Stepping Strong Innovator Awards – Determining the Course of Trauma Research

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 17, 2014

Gillian Reny nearly lost her limbs and her life during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to vote in this year’s first annual Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Stepping Strong Innovator Awards, a competition that supports innovative advances in bone regeneration, limb transplantation, stem cell technology, orthopedic and plastic surgery, and bioengineering.

The competition is one of three Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund initiatives that have been developed to promote trauma-related research and improve trauma care. Established by the Reny family last February, the fund was inspired by their daughter Gillian, a young student and aspiring dancer who nearly lost her limbs and her life during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Gillian not only survived, but also recovered the use of her legs through her own commitment and a collaborative effort among dedicated BWH physicians, rehabilitation therapists, nurses, and other specialists.

This year’s Stepping Strong Innovator Awards finalists are Indranil Sinha, MD, E.J. Caterson, MD, PhD, and Matthew Carty, MD. Their innovative research concepts include a new surgical approach to help patients with lower limb amputations achieve normal function; a wound healing technology that promotes tissue regeneration while preventing infection; and a technique that uses the body’s own stem cells to help muscles heal after traumatic injuries.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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