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February 9, 2007
Proceedings of the HMS Faculty Council
The Dec. 20, 2006, Faculty Council meeting focused on the search for the next HMS dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Lisa Iezzoni, HMS professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and faculty council vice chair, began the discussion by saying that council members had expressed an interest in providing input to the search committee. She said the council would have an opportunity to share their views on what personal characteristics the new dean should possess and the most important issues he or she will need to address. The priorities generated by the council would form the basis for a letter to Derek Bok, Harvard University interim president, and the advisory committee searching for a new dean.
Ellice Lieberman, dean for faculty affairs, gave a brief presentation on the expected operation of the search committee. She stressed that Bok and the committee were particularly seeking input on the desired characteristics and critical issues, as well as specific candidates for consideration.
Council attendees then split into three groups. Each was asked to generate ideas and preferences related to the new dean, taking personal characteristics, professional characteristics, and the most important priorities into consideration.
After the small-group discussions, a representative from each group reported back to the Faculty Council. Ideas were compiled and their priority discussed. Many attendees reiterated that fund-raising and resource development, especially with respect to the prospective Allston campus, were extremely important.
Iezzoni said the priorities would be refined and sent to members for ranking. Once final ranking is complete, a draft letter addressing the most important issues will be composed and circulated to the Faculty Council for comment. The letter will then be submitted to Bok and the advisory committee.
Fernandez Named President of Mass. Eye and Ear
John Fernandez has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and of its parent company, Foundation of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Inc. He assumed the post on Jan. 1.
Previously, Fernandez was the vice president of clinical services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During his 14 years at BWH, he was instrumental in developing collaborations with other institutions, heading the expansion to Faulkner Hospital, and creating partnerships with South Shore Hospital and Milford Regional Medical Center. He also played a key role in strengthening BWH's partnership with Dana–Farber Cancer Institute. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and COO Healthcare Roundtable and serves on the Boston Medflight, Inc., board of directors as treasurer.
“Known for his collaborative working style and energetic personality, John is the ideal individual to lead the next phase of MEEI’s growth to ensure and enhance its reputation as one of the finest specialty hospitals in the world,” said Diane Kaneb, chair of the hospital’s board of directors. Fernandez takes over the position from Curt Smith, who announced his intention to step down last year after 17 years with MEEI.
Two from HMS Win GE Prizes
Irene Chen, an MD–PhD s tudent at HMS, was recently awarded the 2006 GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists for her essay describing her dissertation, “The Emergence of Cells During the Origin of Life.” The award recognizes young molecular biologists early in their careers. The essay, which was published in the Dec. 8, 2006, issue of Science, describes Chen’s study of “protocells,” vesicles made of membrane materials, some of which contain RNA. Through experiments, she observed the cells engaging in evolutionary behavior. Chen received her PhD in 2005 and expects to complete her MD in 2007. She received the $25,000 award at a ceremony in Stockholm, attended by Nobel Prize in Medicine winners Andrew Fire and Craig Mello.
Ron Milo, an HMS research fellow in systems biology, won a GE & Science regional award for his essay “Simple Building Blocks for Complex Networks,” which describes analysis of complex biological networks using network motifs, research he conducted while at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Milo received a $5,000 award for his work.
Environmental Award Presented to Prince Charles
The HMS Center for Health and the Global Environment awarded Prince Charles (left), His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, with the 2007 Global Environmental Citizen Award. The award honors an individual doing outstanding work toward protecting the global environment.
The Prince of Wales is a longtime advocate for the environment and runs several nonprofit organizations that encourage environmental responsibility. He also owns his own food company, which helps small farmers find a market for their products, and operates Highgrove, a sustainable, organic farm.
Actress and advisory board member Meryl Streep (right) and former vice president Al Gore, who received the prize in 2005, presented His Royal Highness with the award during a ceremony in New York City last month.
Applications Wanted For Fellowship In Medical Ethics
The 2007–2008 Fellowship in Medical Ethics is open to physicians, nurses, lawyers, and others in academic fields related to medicine or health who have a serious academic interest in medical ethics and wish to further their knowledge of the philosophical, social, historical, and political aspects of contemporary medical practice. The deadline for submission of application materials is April 6.
For more information, call 617-432-3041. Two copies of all application materials should be sent to Dr. Mildred Solomon, Fellowship Director, c/o Helena Martins, Harvard Medical School, Division of Medical Ethics, 641 Huntington Ave., 4th Fl., Boston, MA 02115.
Save the Date
The Academy Center for Teaching and Learning will host the Third Symposium on The Science of Learning: Implications for Medical Education from the Neurosciences and the Social Sciences on April 6, from 2–5 p.m. in the TMEC. The topic of the symposium is “The Mindful Brain: The Role of Mindful Learning in the Development of Professionalism.” Speakers include Daniel Siegel, director of the Mindsight Institute; Ellen Langer, Harvard University professor of psychology; and Ronald Epstein, associate dean for educational evaluation and research at the University of Rochester.
Invitational Awards Announced
Each year, several foundations invite a limited number of HMS junior faculty and postdocs to apply to their fellowship programs. Potential candidates must first apply through the HMS Faculty Fellowship Program. The Fellowship Committee then chooses the HMS applicants to apply to the foundations. Updated information on the fellowships will be available online beginning Feb. 12. The internal application deadline is April 9 in the Office of the Dean for Academic and Clinical Programs, Gordon Hall, Rm. 101. An informational town meeting will be held on March 5, 12–1:30 p.m. in the Waterhouse Room on the first floor of Gordon Hall.
Honors and Advances
- Frederick Alt, a Howard Hughes investigator and the Charles A. Janeway professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston, is the recipient of the 2007 AAI-Huang Meritorious Career Award. The honor was given by the American Association of Immunologists for “groundbreaking discoveries that span several decades” in the fields of immunology, cancer biology, and DNA recombination and repair. The award includes $10,000 and an engraved plaque, which will be presented at the AAI annual meeting in May.
- Judyann Bigby, HMS associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and medical director of BWH’s Community Health Programs, was appointed by governor Deval Patrick to the post of Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services. Bigby has been at BWH for 25 years, earning national recognition for her work in substance abuse education, women’s health, and health disparities.
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization has named Paul Cook president and CEO of the physicians organization, effective March 1. Cook comes from Indiana University, where he serves as the executive associate dean of clinical affairs and CEO of the IU Medical Group. In his new role, he will lead BWH faculty practices, focusing on clinical excellence and strengthening relationships with affiliates and government organizations.
- The American Society of Breast Disease will honor Daniel Kopans with the 2007 Pathfinder Award in Breast Imaging at a symposium in April. Kopans, HMS professor of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, is being honored for his innovations in breast imaging and image interpretation and reporting.
- Ulrich von Andrian, the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. professor of immunopathology at HMS, has received the 2007 American Association of Immunologists–BD Biosciences Investigator Award. The award honors earlycareer investigators who have made outstanding contributions to the field of immunology. Von Andrian’s work centers on observing the molecular mechanisms of interactions between blood cells and the vascular wall.
Massachusetts General Hospital and Schepens Eye Research Institute have signed an agreement to explore the creation of a formal relationship. This memorandum of understanding will allow the two organizations to share information and hold discussions on what kind of integration would suit both institutions best. MGH and Schepens currently collaborate on several areas of research, and many of Schepens’s specialties overlap with programs at MGH, such as stem cell research and photomedicine.
John remensnyder, HMS associate professor of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, died Oct. 14 at the age of 75.
Remensnyder received his AB from Wesleyan University in 1953 and his MD from HMS in 1957. He completed his general surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1957 to 1964 and then trained in plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins from 1964 to 1967. He returned to MGH to join the Plastic Surgical Division in 1967 as an instructor in surgery at HMS. In 1968, he was appointed clinical associate in surgery; in 1970, assistant clinical professor of surgery; and in 1976, associate professor of surgery.
Remensnyder served in various leadership positions at MGH and the Shriners Burns Institute, including chief of the Plastic Surgical Division at MGH from 1973 to 1982, chief of staff at Shriners from 1980 to 1990, and director of the MGH Operating Rooms from 1991 to 1996. He retired in 2001.
Remensnyder was highly regarded for his skills as a plastic surgeon, administrator, and teacher. He was also nationally known for his contributions in plastic surgery and burn care. As chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, he focused attention on the care of disfigured children, in particular those whose injuries resulted from severe burns. He led two HOPE-sponsored missions to Russia in the late 1980s, one to treat children burned in a liquefied gas explosion and another to bring back a group of children with severe injuries as a result of an earthquake in Armenia.
Remensnyder is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary; two daughters, Amy, of Providence, and Margaret, of Newtonville; his son, Stuart, of Amherst; his sister, Doris Wilkie, of Margaretville, NY; and a granddaughter. Donations in his honor can be made to Massachusetts General Hospital, Ketchum Fund for Care of Children’s Burns, 165 Cambridge St., Boston, MA 02114.