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On Tuesday, researchers from across the hospital gathered in the Bornstein Amphitheater for the BWH Research Council Annual Report and Celebration. As in years past, an official “State of the Research Enterprise” was presented by Victor Dzau, MD, chair of the Research Council, who was introduced by BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA.
The program also included three presentations, which provided an update on “The Scientific Community and the Future of Biodefense.” Service awards followed and were presented to three investigators who have conducted 25 years of research at BWH. The program was concluded with a celebratory reception in the Cabot Atrium, where researchers with five, 10, 15 and 20 years of service were also recognized.
“Our success in obtaining NIH grants is between 40 and 43 percent, meaning that almost half of our funding applications are fulfilled,” said Dzau, whose progress report highlighted the continual need for and BWH’s success at obtaining funding; the creation of the Executive Committee on Space that will serve an advisory role to President Gottlieb; and the new scientists and projects which have bolstered BWH research over the past year. In addition, Dzau announced the dual-mentored fellowship awards that strategically link novel research in two different, but collaborative laboratories and the new senior vice president for Research Management position. Dzau also highlighted the overall research strategy of the Partners HealthCare System.
A Focus on Bioterrorism“Bioterrorism is with us everyday,” said Dennis Kasper, MD, who explained the unique threats of bioterrorism and the development of a regional center to research these threats and potential responses. Before introducing the other speakers on bioterrorism, Kasper described that the New England Regional Center for Excellence (NERCE) will be applying for one of four centers launched by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to prepare for such a disaster. Within each center, core laboratories will provide the infrastructure needed for research in the region and will serve as a resource for all laboratories in the New England states. The focus of NERCE is vaccine development and new drugs to combat bioterrorism in case of such a biological disaster.
Kasper was followed by R. John Collier, PhD, who talked about his work as it is leading to new ways to block anthrax toxin action, and Ellis Reinherz, MD, who discussed his investigation of antibodies associated with small pox, some of which are in the early stages of testing by the Centers for Disease Control. Following the bioterrorism presentations, Director of the Office for Women’s Careers Carol Nadelson, MD, presented awards to Joanne Ingwall, PhD; Ellis Reinherz, MD; and Harry Taplin, MA, for their 25 years of service to BWH research.
“There has never been a time when research has been more vibrant or vital to our society,” concluded Michael Gimbrone, MD, vice chair of the Research Council, before inviting attendees to enjoy refreshments at the celebratory reception across the hall.