November 12, 2020

11:00 - 11:45 AM EST

Poster Session & Demos

11:45 - 12:15 PM EST

Rock the Mic: Postdoc Fast Pitch
Emcee: Yashini Govender, PhD, Research Fellow, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Have you ever wanted to experience being a judge on American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, or Project Runway? Now is your chance! On November 12th, you have the opportunity to listen to, interpret, and determine which BWH postdoctoral fellow best presents their research in terms of personal enthusiasm, clarity of content, and overall cogency. Contestants will take to the virtual stage in this fast, friendly and compelling competition as they pitch their research in the hopes of winning the $1,000 prize. Not only will this exciting and interactive session support our postdoc community, but it also allows for attendees to get a firsthand look at some of the top, cutting-edge research the hospital has to offer!

Pitches by:

  • Abha Aggarwal, PhD
    Research Fellow, Surgery, Surgical Oncology
    Glycolytic Inhibition with 3Bromopyruvate (3BP) and Ketogenic Diet Increases Survival in a Mouse Model of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer


  • Andres Ardisson Korat, ScD, MS
    Research Fellow, Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine
    Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk


  • Ania Syrowatka, PhD
    Research Fellow, Medicine, General Internal Medicine and Primary Care
    Development of an Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) for Respiratory Depression after Total Hip and Total Knee Surgery


  • Jessica Williams, BS, MSc, PhD
    Research Fellow, Surgery, Cardiac Surgery
    Effect of Artery Shape on Patient Risk

12:30 - 1:05 PM EST

What We Know About COVID-19


  • Gerald Pier, PhD, Microbiologist, Medicine, Infectious Diseases


  • Gerald Pier, PhD, Microbiologist, Medicine, Infectious Diseases
  • Athe Tsibris, MD, Chair of BWH COVID Implementation Committee, Medicine, Infectious Diseases
  • Ann Wooley, MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Director for Transplant Infectious Diseases, Medicine, Infectious Diseases

The Brigham research community is working tirelessly to better understand the virus that causes COVID-19 in order to develop strategies to treat and prevent infection.  The most intense efforts are focused on developing vaccines and immunotherapies such as monoclonal antibodies, understanding how the SARS-CoV2 virus infects the host and causes diseases, and honing the clinical responses brought to bear to diagnose, treat and manage the consequences of infection. In this session three experts from the Division of Infectious Disease at BWH will provide an up-to-date status report in these areas, highlighting how BWH and MGB have been major participants in contributing to advances in all of these fields.

1:10 - 1:40 PM EST

Hey Briggie: The Use of Artificial Intelligence to Improve Patient Safety and Experience


  • Samir Tulebaev, MD, Associate Physician, Medicine, Aging


  • Samir Tulebaev, MD, Associate Physician, Medicine, Aging
  • Stephen Penney, MBA, Manager, BHIS Mobile Technology and End User Computing
  • Diane Tsitos, MS, RN, Nursing Director, Nursing Services, Burn/Trauma/Surgical

We’ve all come to depend on conversational artificial intelligence (AI) in our daily lives – think Siri, Alexa, Cortana and voice activated remote controls. This session will focus on what conversational AI can bring to health care. In the era of social distancing, conversational AI will help limit non-essential physical contact and improve patient care. We will introduce ”Briggie,” an integrated AI voice assistant in the form of a plush teddy bear toy, based on the Orbita interactive voice technology platform. We will discuss how conversational AI might interact with patients to inquire about their pain, positioning, and toileting needs, respond to patient’s requests, and report back to the nurse in real-time via voice technology.

1:45 - 2:15 PM EST

Committing to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Clinical Research: The Time is Now

Fireside Chat with:

  • Barbara Bierer, MD, Faculty Director, Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center (MRCT) Center
  • Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH, Associate Physician, Global Health Equity

While the lack of diverse representation in clinical trials is well known, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgent need to understand why underserved and vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected both in incidence and severity of infection.  More generally, should the participants in a clinical trial reflect the diversity of the U.S., the world or both? Or should they represent the people that the treatment or intervention is intended to help? This planned panel discussion will explore a number of barriers to inclusion of diverse populations and address potential approaches and solutions to increase diversity. This work is necessary but not easy, and it will take time to achieve meaningful change. We will walk through various potential solutions, practical tools, and resources for implementation, and we will discuss how BWH (and MGB) can aspire to excel in diverse representation in clinical research.

2:25 - 2:55 PM EST

Getting Ahead: Advances in Food and Drug Allergy


  • Tanya Laidlaw, MD, Director of Translational Research in Allergy, Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology


  • Lily Li, MD, Clinical Research Fellow, Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • Joyce Hsu, MD, Director, Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • Hannah Martin, MD, Clinical Research Fellow, Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Each year, more than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergies to plants, animals, food, or drugs (CDC, Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice. Allergies.). The Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is a national leader in food and drug allergy. We will review details of two new dedicated allergy clinics for evaluation of patients with food allergy and drug hypersensitivity. These specialized clinics not only work with patients and other health care providers, but also provide an opportunity for allergy related research. Two ongoing related research projects will be highlighted: 1) the Peanut Desensitization Clinic for young children [BH1] with peanut allergy which also explores the role of “baby” pre-mast cells and their contribution to food allergies and 2) the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Challenge Clinic where we evaluate patients with a suspected ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin allergy in order to provide them with appropriate pain medications and avoid unnecessary overuse of opioids. Data gathered from patients in the NSAID Challenge Clinic show that ~80% of them no longer have an NSAID allergy and our research suggests risk factors for continued NSAID allergy.

3:00 - 3:30 PM EST

What’s Sex Got to Do with It: Risk and Management of Autoimmune Disease


  • Tanuja Chitnis, MD, Director Translational Neuroimmunology Research Center, Neurology


  • Tanuja Chitnis, MD, Director Translational Neuroimmunology Research Center, Neurology
  • Maria Houtchens, MD, MMs, Director, Brigham Multiple Sclerosis Center, Clinical Care
  • Karen Costenbader, MD, MPH, Lupus Program Director, Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity

Many of us know someone with an autoimmune disease – multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all autoimmune diseases. But did you know that women are at a greater risk of developing autoimmune diseases than men, and a person’s sex may affect the course of many autoimmune diseases? This session will explore the reasons why and will discuss the management of MS and lupus in women who are pregnant and at different life stages.

3:35 - 3:45 PM EST

Closing Remarks


  • Ursula Kaiser, MD, Director, Brigham Research Institute
  • Jacqueline Slavik, PhD, MMSc, Executive Director, Brigham Research Institute

We will conclude by recognizing the Research Excellence Award winners, past year’s Brigham Research Institute Award recipients, and by thanking the attendees, speakers, demos, posters, and volunteers for participating and creating another successful event!