Friday, April 8, 2011

SAC meeting to honor past scientific leadership, address current challenges

ALL MGHERS are invited to attend the 2011 meeting of the MGH Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which will commemorate the hospital’s bicentennial with a look back at significant research accomplishments of MGH investigators and examine challenges facing today’s research community.

The annual Celebration of Science on April 13 will begin with a poster session from 11 am to 1:45 pm at the Holiday Inn Select at 5 Blossom St. The scientific presentations from 2 to 5 pm at the Simches Research Center, Room 3.110, will feature talks by recipients of the hospital’s major research awards – Vamsi Mootha, MD, of the Department of Medicine and Center for Human Genetic Research, recipient of the Martin Award for Basic Research; Eunice Kwak, MD, PhD, of the MGH Cancer Center, whose team received the Martin Award for Clinical Research; and Sekar Kathiresan, MD, director of Preventive Cardiology, who received the Goodman Award. More information on these researchers and their award-winning work will appear in an upcoming issue of MGH Hotline. The keynote lecture will be given by SAC Chairman Joseph Goldstein, MD, a Nobel prize recipient and Regental Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

A highlight of the April 14 SAC meeting – which begins at 8 am at the Simches Research Center, Room 3.110 – will be “Stories of MGH Research Across Time,” outlining both past scientific milestones and the continuing leadership of MGH investigators. Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, and Emery Brown, MD, PhD, will discuss “Anesthesia: From the Days of Ether to the Era of Cognitive Imaging;” Paul S. Russell, MD, and Joseph P. Vacanti, MD, will describe “Transplantation Surgery: From Immunosuppression to Organ Fabrication;” William Crowley, MD, and Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD, will address “Novel Therapeutics: From Gonadotropins to Targeted Cancer Therapies;” and James F. Gusella, PhD, and Mark J. Daly, PhD, will present “Genetics: Of Mendelian Traits and Whole Genomes.”

The afternoon session will focus on the challenges presented by current cutbacks in funding from the National Institutes of Health and other traditional sources of support. Dennis Ausiello, MD, MGH physician-in-chief; Samuel Thier, MD, former president of the MGH and former president and CEO of Partners HealthCare; Steven Hyman, MD, Harvard University provost; and Paul Marcus, founder of the Autism Consortium, will discuss strategies such as public-private partnerships, philanthopic alliances and industry collaborations.In the day’s final panel, the SAC members – all national research leaders – will respond to that presentation and share their own ideas. The full schedule of both days’ events is available on the MGH Intranet at

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