On Oct. 7, BWHers and members of the greater Boston health care community came together to educate and inspire collaboration around innovative science, technology and medicine. The daylong event included 12 sessions that fell within two tracks representing the continuum of research and innovation at BWH. Below are some of the highlights – including selected sessions, tweets and audio clips – from the “Discovery Track.”
Although Discover Brigham officially began at 9 a.m. on Oct. 7, set up was underway the night before:
9 a.m.: Bioengineering
From contact lenses to dental fillings to sutures, bioengineering materials are everywhere. Listen in:
The discovery and improvement of biomaterials have the potential to offer major advances in treatment of patients. After offering an engaging history of the field of bioengineering, Jeff Karp, PhD, of the Department of Medicine, introduced speakers who are advancing approaches with industry to usher in new therapies for patients. Natalie Artzi, PhD, of the Department of Anesthesiology, presented her work on developing disease-responsive and disease selective biomaterials that can be delivered locally to treat cancer.
Aaron Goldman, PhD, of BWH’s Renal Division, spoke about computational approaches that can improve treatment regimens for breast cancer, and Oren Levy, PhD, of the Department of Medicine, discussed designing therapeutic stem cell “ninjas” that can zoom in on the right place at the right time to treat diseases like multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer.
Boston-area health and science reporter Megan Scudellari (@scudellari) later led a lively discussion about how bioengineering is perceived as a hot topic in the media and one that captures the public’s imagination.
10 a.m.: Newborn Health
During an informative session on newborn health, moderated by WBZ-TV medical reporter Mallika Marshall, MD, (@malikamarshall) Pediatric Newborn Medicine (PNM) Chair Terrie Inder, MD, MBChB, shared how BWH is helping to build a better brain beginning with babies in utero, by focusing on different types of risks to the developing brain.
From maternal obesity to infant congenital heart disease to the effects of pharmacological agents given to babies experiencing pain, BWH’s Sarbattama Sen, MD, Cynthia Ortinau, MD, and Christopher McPherson, PharmD, respectively, took attendees through the many factors that can impact a baby’s brain development before and after birth and across the lifetime.
Clinical & Research News caught up with Inder after the session about the science of maternal love.
You can watch the video Inder mentions here.
11 a.m. Drug Allergy
BWH clinicians Mariana Castells, MD, PhD, Tanya Laidlaw, MD, and Paige Wickner, MD, MPH, presented research on drug allergies ranging to aspirin, pencillin, chemotherapeutics and more.
1 p.m. Mental and Behavioral Health
David Ahern, PhD, Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc, and David Silbersweig, MD, of the Department of Psychiatry joined Martie Carnie, co chair of the Patient Family Centered Care Steering Committee, to discuss the overlap of technology, imaging and clinical trials with psychiatric research as well as the impact it has on mental and behavioral health.
2 p.m. Sleep Medicine
At the Sleep Medicine session moderated by Maria Konnikova, author and contributing writer at The New Yorker (@mkonnikova), Frank Scheer, PhD, MSc, neuroscientist and director of BWH’s Medical Chronobiology Program, shared information about circadian rhythm and the timing of meals, which may help prevent physiological changes that put overnight workers more at risk for the development of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Susan Redline, MD, MPH, program director in the BWH Division of Sleep and Cardiovascular Medicine, spoke about the high prevalence of sleep apnea and the treatment options available to patients today and opportunities to improve screening, diagnosis and treatment with use of patient-centered research.
Charles Czeisler, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, discussed our country’s sleep epidemic and why sleep is so crucial to good health.
Why is sleep so important? Hear Czeisler explain:
3 p.m. Trauma session
Stepping Strong Innovator Awards finalists answered questions and presented their projects at this year’s Trauma session. Want to find out who won? Check out our Awards story.