Shape the Future of Medicine: Cast Your Vote

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 13, 2015

Two compelling competitions to advance medical innovation the BRIght Futures Prize and Stepping Strong Innovator Awards – are currently under way at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and you can help determine the winner.

BRIght Futures Prize

The BRIght Futures Prize supports BWH investigators as they work to answer provocative questions or solve vexing problems in medicine. This year’s BRIght Futures Prize finalists – Christopher Fanta, MD, from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the BWH Lung Center; Wilfred Ngwa, PhD, from the Department of Radiation Oncology; and William Savage MD, PhD, from the Department of Pathology  are pursuing forward-thinking and inventive research to improve patient care. Each of the three finalists hopes to receive the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize, which will be awarded at Discover Brigham on Oct. 7, 2015. Discover Brigham, highlights the cutting-edge biomedical investigations of more than 3,000 researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

Read More »

Cast Your Vote to Support Medical Research and Innovation

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 11, 2014

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) third annual Research Day is Thursday, November 20, 2014. A highlight of the BWH Research Day is the announcement of the winner in the BRIght Futures Prize competition.

Read More »

Determining the Course of Medical Research – Final Nominee

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 18, 2013

Today’s video and Q&A features our third and last finalist in the 2013 Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) BRIght Futures Prize competition, a research project from Bohdan Pomahac, MD, and Jeffrey Karp, PhD.

Stuck on You (Video)

Bohdan Pomahac, MD, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Jeffrey Karp, PhD, Division of Biomedical Engineering

What is your research project about?

There have been few recent medical innovations to seal tissues and prevent leaks after surgery. Physicians still use sutures, which are very time-consuming and difficult to place, as well as staples, which can cause tissue damage when inserted and removed. This can result in infection or extreme pain for patients.

Imagine an adhesive that could easily attach to tissue to rapidly seal wounds and connect tissues without severe damage. Suppose this adhesive could also deliver drugs to wounds to prevent infection or speed the process of healing and tissue regeneration. It could provide a completely new way for doctors to treat damaged tissue, including severely burned skin.

Read More »

Determining the Course of Medical Research – Second Nominee

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 17, 2013

Today’s video and Q&A features our second finalist in the 2013 Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) BRIght Futures Prize competition, a research project from Daniel Solomon, MD, MPH, and Joel Weissman, PhD.

Power to the Patient (Video)

Daniel Solomon, MD, MPH, Division of Rheumatology
Joel Weissman, PhD, Center for Surgery and Public Health

What is your research project about?

Medical breakthroughs, such as vaccines, pacemakers, and X-rays, have changed the world. None of these advances could have happened without research.

Now, imagine that promising treatments could not be adequately tested because researchers were unable to recruit enough participants for clinical trials. This scenario is not so far-fetched. In fact, nearly 80 percent of clinical trials fail to recruit enough participants in time to meet enrollment deadlines. There are currently nearly 400 active clinical trials at BWH, and some researchers will likely end up stopping their studies due to recruitment difficulties.

Read More »

Determining the Course of Medical Research – First Nominee

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 16, 2013

Today’s video and Q&A features our first finalist in the 2013 Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) BRIght Futures Prize competition, a research project from Utkan Demirci, PhD, MS.

Taking Control of Epilepsy (Video)

Utkan Demirci, PhD, MS, Division of Biomedical Engineering

What is your research project about?

Epilepsy is a medical condition that affects the brain and causes a person to have seizures. A seizure happens when nerve cells in the brain work abnormally, affecting consciousness or movement. Epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide and 2.2 million people in the US, including about 60,000 people in Massachusetts. It is most common among the very young and the very old, although anyone can develop epilepsy at any age.

Experiencing seizures or their disabling side effects can severely limit educational achievements, employment prospects, and participation in all of life’s experiences. Seizures can even be life-threatening.

Read More »

2013 BRIght Futures Prize: Promoting Innovative Medical Research

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 15, 2013

Dr. Robert C. Green, winner of the first BRIght Futures Prize.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is routinely recognized as one of the top academic medical centers in the country. Last year, the BWH Biomedical Research Institute launched the annual $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize competition to support innovative research that is both compelling and promising to an audience that extends beyond just scientists. The competition is intended to generate excitement and motivation within the research community, while heightening the visibility of BWH research worldwide. It supports researchers as they work to answer provocative questions and better meet today’s medical needs.

The three finalists were selected through a rigorous two-step peer review process, and the winner will be determined by public voting. The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite research project by visiting bwhresearchday.partners.org. The winner will be announced during the awards ceremonies at the 2nd annual BWH Research Day on November 21. This event has the same goal of raising awareness and celebrating research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Registration is open not only to internal employees, but any individuals interested in learning more about the comprehensive science that goes on at the institution every day. Patients, local scientists, health care professionals, and industry collaborators all come together to interact with and learn more from BWH investigators and clinicians. Topics of focus this year include technology and innovation, personalized medicine, neuro-degeneration, and allergies, among others.

Read More »

Crowdsourcing Medical Innovation

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 28, 2012

Dr. Robert Green, winner of the first BRIght Futures Prize.

On November 15, 2012, the Biomedical Research Institute (BRI) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) held its first Research Day.  The day-long public celebration featured a discussion on the importance of medical research and included 150 poster presentations by leading BWH researchers on today’s hottest health topics, such as obesity, healthy aging, and personalized medicine.

But the highlight of BWH Research Day was the announcement of Dr. Robert Green as the winner of the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize.  Just as exciting: the use of crowdsourcing, or relying on the collective wisdom of groups, to choose the winner.

Dr. Green was named the winner after nearly 6,500 people from around the world voted for the three finalists online.  Dr. Green and his research team are searching for effective and responsible ways to use DNA sequencing technology in newborns to help families understand a child’s genetic risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

In addition to Dr. Green’s project, the other finalists included a project jointly led by Drs. Phil DeJager and Elizabeth Karlson, whose proposal focused on using genetics and electronic health records to treat multiple sclerosis and a project led by Dr. Robert Plenge, whose proposal focused on the use of technology to unravel the mysteries of the immune system. Read our recent blog post to learn and view more about all three projects.

Read More »