During a mid-afternoon “open mic” pitch session and at an awards ceremony capping off the day, bold and innovative ideas in biomedicine were honored with prizes. Read on to find out more about winners whose prizes ranged from $1,000 to $500,000 and about projects that aim to shape the future of medicine.

Research Open Mic

The organizers of Discover Brigham tried something new this year: a Research Open Mic, in which four postdocs competed by presenting their research to win the $1,000 prize. Each had less than five minutes to captivate the audience through their enthusiasm, clarity of content, and the compelling nature of their work. The competition was chaired by Deepak Bhere, PhD. Postdocs included Yupeng Tu, PhD; Christopher Benway, PhD; Krinio Giannikou, PhD, MSc, BSc; and Sarah Boukezzi, PhD.


Due to a tie, there were two prizes this year: Congratulations, Sarah Boukezzi and Yupeng Tu!

Award Ceremony

Each year, the BRIght Futures Prize winner is selected by public vote. This year’s competition set a new record, with more than 16,000 votes cast.


And the winner of the 2018 prize is…


Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD of Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine!  Learn more about Mahmoudi’s project, “Time to Heal Chronic Wounds,” here.

The awards ceremony also honored the recipients of the BRI Director’s Transformative Award, which promotes cross-departmental and inter-disciplinary projects that are transformative in nature.

vikram2018 BDTA Recipient: Vikram Khurana, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology: A multidisciplinary program at BWH to stratify and precisely target neurodegenerative disease

AliBDTA Seed Funding Recipient: Ali Tavakkoli, MD, Department of Surgery: Center for Metabolic Research and Innovation