Dear Mass General Research Community,

Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD

Welcome to the September edition of From the Lab Bench! There is always a welcome buzz around the Mass General campus when everyone returns from summer vacation.

There is a common thread tying together the investigators featured in our first two stories below.

Drs. Irimia, Widge and Katnani all submitted their one-page research outlines to us and participated in our first Research Portfolio Wrap Session this summer.

During that event (which includes lunch, by the way), these PIs each gave a short presentation on their research to a group that included representatives from the Research Institute, the MGH Development Office and Partners Innovation.

After learning about their work, we wanted to share their research with you.

What’s that, you say? How can I participate in events like this? How can I tell more people at Mass General about my work? Simple. It all starts by making sure your lab has submitted a Research Outline.

Your outline lets us know what research problem you are working on, and how you are trying to solve it. It is a great resource for us as we explore new opportunities to collaborate with industry, academia and philanthropy. But we can’t help you if we don’t know what you are doing.

We just kicked off our fall schedule of Research Portfolio Wrap Sessions this week, so be sure to download and fill out your research outline today. If you’re a postdoc or fellow, remind your PI to submit one for your lab!

Until next month,


Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD
Scientific Director,
Mass General Research Institute

P.S. Make sure to also scroll down and check out our latest video featuring the global HIV research of Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Steven and Deborah Gorlin MGH Research Scholar.


New Approach to Deep Brain Stimulation Could Bring More Patients Into Treatment Loop

Alik Widge, MD, PhD and Husam Katnani, PhD

Most of us learn at an early age that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

But when it comes to treating disorders of the mind with deep brain stimulation (DBS), the quickest path to progress may be the indirect route.

That’s the thinking of Massachusetts General Hospital researchers Husam Katnani, PhD, and Alik Widge, MD, PhD, who are working to develop a new approach to DBS that better mirrors the way communication takes place in the brain—namely as a series of interconnected circuits, loops and waves.

This strategy could lead to much-needed breakthroughs in treatments for patients with traumatic brain injuries and major depressive disorder, among others.



Cell Race Organizers Hope to Accelerate the Pace of Sepsis Research

Sepsis is a deadly condition that impacts more than a million Americans each year. And yet we still don't know that much about what causes it or how to prevent it.

Mass General researcher Daniel Irimia, MD, PhD, believes the answer can be found in the movement of white blood cells in the body, and he's developed a unique way to learn more about how these cells move—a winner-take-all cell race.


Massachusetts General Hospital researcher seeks cost-effective ways to improve global HIV care.
Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, is using advanced modeling systems to project the health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of global HIV care.
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