Press Releases

MARCH 2018

Vaginal estrogen tablets, moisturizers and placebo gel all improve vaginal discomfort

Featuring Caroline Mitchell, MD, MPH

A clinical trial comparing two treatments for postmenopausal vaginal discomfort — low-dose vaginal estrogen and a vaginal moisturizer — to placebo treatments found that both produced symptom improvements similar to those associated with the placebos after 12 weeks of treatment.

Measuring neutrophil motility could lead to accurate sepsis diagnosis

Featuring Felix Ellet, PhD, and Daniel Irimia, MD, PhD, of the BioMEMS Resource Center and Jarone Lee, MD, medical director of the Blake 12 Intensive Care Unit

A microfluidic device developed by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators may help solve a significant and persistent challenge in medicine – diagnosing the life-threatening complication of sepsis.

Obesity may promote resistance to antiangiogenic therapy for breast cancer

Featuring Joao Incio, MD, PhD of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology

A research team led by Massachusetts General Hospital has found, for the first time, that obesity and obesity-related molecular factors appear to induce resistance to antiangiogenic therapy in breast cancer patients and in mouse models of the disease.

Mass General investigators identify neural circuit, genetic switch that maintain memory precision

Featuring Amar Sahay, PhD, of the Center for Regenerative Medicine

Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have identified a neural circuit involved in preserving the specificity of memories and a genetic 'switch' that can slow down memory generalization – the loss of specific details that occurs in both age-related memory impairment and in PTSD.

Breast cancer screening guidelines may lead to delayed diagnosis in white women

Featuring David Chang, PhD, MBA, MPH of the Department of Surgery

The current guidelines for mammographic breast cancer screening, which are based on data from primarily white populations, may lead to delayed diagnosis in nonwhite women, according to a report published in JAMA Surgery. A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators report that their analysis of racial differences in patients’ age and tumor stage at the time of diagnosis support the development of guidelines calling for earlier initial screening of some nonwhite women.

How does resolving cannabis problems differ from resolving problems with alcohol or other drugs

Featuring John Kelly, PhD, director of the Recovery Research Institute

Individuals who report having resolved a problem with cannabis use appear to have done so at younger ages than those who resolved problems with alcohol or other drugs, report investigators from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). While study participants also were much less likely to use any formal sources of assistance or support in resolving problems with cannabis than those whose problems were with other substances, that finding was less common in those who resolved a cannabis problem more recently, which may reflect the increased availability and potency of cannabis in recent years.

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Research Stories

Macrophages found to be the source of a ripple effect in the development of a life-threatening heart condition

Like a pebble thrown into a still body of water, a new study from the Mass General Center for Systems Biology has found that white blood cells called macrophages create a ripple effect in the heart that can lead to development of a condition known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, or HFpEF.

Genetic insights, new partnership models help to drive rare disease research

While it may not have been called rare disease research by name, Massachusetts General Hospital has been identifying and tracking rare diseases for more than a century, says Florian Eichler, MD, Director of the Center for Rare Neurological Diseases in the Department of Neurology. By combining new genetic insights with new models of collaborative research, Eichler and other clinician-investigators at Mass General are working to develop much needed new treatments for rare disease patients.

Hurley searches for cystic fibrosis treatments by developing a model of the respiratory tract

Mass General researcher Bryan Hurley, PhD, is exploring how controlling the infection and inflammation associated with cystic fibrosis could be the key to developing improved therapies for patients.

Could the secret to a good night’s sleep be found in our genes?

Jacqueline Lane, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, is studying genetic factors that impact our sleep.

How the quality and quantity of your social connections can impact your brain health as you age

Joel Salinas, MD, is using data from long-term research studies to gain insights into how strong social networks help to promote brain health in individuals as they age.

Mitchell studies bacterial changes in the female reproductive tract to improve health outcomes for women

Caroline Mitchell, MD, MPH, a researcher at the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, is studying how microbial changes in the female reproductive tract impact health outcomes across the lifecycle of women.

Spotlight on Community Research: Q&A with the Chelsea Research Program Leadership Team

The leaders of the Community Research Program at MGH Chelsea discuss the role that research can play in improving the health outcomes of the residents in their community.

Brain imaging studies provide new insights into biological basis of behaviors in schizophrenia and autism

Martinos Center researchers Nouchine Hadjikhani, MD, PhD and Daphne Holt, MD, PhD, are using brain imaging technology to learn more about how individuals with autism and schizophrenia view the world through different lenses.

Taveras engages communities to make a lasting impact on child health

Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, uses a combination of clinical and community-based research approaches to address the causes of childhood health problems and reduce health disparities.

Gatchel works to untangle the connections between mental health issues and cognitive decline in aging adults

Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Jennifer Gatchel, MD, PhD, is using brain imaging technology to learn more about the connections between mental illness and cognitive decline in aging populations.

Maguire hopes to improve gene therapy treatments by hiding viruses from the immune system

Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Casey Maguire, PhD, is developing new strategies to shield virus-based gene therapy treatments from the immune system to help patients with genetic disorders.

Eddy's research offers hope for long-term recovery from eating disorders

Kamryn Eddy, PhD, is part of a research team that recently published the results of a long-term study analyzing the recovery rates of patients with eating disorders. What the team found provides new reasons for hope for individuals with bulimia and anorexia.

Uygun is putting the pieces together in quest to create new livers in the lab

Basak Uygun, PhD, a researcher at the Center of Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, is working on ways to create bioengineered livers in the lab that could one day be used in patients with liver failure.

Meet the researcher who wants to diagnose respiratory illness with a Smartphone

Peter Moschovis, MD, MPH, is helping to develop new digital technology that could provide an efficient and cost effective way to diagnose childhood respiratory illnesses across the globe.

Blog Posts

New Research Uncovers Gender Differences for Risk of Developing Heart Disease
Featuring Miriam A. Bredella, MD

What role does gender play in determining your risk for heart disease? New research from Mass General Radiologist Miriam Bredella finds that women who have a certain type of body fat may have a greater risk for developing heart disease and other cardiovascular health issues than men.

A Link Between Flu and Heart Attacks? Mass General Cardiologist Weighs In
Featuring Malissa Wood, MD

New research has found yet another reason to avoid catching the flu this season—it could increase your risk of a heart attack. Malissa Wood, Co-Director of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, weighs in on these recent findings.

Understanding Why Exercise Works for Just About Everything
Featuring Gregory Lewis, MD

Why is exercise so good for your heart? Massachusetts General Hospital cardiologist and investigator Gregory Lewis explains the research that supports exercise's many health claims.

Surveys Show How Symptoms and Their Impacts Differ Among Adults with a Congenital Heart Defect
Featuring Ami B. Bhatt, MD, and Ada Stefanescu Schmidt, MD, MSc

When it comes to treating the symptoms of patients with a congenital heart defect, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital are finding that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t meet all patients’ needs. The results of their recent survey provide insight into how clinicians can best tailor care for these patients.

Women’s Heart Health Program Leaders Look Ahead
Featuring Malissa Wood, MD, and Nandita Scott, MD

The Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital focuses on awareness, treatments and research for the unique issues women face in maintaining heart health. Program co-directors Drs. Malissa Wood and Nandita Scott discuss what they've learned during its first decade and what still needs to be done.

Could Part of Our Genome Predict Future Risk for Heart Disease?
Featuring Saumya Das, MD, PhD

Research from Massachusetts General Hospital's Saumya Das is focused on a type of RNA called non-coding RNA which comprise a majority of the genome. Das is looking for RNA biomarkers in the blood that may forecast future risk of heart disease.

Could Strenuous Exercise Be Bad for Your Heart?
Featuring Aaron L Baggish, MD

Could strenuous exercise like running a marathon be bad for your heart? Recent research from Dr. Aaron Baggish, director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center Cardiovascular Performance Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, addresses this question.

Using Zebrafish Models to Study Cardiovascular Disease
Featuring Maryline Abrial, PhD

Meet Maryline Abrial, a postdoc in the Cardiovascular Research Center at Mass General. Abrial is studying zebrafish to gain insight that could one day benefit human patients with a genetic disorder called Marfan Syndrome.

Remembering the Legacy of a Mass General Neurophysiologist and Pioneer in Race Relations at Harvard
Featuring S. Allen Counter

During Black History Month, we're honoring the legacy of S. Allen Counter. Counter, a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a neurophysiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and the founding director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, is remembered for his contributions to research and his profound impact on inclusion and diversity at Harvard.

What’s Next for Cardiac Research and Clinical Care?
Featuring Malissa Wood, MD, Steven Lubitz, MD, MPH, and Aaron Baggish, MD

What do the new blood pressure guidelines mean for the field of cardiovascular research and clinical care? Hear from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators as they discuss this and other hot topics and what's next in the world of heart health.

Research Awards and Honors: February 2018
Featuring Dania Daye, MD, PhD, Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD, Srinivas Vinod Saladi, PhD, Shyamala Maheswaran, PhD, Raul Mostoslavsky, MD, PhD, and Sabrina Paganoni, MD, PhD

Please join us in congratulating all the Mass General researchers who received awards and honors this month!

Could Controlling Inflammation Improve Cystic Fibrosis Therapies?
Featuring Bryan Hurley, PhD

Bryan Hurley, PhD, is exploring how controlling the inflammation associated with cystic fibrosis-related infections could be the key to developing improved therapies for patients

Read more on the Research Institute blog

Research Roundup

February 2018

Mass General researchers uncover gender differences that impact the risk of developing heart disease. Plus, could strenuous exercise be bad for your heart?

January 2018

Researchers investigate how thyroid levels affect a woman's fertility, what age is best to screen for HIV, and how patients with malignant brain tumors utilize hospice services.

December 2017

Researchers harness the power of artificial intelligence to develop a new screening method for high risk breast lesions. Plus, a team from the Mass General Cancer Center provides data to show how a diagnostic tool can identify early signs of cancer treatment resistance.

November 2017

Investigators have developed a new food allergen detector small enough to fit on a keychain, and a team from Mass General and MIT has devised a new system for measuring sleep that is wireless, portable and powered by artificial intelligence.

October 2017

Could laws restricting use of off-road-vehicles by young drivers have an impact on injury rates? Plus, researchers study how the brains of patients with fibromyalgia process pain.

See all Research Roundup columns

Special Features

Nursing Research

A spotlight on nursing research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Postdoc Profiles

Massachusetts General Hospital is home to a vibrant community of postdoctoral researchers. Here are some of their stories.

Social Media

Stay up to date on the latest research news by following us on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to check out the Research Institute blog for original stories, article summaries, tips on communicating science and lots more.


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