Clinical & Research News brings you detailed coverage of BWH’s landmark event to educate, inspire and share advancements in science and medicine with the community.

Discover Brigham 2016

On Nov. 10, the excitement and energy of BWH’s research community were palpable in hallways, conference centers and gathering spaces across the campus. In Cabot Atrium, Miller Atrium and elsewhere, investigators gathered around electronic poster boards and craned their necks to catch a glimpse of poster presentations and demos; in the Zinner Breakout Room, Bornstein Amphitheater and Building for Transformative Medicine, experts from BWH and industry took their seats on panels moderated by reporters and other prominent figures; and participants snapped photos and composed more than 436 tweets over the course of the afternoon.

Read on for more details (and tweets!) from the 10 scientific sessions that afternoon.

This year’s event included 79 e-posters and 54 speakers. More than 900 people pre-registered to attend.

The hashtag, #DiscoverBrigham, trended in Boston and BWH took over Only in Boston’s SnapChat account to further share photos and highlights from an exciting day.

Magnet® Matters: New Knowledge, Innovations & Improvements
11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Bornstein Amphitheater

Panelists demonstrated how BWH exemplifies Magnet® designation, touching on the preterm infant microbiome, individualized care plans for sleep and falls prevention, anonymous patient and family reporting of safety concerns and compliments to the healing caring practice of Caritas.

Great Expectations: New Developments in Prenatal & Fertility Care
1 – 2 p.m., Bornstein Amphitheater

Using a hypothetical patient to anchor the discussion, panelists highlighted pregnancy-related concerns in regards to Zika virus including guidance on travel to countries with Zika and the safest times to conceive after visiting a Zika-affected area or after infection.

The panelists also shared what BWH is doing in obstetrics and fertility to provide the best care possible to women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Next-Gen Regen: The Future of Regenerative Medicine
1 – 2 p.m., Building for Transformative Medicine

While there are many treatment options available to older patients suffering from arthritis, this isn’t the case for younger adults who are also living with painful inflammation and stiffness of joints. During an informative panel session, regenerative medicine experts spoke about the problem of early arthritis and how treatment options for young people are scarce since knee replacements, for example, are not recommended until later in life.

The panelists discussed solutions currently in clinical trials and how these therapies evolved out of basic research into cartilage in a BWH laboratory more than a decade ago. In particular, Andreas Gomoll, MD, described a new approach for knee surgery that eases pain and leads to faster recovery. It is now being tested in clinical trials.

The panel also showcased a special guest: an axolotl salamander.

Jessica Whited, PhD, of Orthopedic Surgery, studies the salamander’s ability to regenerate limbs.

Just Breathe: Advances in Lung Disease Research
1 – 2 p.m., Zinner Breakout Room

Pulmonary experts from the Brigham and Genentech discussed various aspects of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) including how patient care for this condition has evolved in the past decade.

They also talked about the impact of personalized medicine on the choice of current therapies and how BWH is partnering with industry to accelerate drug discovery in this area.

Stepping Strong: Making Strides in Trauma Care
2 – 3 p.m., Building for Transformative Medicine

Trauma care at the Brigham has been further strengthened by the creation of The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund – whose goal is to help future patients with traumatic, athletic, military and disease-related limb injuries regain their strength and step strong once again.

This panel session focused on innovative research initiatives that could revolutionize the treatment of patients who have sustained traumatic injuries.

This Is How We Do It: Innovation @ BWH
2 – 3 p.m., Zinner Breakout Room

In three rounds of “fireside chats,” innovators from within and outside of BWH discussed how the Brigham Innovation Hub (iHub) helped them translate ideas for improving patient care into full-fledged pilots and prototypes.

Panelists discussed the benefits of working with iHub, including the support provided in developing business plans and helping resolve marketing, legal and technical needs.

Information Innovation: The Power of Precision Medicine
2 – 3 p.m., Bornstein Amphitheater

BWH is already ahead of the curve in precision medicine, as evidenced by the panelists’ presentations on how this approach is being used to transform care for our patients with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and food allergies.

The panelists agreed that the future success of precision medicine at BWH and beyond will depend on physicians who are savvy in data science.

Battling Brain Drain: Fighting the Good Fight Against Brain Disease
3 – 4 p.m. Building for Transformative Medicine

Physicians and scientists from across the Brigham discussed how recent advances in neurology and neuroscience are providing a clearer, more comprehensive understanding of the brain.

Improvements in imaging, genetics and technology have helped researchers find more precise and proactive ways to diagnose brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

In the Crosshairs: Targeting Opioid Addiction
3 – 4 p.m., Zinner Breakout Room

The growing epidemic of opioid addiction is of great concern for the general population and health care professionals alike who prescribe these drugs to help patients manage pain. During a Discover Brigham panel about opioids, BWH clinicians began the discussion by reviewing a patient case.

The panel talked about managing chronic pain in musculoskeletal conditions, appropriate pain management strategies for different situations, comparative effectiveness of these options and the safe and effective utilization of opioids.

Beyond Borders: Advancing Infectious Disease & Global Health
3 – 4 p.m., Bornstein Amphitheater

Panelists shared stories of their international work to fight infectious diseases.

They revealed that one of the most important drivers of success is in understanding the needs and concerns of the local people, regardless of whether you’re working in the developing world or a developed country.