Brigham faculty and staff share their predictions about breakthroughs that will dramatically impact patient care, change the course of research or significantly shift how we provide care. If you’d like to add your voice to the conversation, please leave a comment below.

Rui Kuai“Recent breakthroughs in cell therapies (e.g., chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cells or CAR-T) have redefined what is possible in medicine. However, these therapeutic cells are currently manufactured using the blood of each individual patient, which is a slow and expensive process and can limit the rapid and widespread delivery of these life-saving treatments. Because induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the potential to differentiate into nearly any cell type, including T cells, I envision combining the iPSC and gene-editing technology will result in safe and effective off-the-shelf cell therapies. This technology will facilitate large-scale manufacturing and widespread delivery of CAR-T and ultimately enable more patients to benefit from these powerful life-saving therapies in the near future.” — Rui Kuai, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Division of Engineering in Medicine


Usha Tedrow“In the field of cardiac arrhythmia, one of the biggest areas of excitement is non-invasive ablation — it’s like something out of Star Trek and it’s amazing that it works. When I perform cardiac ablation, the procedure takes about four hours and the patient will need a day or two to recover. With non-invasive ablation, while it requires a lot of planning, from the patient’s perspective, they lay down on the table and receive treatment over the course of 15 minutes and are able to get up and walk away after. This represents a huge paradigm shift in our field.” — Usha Tederow, MD, MS, Clinical Director of the Ventricular Arrhythmia Program, Director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship, Cardiovascular Division


Deepak Bhatt“There will be a far greater shift to providing care in the home, with use of wearable and miniature implantable sensors, as well as other technologies to monitor patients from a distance. Data from these devices will also be incorporated into clinical trial research, enhancing our ability to detect benefits or side effects of different medical interventions more precisely.” — Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, FESC, Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs, Heart & Vascular Center




David Walt“This year, I predict that gene editing enzymes will be delivered to certain tissues to correct genetic diseases. I also foresee new diagnostics based on combining genomics and proteomics for cancer.” — David Walt, PhD, Principal Investigator, Department of Pathology




Patti Dykes“I predict that we will be able to leverage artificial intelligence to detect patterns in nursing documentation that lead to the prevention of sepsis and heart attacks.” — Patricia C. Dykes, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, Program Director of Research, Center for Patient Safety, Research, and Practice




Jon Zurawski“In 2020, I would predict that high resolution neuroimaging techniques such as 7 Tesla (7T) MRI brain scanning will become more widespread throughout major academic medical centers in the U.S. Work from our center and others worldwide has shown that 7T MRI offers a major advance in the characterization of brain injury related to various disease processes. Using 7 T MRI, we can view small vessel structures, inflammation, and meningeal and grey matter disease processes occurring in the brain with better resolution than ever before. Linkage of 7T MRI markers and blood biomarkers has the potential to advance the monitoring and treatment of numerous neurological diseases as the technology becomes more widely available.” — Jon Zurawski, MD, Neurologist, Department of Neurology


Cheryl Clark“Digital Health will become more patient-centric and embrace health equity and community engagement as approaches to improve outcomes for diverse populations.” — Cheryl Clark, MD, ScD, Director of Health Equity Research & Intervention in the Center for Community Health and Health Equity




Barry Fogel“I have two predictions for the year ahead: 1) Research will convincingly link common chronic diseases to alterations of the microbiome and 2) Advances in wearable devices, ‘invisibles’ (devices placed around a person’s home that detect and monitor their movement, their sleep, their heartbeat and respiration, etc.) and point-of-care testing will increase the timeliness and accuracy of diagnoses without increasing the cost of care.”  — Barry S. Fogel, MD, Behavioral Neurologist and Neuropsychiatrist, Center for Brain/Mind Medicine




Robert Green“2020 will be the year a substantial number of healthy people will have their genomes analyzed for preventive care!” — Robert C. Green, MD, MPH, Geneticist and Director, Brigham Preventive Genomics Clinic, Division of




Melissa St.Hilaire“I think we will come closer to having a clinical test for internal clock time — i.e., circadian time — which will allow us to personalize the timing of medication to be most effective based on that patient’s own circadian rhythm.” — Melissa St. Hilaire, PhD, Associate Biostatistician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders




“In 2020, I anticipate we will see an explosion of home hospital care in the US. Patients, clinicians, and health systems will all align to deliver the benefits of home-based acute care for many Americans. Here’s to the home in 2020!” — David Levine, MD, MPH, MA, Physician, Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care





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