

"It is not clear whether those early childhood experiences contributed to whatever successes I have enjoyed or whether those achievements were attained in spite of those experiences," he said.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 07:47 AM

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Thursday, September 27, 2007


Researchers from Boston and Cambridge have won two of three prizes for young cancer investigators.

Angelica%20Amon100%202.bmpToddGolub100.bmpAngelika Amon (left) of MIT and Dr. Todd R. Golub of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT will receive the 2007 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The prize recognizes contributions to understanding the treatment of cancer made by scientists under the age of 45.

Amon studies how chromosomes segregate during cell division and Golub uses genomic approaches to classify subtypes of cancer. They will share a $150,000 prize with the third winner, Gregory J. Hannon of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, who studies the biology and biochemistry of RNA interference. All three winners are also Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 03:31 PM

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beth Israel Deaconess wins safety award for improving obstetrics care

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has won a national safety and quality award for the changes it made in its obstetrics department after the death of a newborn baby in 2000.

The National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission chose the hospital for its John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award in the category of innovation at the national level. The Beth Israel Deaconess program has also been honored by state groups for its efforts.

The baby’s death after a series of medical mistakes spurred Dr. Benjamin Sachs to revamp how the department cared for its patients, from how patients are monitored to how long doctors are on call. Sachs, who will leave the hospital in November to lead Tulane’s medical school, wrote about the case in the Journal of the American Medical Association two years ago, calling it a “burning platform” for “a major reorganization of the way cared is provided.”

The hospital borrowed principles from military and commercial aviation to reduce judgment errors and miscommunication. By its own measure, adverse outcomes fell by 25.4 percent and the severity of these events dropped by 13.4 percent after the new approach was adopted, according to the Joint Commission statement announcing the award.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 02:58 PM

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

5 Mass. hospitals get top honors from Leapfrog Group

By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff

Five Massachusetts hospitals have received top honors from The Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of employers based in Washington, D.C., that promotes patient safety.

Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Lahey Clinic in Burlington, and Massachusetts General Hospital are among 33 Leapfrog top hospitals for 2007.

The Leapfrog Group said these hospitals have the best records for implementing measures to improve the safety and quality of medical care, including adopting computerized physician order entry, a system for doctors to order patient prescriptions and other treatments that includes error prevention software, and staffing intensive care units with trained ICU specialists.

« Today's Globe: diabetes drug, prescription drug deaths, nursing home segregation, Russian 'day of conception,' cholera in Iraq, health insurance costs, anemia drug doses, medical errors | Main | Hearing put off in nursing mother's suit against medical exam board »

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Berwick and Herr win Heinz awards

Two Cambridge innovators are among five winners of $250,000 awards from the Heinz Family Foundation for their achievements in medicine and science, the foundation said today.

donald%20berwick%20100.bmpDr. Donald Berwick (left), co-founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, won in the public policy arena. His organization has been central in the movement to increase patient safety through efforts to make healthcare systems work better. The 100,000 Lives campaign, followed by the 5 Million Lives effort, set goals to improve care in hospitals.

hugh%20herr100%202.bmpHugh Herr (left), MIT professor and director of biomechatronics at the MIT Media Lab, won in the technology, the economy and employment category. He studies human movement, how it is controlled and how to engineer human-like structures, including prostheses for amputees and wrap-around devices for people who have suffered strokes.

"My philosophy is that there are no disabled people in the world. There are only technologies that haven't been invented yet or technologies that don't work," Herr said in an interview yesterday. He calls himself an end-user because both his legs were amputated. "We should not accept disability and society should always continue to work toward technological interventions that bring us closer to being sure no one has to live with a disability, whether cognitive or physical."

Yesterday Berwick said he might use his grant to advance IHI's work in developing countries, where the organization has been applying the same principles that work to reduce infections in hospital ICUs to ways that keep women from dying in childbirth in remote villages in Malawi.

"We take very good science around public health and then empower local groups to implement that science," he said. "The same improvement methods that are getting traction in wealthy countries can have tremendous effects in developing countries."

The other winners of the Heinz awards, named for Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and selected by the foundation chaired by his widow, Teresa Heinz, are:

Dr. David L. Heymann of Geneva, assistant director general of the World Health Organization, in the human condition category

Dave Eggers, San Francisco author and founder of the 826 Valencia writing laboratories, in the arts and humanities category

Bernard Amadei of Boulder, Colo., founder of Engineers Without Borders -- USA and -- International, and Susan Seacrest of Lincoln, Neb., founder of the Groundwater Foundation. They are co-recipients in the environment category

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 07:35 AM

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

New physician-scientists win Howard Hughes awards

Seven Boston physicians who spent a year or more away from medical school doing research have won grants to continue their dual roles as scientists and clinicians.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has given Early Career Awards of $375,000 each over five years to 20 doctors to make sure they have the time and financial support for research early in their careers, it said in a statement. Their institutions agreed to allow these tenure-track physician-scientists to devote at least 70 percent of their time to research.

The winners are alumni of either HHMI's research scholars or training fellowship programs, which bring students to the National Institutes of Health or other institutions. They are:

Dr. Sarah Fortune, Harvard University School of Public Health
Dr. Aram Hezel, Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Farouc Jaffer,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Eric Johannsen, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dr. Sridhar Ramaswamy,
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Dr. Manish Sagar, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dr. Sean Savitz, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 01:49 PM

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Two Mass. scientists win Keck awards

Two Massachusetts scientists are in the 2007 class of the W.M. Keck Foundation's Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research.

The Los Angeles philanthropy awards grants of up to $1 million each to five junior faculty members in the United States. Institutions make nominations by invitation only.

amy wagers150.bmpAmy Wagers (right) of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School will study how to slow down or reverse the natural process of aging, which has potential implications for treating such age-related diseases as diabetes, immune deficiencies, muscle weakness and cancer, the foundation said.

job dekker150.bmpJob Dekker (left) of University of Massachusetts Medical School will study how chromosomes are regulated by comparing cancer cells to normal cells, which may uncover defects that cause malignancy, potentially leading to advances in treating cancer, the foundation said.

The three other winners are Wallace Marshall of the University of California, San Francisco, who will study blue-green algae to gain insights into human ciliary disorders such as polycystic kidney disease and retinal degeneration; Dr. Xander Wehrens of Baylor College of Medicine, who will investigate the mechanisms of specialized protein complexes in excitable cells, such as heart muscle; and Jennifer Zallen of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who will focus on a fruit fly’s cell structure to develop approaches to analyze cell behavior and structure in living embryos, the foundation said.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 09:54 AM

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Monday, July 16, 2007

MIT trio wins nation's top honors for science, technology

By Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff

Two professors at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology and the institute's former president have been chosen to receive the nation's highest honors for science and technology, the White House announced today, an extraordinary concentration of achievement for one university.

Tapped by President George W. Bush to receive the 2006 National Medals of Science were Robert S. Langer, renowned for developing new ways to administer drugs to cancer patients, and Daniel Kleppner, an authority on atomic physics and quantum optics.

Charles M. Vest, who served for 14 years as president of MIT until 2004, was named by Bush to receive the National Medal of Technology. He won acclaim during his tenure for his efforts to strengthen national policy on science, engineering, and education.

Langer and Kleppner bring to 47 the number of MIT scientists to receive the prestigious Medal of Science. Vest is the fifth MIT engineer or inventor to win the Medal of Technology.

MIT was the only New England university to win the medals for 2006 and the only university in the country to win more than one. A total of eight science medals and five technology medals were awarded.

"MIT is extraordinarily proud that three esteemed members of our community have been selected for this honor," said Susan Hockfield, president of MIT.

The winners, she said, have "made enormous contributions to MIT, to our nation, and to science."

The National Medal of Science was established in 1959 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to "physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences." In 1980, Congress extended the award to include social and behavioral sciences.

The National Medal of Technology was created in 1980 to honor individuals who make "lasting contributions to America's competitiveness, standard of living, and quality of life through technological innovation," according to the White House.

Langer was cited for "revolutionary discoveries" that led to better ways to administer drugs. These treatments, the citation said, "have profoundly affected the well-being of mankind."

In the 1970s, chemical engineer Langer teamed with oncologist Judah Folkman at Children's Hospital Boston to develop methods that would allow large proteins to enter membranes in a highly controlled manner to combat angiogenesis, the process by which tumors recruit blood vessels that sustain them. The treatment helped fight cancer by making it more difficult for tumors to spread to other organs.

Kleppner received the medal for pioneering studies of the interaction between atoms and light, and for "lucid explanations of physics to non-specialists."

In 1960, Kleppner developed with Harvard physicist Norman Ramsey the "hydrogen maser," an atomic clock of great stability used in radio signalling, radio astronomy, and satellite-based global positioning systems.

Kleppner also helped create a whole new field of physics, the study of "ultra-cold" gases.

Vest was cited by President Bush for "visionary leadership in advancing America's technological workforce and capacity for innovation."

The medals will be presented by the president at a White House ceremony on July 27.

« Mental illness group starts affiliate for Latinos | Main | MIT trio wins nation's top honors for science, technology »

ALS patient garners national award

By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff

Avi Kremer, the Harvard Business School grad who uses his MBA moxie to battle the disease that is killing him, today received a top prize from the national ALS Association.

Kremer, an Israeli native, received the Lawrence A. Rand Prize for "raising awareness about the disease as well as millions of dollars for research in Israel and the US," according to the ALS association. Kremer, 32, was diagnosed with the lethal condition, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, during his first semester at Harvard.

Since graduating, Kremer, who continues living on the business school's Boston campus, has devoted himself to a competition he and friends started to energize the hunt for ALS treatments. Called Prize4Life, the competition aims to provide answers to questions that have stymied researchers by tapping into scientists whose work has not already come to the attention of major research institutions.

« Today's Globe: health law poll, chronic illnesses, children's mental health, law and disorder, Pfizer case | Main | Keeping promises to research subjects »

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Harvard researcher wins diabetes award

ADA winner 150.bmpDr. Gökhan Hotamisligil has won the American Diabetes Association's outstanding scientific achievement award for his discoveries about the link between obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation, the group said.

He is chair of the department of genetics and complex diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 04:15 PM

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


kitty dukakis 85.bmpKitty Dukakis (left), wife of former Governor Michael Dukakis and author of books about her battles with addiction and depression, was honored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness at its conference in San Diego last week. Author of last year's "Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy" with former Globe medical reporter Larry Tye and the 1990 book "Now You Know" about addiction to alcohol and diet pills, she was recognized for sharing her struggles and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

donald berwick.jpgDr. Donald M. Berwick (left), a Harvard Medical School professor who heads the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, is among 15 finalists for an award honoring innovators over 60 for their work on social problems.

Five Purpose Prize winners will each receive $100,000 from the San Francisco think tank Civic Ventures in September. Berwick, 60, was nominated for his work to help hospitals improve care through the "100,000 Lives" patient safety campaign. Each finalist is awarded at least $10,000.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 04:20 PM

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Boston scientists named Pew biomedical scholars

Four Boston-area scientists are among the newest class of 20 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences, the program announced today.

Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts through a grant to the University of California at San Francisco, the awards give each scientist $240,000 over four years to support research.

Past winners have included Craig C. Mello of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for the discovery of the gene-silencing mechanism know as RNA interference.

This year's Boston-area winners are:

heldwein90.bmpEkaterina Heldwein (left), an assistant professor at Tufts University, will study how herpes viruses enter human cells. A graduate of Oregon Health and Science University, she trained at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.

hung90.bmpDr. Deborah T. Hung (right), an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and an assistant molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, will search for ways to fight the infectiousness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that harms people with compromised immune systems because they have such conditions as cystic fibrosis, HIV or traumatic burns. She earned a doctorate in chemistry and a medical degree from Harvard and did additional training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mass. General.

nicastro90.bmpDaniela Nicastro (left), an assistant professor at Brandeis University, will investigate the molecular interactions involved in the beating of flagella in sea urchin sperm, which are important to understanding defects that underlie such human disorders as polycystic kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease and infertility. She received a doctorate in biology from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and did postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and the University of Colorado.

schwartz90.bmpThomas U. Schwartz (left), an assistant professor at MIT, will study the three-dimensional structure of the nuclear pore complex that regulates molecular traffic into and out of the cell nucleus, which could lead to antiviral therapies. He earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the Free University of Berlin and did postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 04:28 PM

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Weinberg honored for developing breast cancer treatment

weinberg.jpgRobert Weinberg (left) of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is one of four scientists being honored today for their collaboration in developing the breast cancer therapy Herceptin.

Weinberg will share the $200,000 Warren Alpert Foundation Scientific Prize with H. Michael Shepard of Receptor BioLogix Inc. of South San Francisco, Dr. Dennis Slamon of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Axel Ullrich of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany. They will be honored at a ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston following a symposium at Harvard Medical School.

Herceptin is a specially engineered antibody that blocks a protein whose levels are high in about 25 percent of all breast cancers. This form of breast cancer is also the most rapidly fatal.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 11:53 AM

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

11 from area named to National Academy of Sciences

Eleven researchers from the Boston area are among 72 new members named today to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, a private organization established by Congress in 1863 to advise the federal government.

Five are from MIT, four from Harvard and two from Brandeis. They are:

Tania A. Baker, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of biology, MIT
Moungi G. Bawendi, professor of chemistry and professor of energy, MIT
Michael B. Brenner, professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School
Kerry A. Emanuel, professor, program in atmospheres, oceans, and climate, MIT
Gerald Gabrielse, professor of physics, Harvard University
Eve E. Marder, professor of neuroscience, Brandeis University
Curtis T. McMullen, professor of mathematics, Harvard University
Silvio Micali, professor of computer science, MIT
Christopher Miller, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of biochemistry, Brandeis University
Peter H. Schiller, professor of medical engineering and medical physics, MIT
Jonathan G. Seidman, professor of cardiovascular genetics, Harvard Medical School

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 12:37 PM

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Aronson, Rosenbaum honored for career achievements

Dr. Mark D. Aronson of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Dr. Jerrold F. Rosenbaum of Massachusetts General Hospital are being honored for liftime contributions to their fields.

Aronson has won the Society of General Internal Medicine's Career Achievement in Medical Education Award. He founded Beth Israel's hospital medicine program, incorporating it into the residency curriculum and into continuing education and graduate medical education at Harvard Medical School.

Rosenbaum, chief of psychiatry at MGH, has won the C. Charles Burlingame Award from the Institute of Living in Hartford. He specializes in treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders, focusing on drug treatments for those conditions.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 01:14 PM

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Harvard, Michigan team share cancer research honor

Scientists from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital have been honored with collaborators from the University of Michigan for their discoveries about the genetics of prostate cancer.

The American Association for Cancer Research chose the team from about 30 applicants, the organization said. The researchers will share a prize of $50,000.

The Harvard members are Dr. Mark A. Rubin, Charles Lee, Dr. Sven Perner and Francesca Demichelis.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 03:19 PM

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Eric Lander honored for work in genomics

lander100.bmpEric S. Lander (left), founding director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and a leader of the Human Genome Project, has won the 2007 Society for Biomolecular Sciences Achievement Award for his study of genes and how they function in health and disease.

He will receive the award, which carries a $5,000 honorarium, and present a talk called "Beyond the Human Genome" at this week's SBS meeting in Montreal. Past recipients have included Stuart L. Schreiber, also of the Broad, in 2004.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 11:31 AM

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Foundation honored for "Roadmap to Coverage"

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts has won an award from the Council on Foundations for its Roadmap to Coverage project.

The Paul Ylvisaker Award for Public Policy Engagement, named after a former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is given to a foundation that sets the agenda for public debate, the international association of foundations said.

The Roadmap to Coverage provided research on uninsured people and options for expanding coverage in Massachusetts.

"This award recognizes not only the importance of the work of the foundation through its efforts to support a dialogue on health reform, but is also a reflection of what the entire Massachusetts health care community has achieved through passage of the Massachusetts health reform law," Nancy Turnbull, president of the foundation, said in a statement.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 01:42 PM

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dental researchers honored

The International Association for Dental Research has honored three Boston scientists.

David J. Mooney, a professor of bioengineering at Harvard, has won the 2007 Isaac Schour Memorial Award.

Dr. Judith Jones, professor and chair of general dentistry at Boston University, has won the 2007 Geriatric Oral Research Award.

Dr. Chester Douglass, professor and chair of oral health policy and epidemiology at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, has won the 2007 Behavioral Sciences and Health Services Research Award.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 10:44 AM

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tanzi wins Alzheimer's Association honor

Rudy Tanzi, director of the Genetics and Aging Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, has won the Alzheimer’s Association's 2007 Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute Award.

Rudy Tanzi

Tanzi, who isolated the first Alzheimer's disease gene in 1987 and collaborated on the identification of two more in 1995, launched the Alzheimer's Genome Project late last year to identify all the genes involved in the disease.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 05:27 PM

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Community health center dentist honored

Dr. Steve Colchamiro, dental director at Brookside Community Health Center, which is part of Brigham and Women's Hospital, has won this year's Founder's Award from the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

The award honors a leader who protects and promotes healthcare access as a right for all, the community health center said in a statement. In 1971, Colchamiro established the School Dental Transportation Program, which has bused thousands of students from Boston public schools to Brookside for oral health services, often for their first visit to the dentist.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 03:32 PM

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Lander wins honor from biomolecular group

Eric Lander, founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, will receive the 2007 Society for Biomolecular Achievement Award for Innovation, the organization said.

Also a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a leader of the Human Genome Project, Lander will receive the award and make a presentation called "Beyond the Human Genome Project" at the group's conference in Montreal next month.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 10:45 AM

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Heart Association to honor Tufts-NEMC physician

Dr. Deeb Salem, physician-in-chief at Tufts-New England Medical Center, will receive the American Heart Association’s Paul Dudley White award at the Boston Heart Ball on May 12, the AHA said today. The event is a major fund-raiser for the organization.

Salem, who is also the chairman of the department of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, is being honored for his work as a cardiologist.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 02:42 PM

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CHA gets grant to study depression treatment for minority patients

Cambridge Health Alliance has received a two-year, $599,999 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the quality of depression treatment for ethnic and racial minorities, the hospital said today.

Margarita Alegría, director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at CHA and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, will lead the study.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 09:41 AM

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Paul Farmer wins $100,000 Austin College award

Harvard professor and international health advocate Dr. Paul Farmer has won the 2007 Austin College Leadership Award, whose $100,000 prize he plans to give to Partners In Health, the college said.

"Dr. Farmer’s life really exemplifies service," college president Oscar C. Page said in an interview. "We felt his life in Haiti and other parts of the world would certainly be a great role model for our students."

Last year, when the award was established, the winner was Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America. Farmer was nominated by Austin alum Dr. Barry Mills of Cambridge Health Alliance.

Farmer will accept the award tomorrow at the Belo Mansion in Dallas.

"I am so grateful to receive this award," Farmer said in a statement. "I want to use these resources to further our goal of promoting health and human rights and to ensure that Partners In Health's work is able to continue for years to come."

Farmer is a founding director of Partners In Health, which builds hospitals and provides health services in parts of the world affected by poverty, violence, and disease. His work in Haiti was described in the best-selling book, "Mountains Beyond Mountains," by Tracy Kidder. Austin College will distribute the book to its incoming freshmen, who will hear Farmer at their convocation in September.

Farmer's other honors include a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize of $1.5 million, which he also gave to PIH, and the American Medical Association’s International Physician Award.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:55 AM

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mass. leads in e-prescribing

Massachusetts physicians rank first in the country for sending prescriptions electronically in 2006, according to SureScripts, a company that transmits information between physicians and pharmacists. The state was third last year.

The ranking is based on the number of prescriptions routed electronically as a percentage of the total number of prescriptions that could be sent to pharmacies that way.

"This award recognizes how far advanced the efforts are in Massachusetts," John Glaser, chief information officer at Partners HealthCare, said in an interview from New Orleans, where he was attending a conference of the Health Information and Managements Systems Society. "But none of us believes that we are done."

Between 40 percent and 50 percent of prescriptions are entered by Massachusetts physicians electronically, Glaser said, but a smaller percentage are transmitted to pharmacies. That misses an opportunity for a pharmacist to check for possible interactions with medications ordered by another physician, patient allergies, or cheaper but therapeutically equivalent drugs.

State Senator Richard Moore of Uxbridge accepted the e-prescribing award at the conference.

Three Massachusetts doctors were honored for their use of e- prescribing: Dr. Joseph Antaki of Uxbridge, Dr. Lorenver Po of Holyoke, and Dr. Alberto Sobrado of North Andover.

SureScripts operates an exchange used by 95 percent of pharmacies in the United States.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 03:38 PM

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Friday, February 23, 2007

QMass leader wins LGBT award

Jessica Wang, a second-year student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has won the 9th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Achievement Award.

The American Medical Student Association and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association honored Wang for introducing issues that affect LGBT patients into the medical school curriculum and for leading QMass, a UMMS student organization dedicated to supporting and promoting LGBT issues.

Jessica Wang

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 09:47 AM

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cambridge nurse honored

Registered nurse Louise Yvette Charles of Cambridge Health Alliance has won the 2007 Excellence in Nursing Award from the New England Regional Black Nurses Association Inc.

new Charles.jpg
Louise Yvette Charles

Charles, a native of Haiti, graduated from nursing school in Port-au-Prince in 1977, immigrated to the United States in 1989, and earned her bachelor of science degree at Emmanuel College in 2004. She joined CHA in 1997 at the Zinberg Clinic, a multidisciplinary AIDS center at the Cambridge Hospital campus. Charles is currently a public health nurse with the Cambridge Public Health Department.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 03:12 PM

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Monday, February 12, 2007

St. E's neurologist wins MS Society award

Dr. Ellen Lathi of Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center has won the 2006 Health Care Professional Volunteer Award from the Central New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

A neurologist, she was honored for helping patients gain access to medications. She is a member of the MS group's Clinical Advisory Committee.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 01:15 PM

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Ready for emergencies

If you live in one of the 27 communities surrounding Boston, your regional public health agency has been singled out for its readiness to face bioterrorism events, new epidemics, natural disasters and other public health emergencies. Local health departments in Boston, Needham and Wellesley were also honored.

Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Region 4B - Cambridge and the Boston Public Health Commission, the Needham Health Department and the Wellesley Health Department were recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 10:00 PM
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