The Chester Pierce Research Society (CPRS) is an annual speaker series named in honor of the late Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry Chester Pierce, MD, the first African-American physician-scientist and full professor at Mass General. CPRS exposes the Mass General community to novel basic science, clinical, translational, health services and disparities research by our talented URM physicians and scientists.

2019 Lecture: Why Do So Many Black People Have Kidney Disease? Insights from Human Stem Cell-Derived Podocytes

Opeyemi Olabisi, MD, PhD
2019 Speaker Opeyemi Olabisi, MD, PhD

2019 speaker Opeyemi Olabisi, MD, PhD, is a physician in the Nephrology Division of the Mass General Department of Medicine and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Olabisi graduated in 2001 from The City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and received his MD, PhD degree in 2009 from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he studied the regulation of the NFAT transcription factor. He came to Mass General in 2009, completed a residency in internal medicine, and subsequently completed a fellowship in the combined Mass General-Brigham & Women's nephrology fellowship program. Dr. Olabisi recognizes that an effective approach to reducing the mortality associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is to reduce the rate of progression of CKD to end stage kidney disease (ESKD). This passion motivates his ongoing research of the mechanism by which mutations in ApoL1 gene accelerate progression of CKD to ESKD. Early in 2015, he joined the Faculty of Renal Division in Mass General Department of Medicine. In support of his work, Dr. Olabisi recently received the 2015 Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

2017 Lecture: Overcoming Immunosuppression to Treat Malignant Brain Tumors

William T. Curry, Jr., MD
2017 Speaker William T. Curry, Jr., MD

On July 6, 2017, William T. Curry, Jr., MD delivered the CPRS lecture titled “Overcoming Immunosuppression to Treat Malignant Brain Tumors.” Dr. Curry conducts translational research in immunotherapy for malignant brain tumors. One current focus is on achieving representative ethnic diversity in cancer clinical trials and understanding ethnic variations in biological responses to therapies. Early in his career, he was awarded the 2006 Physician/Scientist Development Award, which helped support his translational research focus. Dr. Curry is the first African American full professor in Neurosurgery at Mass General. He is the director of Neurosurgical Oncology with a clinical practice that focuses on caring for patients with benign and malignant tumors of the brain and cranial base.