HMS Faculty Council Report
The March 21 Faculty Council meeting began with an update on the Allston planning efforts by Chris Gordon, chief operating officer of the Allston Development Group (ADG) and Peggy Hayes, ADG director of communications.
Gordon said the 350-acre site is currently occupied predominantly by warehouses and businesses.
The 50-year plan has been divided into two phases of 20 and 30 years. Phase I calls for the development of 1.5 million square feet of science space; 800,000 square feet of undergraduate housing; approximately 300,000 square feet for museums and a performing arts center; 300,000 square feet for the Graduate School of Education; 575,000 square feet potentially for the Harvard School of Public Health; plus space for retail shops, a conference center, and administrative support. Phase II would add space for science, housing, retail, and support services.
Gordon identified four areas of importance that are driving the effort. One is interdisciplinary teaching and research, with the intention of bringing some portion of HSPH, the Business School, education, and science into close proximity. Another is the creation of community benefits such as education and employment opportunities and physical improvements to the area. Environmental sustainability is another consideration, which can be achieved by following guidelines for best practices in energy, water, transportation, human health and productivity, ecology, and building design. Harvard is working to meet requirements for gold certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The fourth is economic development. Phase I will provide more than 4,000 new jobs in the city, increase spending on goods and services from Boston-based businesses, and advance Boston as a global leader in life sciences.
Gordon briefly described the proposed transportation framework, which will include new access roads, a shuttle network, and parking plans. He noted that the ADG continues to work closely with the residents of Allston and described plans for redesigned streets, green space, new retail shops, and museums.
Joseph Martin, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, brought the council up to date regarding Harvard science planning and reinforced the importance of HMS participation. Referencing the white paper prepared by the preclinical department chairs, he reiterated that the document was intended to outline possibilities and does not represent the School’s position. Martin said he has convened a committee composed of many of the preclinical and hospital department chairs to discuss the paper in depth and to use it as a starting point in considering other possible scenarios. He also reported that members of the Harvard University Science and Engineering Committee (HUSEC) have been identified.
Laurie Raymond, HMS assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital and director of the Office of Advising Resources (OAR), provided data on OAR student usage. Common reasons for visits include depression, anxiety, situational issues, career issues, and issues surrounding NBME shelf exams and USMLE Step 1 and Step 2. Raymond suggested that the School should consider the potential impact on students of the shorter second year under the new curriculum.
Research Reigns at Soma Weiss Day
People born with paralysis of a nerve on one side of their face need not resign themselves to a lifetime of lopsided smiles. Muscle grafts routinely restore movement to patients with congenital unilateral palsy of the facial nerve. Still, it is not clear where in the brain such movement is initiated. Sharon Fox (top left) observed the brains of patients before and after surgery and found new areas of the motor cortex take over responsibility for the restored movements. A third-year student and one of four student speakers, Fox described her findings at the 67th annual Soma Weiss Student Research Day on April 19. Other student speakers were (clockwise from top right) Ilka Netravali, Michael Lu, and Jeffrey Shackelton. Patricia Donahoe, the Marshall K. Bartlett professor of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, gave the keynote on the future of basic and translational research, and more than a hundred students displayed posters.
Symposium Fetes 25th Anniversary of Health Economics Journal and First Editor
An April 20 symposium at HMS celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Journal of Health Economics and its founding editor, Joseph Newhouse, the John D. MacArthur professor of health policy and management at HSPH, an HMS professor of health care policy, and head of the Interfaculty Initiative on Health Policy. At the event, health economists from Boston University, Harvard University, MIT, the University of Chicago, and Tel Aviv University presented five new research papers, touching on areas of health economics and policy to which Newhouse has made major contributions. In addition, Charles Phelps, provost of the University of Rochester, gave remarks on Newhouse’s impact on health economics, and Anthony Culyer, editor of the Journal of Health Economics, reflected on the publication’s 25 years.
The symposium was organized by Richard Frank and Thomas McGuire, both professors in the Department of Health Care Policy. Papers from the symposium are expected to be published in the commemorative issue of the journal.
The Shapiro Institute for Education has named the 2007–2008 Rabkin Fellows in Medicine from HMS. They are Colleen Crumlish, instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Richard Haspel, instructor in pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Roger Russell, assistant professor of anesthesia at BWH; Sugantha Sundar, instructor in anesthesia at BID; Carrie Tibbles, instructor in medicine at BID; and Amy Weinstein, instructor in medicine at BID. The fellowship provides faculty an opportunity to develop skills as medical educators and conduct research in the field of medical education.
Honors and Advances
Mark Aronson, professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was recently awarded the Society of General Internal Medicine’s Career Achievement in Medical Education Award, which honors physicians who have devoted themselves to patient care and medical education throughout their careers.
Robert Brown Jr., HMS professor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, has received the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN’s) 2007 Robert Wartenberg Lecture Award, which honors a neurologist for excellence in clinically relevant research. Brown was recognized for his work in the genetics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including his role in the discovery of the first ALS gene. As part of the award, Brown will give the Wartenberg Lecture at the AAN’s annual meeting in May.
Amy Roberts, HMS instructor in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston, has been named the recipient of the 2007 William K. Bowes Jr. Award in Medical Genetics by the HMS–Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics. The national award recognizes a physician or scientist who is completing training in the field of medical genetics. The $20,000 award will be presented at a ceremony in June, preceded by a grand rounds presentation.
Erika Noss, an HMS research fellow in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has received an Abbott Scholar Award in Rheumatology, which supports young investigators. The grant provides $65,000 in the first year and $70,000 in the second year, with an optional third year of $75,000 after a review.
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange has awarded the 2007 Louis Sullivan Award to John Halamka, chief information officer at HMS and an HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Halamka is being recognized for his work as chair of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel.