Event Recap News Obesity Research Incubator Session

3rd Annual Obesity Research Incubator Session

May 15, 2013 – 4PM – 6PM, Bornstein Amphitheatre and Cabot Atrium

The Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Research Center at the Brigham Research Institute considers obesity to be a top research priority in accordance with the recent National Institutes of Health Strategic Plan for Obesity Research. The goal of this session is to bring together obesity and obesity-related comorbidities, to promote cross-collaborative research efforts, and to stimulate new ideas for further investigation as well as to address this challenge public health crisis through research.

With the goal of promoting vibrant scientific discussions, Gail Adler, MD, PhD, introduced the event, the first hour featured oral presentations on a few select themes in obesity research in the Bornstein Amphitheatre, and the second hour offered an interactive poster session on obesity research in the nearby Cabot Atrium.


Targeting Start Domains in the Metabolic System

David E. Cohen, MD, PhD, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and the Obesity Research Center at MGH, Robert H. Ebert Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School

Gastrointestinal Regulation of Metabolic Function – Insights from Bariatric Surgery

Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD, Director of Hepatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Call for Abstracts Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Poster Sessions

Obesity Incubator Session Call for Abstracts

Awards & Funding Brigham Research Institute Microgrants Office for Research Careers Request for Proposals


Awards & Funding Brigham Research Institute Fund to Sustain Research Excellence Request for Proposals

Fund to Sustain Research Excellence

Awards & Funding Brigham Research Institute BRIght Futures Prize Request for Proposals

BRIght Futures Prize 2021 Request for Proposals

Brigham Research Institute Events News

Research Roundtables: Call for Participants



Calling all members of the research community!

The Brigham Research Institute (BRI) would like to hear what topics are of interest to the research community for our next series of Research Roundtables. Based in the results of the survey below, we will schedule meetings on topics with broad interest.

All members of the research community are encouraged to participate. Please click here to quickly indicate the research topics in which you have interest.

As a grassroots organization, the BRI wants to hear from you as we set goals, create resources and prioritize efforts to best support the community. Please join us to share ideas, discuss needs, identify emerging trends and brainstorm ways to respond to them.

Click here to learn more about these roundtables and how you can benefit from them!

Take the Survey Now!

BRIght Futures Prize News

Natalie Artzi, PhD is the Winner of the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize

Natalie Artzi, PhD stands, in focus, in front of her blurred laboratory.

Congratulations to the winner of the 8th Annual BRIght Futures Prize of $100,000, Biomedical Engineer, Natalie Artzi, PhD. This project focuses on engineering therapies for better outcomes with brain cancer in children. With more than 35,000 votes from more than 110 countries and all 50 states, this year we set a record for BRIght Futures voting.

Brain tumors are the most lethal childhood cancer, with a median survival rate of only 9 to 15 months — a measure that has not changed for 20 years. Despite extensive efforts to develop better therapies, there is currently no treatment that can cure brain cancer, which specializes in escaping immune surveillance mechanisms and thus avoids immune-mediated elimination. Since a highly selective membrane protects the brain, the blood-brain barrier (BBB), whose role is to prevent most molecules from penetrating into the brain, it makes it even more challenging for drugs to reach a brain tumor. This means that even higher — and more toxic — doses of a drug may not be very effective for patients with brain cancer.

“Our solution is to deliver an adhesive patch that can reveal and kill cancer cells by (1) activating the immune system by using molecules that act as “danger” signals, and (2) delivering these molecules efficiently to the brain by using a material called an adhesive hydrogel, which can be sprayed onto and stick to the brain after surgery. This material allows us to locally release a cocktail of molecules that will activate the immune system while circumventing the BBB.”

“We plan to harness nanotechnology to form particles at a size of 1,000th the diameter of a single human hair. These nanoparticles specialize in penetrating cancer cells and may be programmed to deliver drugs at a predetermined rate. This technology will ensure that the immune system remains active and that the tumor will not come back.”

The BRIght Futures Prize will allow Dr. Artzi to take the first steps in making this therapy a reality, making the hydrogels and testing their safety and effectiveness in a preclinical model of brain cancer.

Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Event Recap News

8th Annual Obesity Research Incubator Session Event Recap

Friday, May 10, 2019 2:00 – 5:30pm, Hale Building for Transformative Medicine 

On Friday May 10th, nearly 100 researchers and clinicians from over 20 institutions gathered at BWH to share ideas, promote cross-collaborative research efforts and identify new areas for further investigation to address the challenging public health crisis caused by obesity. This 8th annual symposium commenced with short talks by selected junior speakers, all of whom received an award of $500. They were followed by keynote speaker, Caroline Apovian, MD, who gave an outstanding overview of the key research discoveries that have made significant contributions to the way obesity is treated in the clinic. This was followed by an electronic poster session featuring 30 presentations covering a broad range of research addressing many different aspects of obesity. Four posters stood out among the rest and were awarded prizes of $250.

This event is a great opportunity for investigators meet colleagues, learn what they are working on and set the foundation for future collaborations. If you were not able to join us this time, we hope to see you next year.

Keynote Speaker

Translating Obesity Research to the Practice of Obesity Medicine 

Caroline Apovian, MD, Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine 

Poster Winners

Leveraging Immunometabolic Control to Prevent and Treat Obesity Related Asthma

Furkan Burak, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Hepatocyte p53 ablation induces metabolic dysregulation that is corrected by food restriction and vertical sleeve gastrectomy

Bethany Cummings, DVM, PhD, Cornell University

Inhibiting Mitochondrial Fission Enhances Mitochondrial Respiratory Capacity and Insulin Signaling in Culture Myotubes Derived from Obese Humans

Benjamin Kugler, MS, University of Massachusetts Boston

The contribution of obesity to adult initiation of chronic prescription opioid use in the US: Results from MEPS, 2000 – 2015

Dielle Lundberg, Boston University School of Public Health

Selected Speakers

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation by Oral Capsules for the Treatment of Obesity: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trials

Jessica Allegretti, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Identification of novel microbe-metabolome signatures associated with insulin sensitivity in mice

Jennifer Lee, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Investigating how the source of dietary fat shapes the anti-chancer immune response in obesity

Lydia Lynch, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Event Recap News

Hypoxia Research Symposium and Poster Session Recap

Friday, January 25th, 1:30 – 5:00PM, Zinner Breakout Room and Zinner Lobby 

The Brigham Research Institute’s (BRI) Cardiovascular, Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders (CVDM) research center hosted its first Hypoxia Research Symposium to bring together clinicians and scientists working on various topics related to this dangerous condition that can have damaging effects on many different organs and tissues. The event consisted of four short talks from selected abstracts, a keynote presentation from professor William Kaelin, MD of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and a poster session. An engaged and enthusiastic crowd of over 35 people attended the symposium where research from four departments and seven divisions was presented, highlighting the cross-collaborative nature of the topic.

Presenting on “The von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein: Insights into Oxygen Sensing,” William Kaelin, MD, showcased several lines of research his lab has engaged in to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of cellular oxygen sensing. Spanning the divide from bench to bedside, his lab has made remarkable contributions to the field, including the identification of a druggable target to treat anemia:  an inhibitor of EglN1, a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase, is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. The BRI and CVDM research center were honored to have such a highly regarded researcher serve as the keynote speaker.

During the poster session that followed the talks, two outstanding posters were awarded with a prize of $250. Each selected speaker was awarded with $500. Congratulations to the winners!

Poster Winners

Gregory Ekchian, PhD, MRI-Readable In Vivo Quantitative Oxygen Sensors

Paul Wrighton, PhD, Novel pH-sensitive biosensor zebrafish enable the in vivo visualization and enterrogation of mitophagy during development and metabolic stress

Selected Speakers

Brian Cade, PhD, Associations of Variants in the Hexokinase 1 and Interleukin 18 Receptor Regions with Oxyhemoglobin Saturation During Sleep

Huamei He, PhD, MD, L-2-Hydroxyglutarate Protects Against Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

Indranil Sinha, MD, Aging-Associated Loss of Hypoxia Signaling Limits Skeletal Muscle Regeneration

AKM Wara, PhD, CD4+ T Cell Deficiency of KLF10 Impairs Blood Flow and Neovascularization in Response to Tissue Hypoxia

Event Recap Events Lung Research News

4th Annual Lung Research Symposium

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018, 1:30 – 4:30PM, Carrie Hall and Cabot Atrium 

The Brigham Research Institute Lung Research Center hosted its annual research symposium and poster session that began in Carrie Hall with a keynote address by Jack Elias, MD, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences at Brown University. Dr. Elias prefaced his address to the standing-room only crowd by first remarking on the high turnout and impressive nature of the event. He noted that all institutions should be fostering the types of interactions that take place at events like this, which connect people with each other as well as the science.  

While presenting his research on “Chitinase-like Proteins in Lung Injury, Repair and Disease,” Dr. Elias highlighted the importance of transitioning from work in “mouse to man and back again” to identify, validate and further interrogate the molecular underpinnings of diseases. This approach allowed his lab to make great strides in understanding how a ubiquitous class of proteins (chitinases in mice and chintinase-like proteins in humans) play a critical role in several diseases including asthma, fibrosis, lung cancer and several metabolic disorders. The exhaustive interrogation of the pathways in which these proteins act, eventually led to the development of antibodies with the potential for treating several of these diseases through immunotherapeutic approaches. At the end of his talk, Dr. Elias made a point to specifically address the younger attendees, encouraging them to always be curious and to take advantage of every opportunity and resource that they can, especially since they are part of this “great institution with great people.”  

Following a brief Q&A, an interactive poster session was held in Cabot Atrium featuring 56 posters highlighting the extensive depth of lung biology research at BWH. From the minute the poster session began to the final moments before the awardees were announced, there was a tangible feeling of enthusiasm and an atmosphere of collaboration. As Dr. Elias mentioned in his talk, these poster sessions are a gateway to creating a unified approach to education and science.  

During the session, a panel of judges evaluated the posters and selected twelve for recognition.  Lung Research Center co-Chairs Raphael Bueno, MD, Bruce Levy, MD and Edwin Silverman MD, PhD presented six participants with honorable mentions, and awarded six $1,000 prizes to the poster winners. Antonio Arciniegas, MD, Patrick Burkett, MD/PhD, Moshe Lapidot, MD, Sergio Poli, MD, Phuwanat Sakornsakolpat, MD, and Jeong Yun received honorable mentions. The prize winners were N. Quynh Chu, MD, Daniel Dwyer, PhD, Kathleen Lee-Sarwar, MD, Nahal Masouri, MD, Benjamin Stump, MD/MPH, and Katherine Walker, MD/MSc.   

A goal of the BRI, and a goal of these types of events, is to increase the visibility of Brigham research and showcase the hard work and dedication of our investigators. The symposium and poster session highlighted the exciting studies within the lung community, as well as encouraged cross-collaborative research efforts. At the conclusion of the symposium, the attendees were left with a greater sense of the lung research at BWH while those presenting posters felt truly appreciated by the larger BWH community. 

Poster Winners

N.Quynh Chu, MD:3D-Printed Modeling of the Airway and Lung Lesions for Bronchoscopy Training 

Daniel Dwyer, PhD: Single cell deconstruction of airway disease identifies allergic inflammatory memory in human respiratory epithelial progenitor cells 

Kathleen Lee-Sarwar, MD: Early Life Intestinal Metabolites Are Associated with Childhood Asthma 

Nahal Mansouri, MD: Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Exosomes Prevent and Revert Experimental Pulmonary Fibrosis Through Systemic Modulation of Monocyte Phenotypes 

Benjamin Stump, MD, M: A High Throughput Drug Screen Identifies Glycogen Synthase Kinase (GSK)-3β Inhibition as a Key Regulator of Lymphangiogenesis. 

Katherine Walker, MD, MSc: 15-epi-Lipoxin A4 resolves pathogen-initiated lung inflammation by inducing regulators of NF-κB 

Honorable Mentions

Antonio Arciniegas, MD: Extrapulmonary Expression of Surfactant Protein D and Modulation of the Gut Microbiom 

Patrick Burkett, MD, PhD: CLEC-2 regulates innate immune homeostasis in the lung 

Moshe Lapidot, MD: Oncogenic features of KDM4A histone demethylase in mesothelioma 

Sergio Poli, MD: sc-RNAseq of human lung explants depicts the lung cellular landscape and identifies different cell roles in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 

Phuwanat Sakornsakolpat, MD: Genetic risk scores for COPD: identifying high risk individuals and understanding disease pathways 

Jeong Yun: Single cell RNA sequencing analysis of Hhip+/- age associated emphysema model reveals cell type specific changes related to inflammatory pathways