We all are impacted by, and reap the benefits of, medical research discoveries. From over-the-counter drugs, to healthcare policies and educational interventions, many of these advancements are a result of incredible feats, decades of work, and sometimes serendipitous events. Join us as we sit down with Harvard researchers to discuss these captivating behind-the-scenes stories of research.
March 10, 2021
Nutrition and Fertility
Jorge Chavarro, MD, ScD, ScM, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discusses his research studying the impact of nutrition on fertility.
Jorge Chavarro, MD, ScM, ScD, is an associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He investigates the role of diet, and the interaction between dietary and genetic factors in the pathogenesis of diseases affecting reproductive and hormone sensitive organs, such as prostate cancer. He is currently investigating how different dietary and lifestyle factors are related to male and female fertility and infertility treatment outcomes with the goal of identifying strategies for fertility preservation in cancer survivors and the general population.
February 24, 2021
Alcoholism and Chronic Liver Disease
Gyongi Szabo, MD, PhD, Hon. ScD, chief academic officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses her research on the effects of alcohol on the liver.
Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, Hon. ScD, is chief academic officer at both Beth Israel Lahey Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she oversees the institutions’ research and teaching programs and supports basic, translational, and clinical research. Additionally, she leads a laboratory which focuses on finding cures for liver inflammation. Szabo earned her medical degree at the University Medical School in Debrecen, Hungary, and her doctoral degree from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
February 10, 2021
More than Movement Disorders: Studying Huntington’s and Parkinson’s
Neurologist Samuel Frank, MD, discusses his work studying Huntington’s disease, dystonia, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as his involvement in clinical research studies to help better diagnose and treat patients with these movement disorders.
Samuel A. Frank, MD, is director of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and associate professor of neurology. He completed his fellowship in experimental therapeutics with a focus on movement disorders. In addition, Frank directs research and leads clinical trials as part of BIDMC’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. His goal is to develop treatments to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease.
January 27, 2021
Systematic Impacts of Weight Discrimination
“42.4% of U.S. adults have the disease of obesity,” says Fatima Cody Stanford, obesity medicine physician scientist, educator, and policy maker at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Stanford discusses her research and policy work on obesity and weight discrimination laws.
Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FTOS, is an obesity medicine physician scientist, educator, and policy maker at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS). She is a national and international sought-after expert in obesity medicine who bridges the intersection of medicine, public health, policy, and disparities.
Stanford received her BS and MPH from Emory University, MD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, and MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She completed her obesity medicine and nutrition fellowship at MGH/HMS after completing her internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of South Carolina.
January 6, 2021
A National Stage for Reviewer Exchange
“External scientific review gives us a better chance of identifying proposals that might have a big impact on the wellbeing of our community,” says Margaret Schneider, director of the Pilot Studies program at the University of California Irvine. Schneider discusses her role in the creation of the CTSA External Reviewer Exchange Consortium (CEREC), which coordinates scientific review for funding applications submitted to centers that are part of the national NIH-funded CTSA consortium, which includes Harvard Catalyst.
Margaret Schneider, PhD, is a research professor in the Department of Planning, Policy and Design within the school of social ecology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She is also associate director and director of evaluation and pilot studies within the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at UCI. Schneider has conducted independent and team-based research into obesity prevention among adolescents, particularly among youth who are at risk by virtue of economic circumstances and/or physical inactivity. For the past eight years, she has directed the tracking and evaluation efforts for UCI’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), and has recently taken on the additional responsibility of running the Pilot Award program funded through the CTSA.
Hardeep Ranu, PhD, is a project manager for Translational Innovator and is responsible for managing a diverse set of clinical and translational research project teams. Ranu joined Harvard Catalyst from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she managed the TaqMan genotyping core for 13 years. As the genotyping project manager, Ranu worked with faculty of Harvard Medical School, Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals, and external institutions to design and develop genotyping projects. Her role as genotyping project manager involved coordinating with two funding entities, the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) and Partners Healthcare|Personalized Medicine as well as working with senior management and faculty from DF/HCC to write and prepare reports for DF/HCC submissions and renewals.
December 16, 2020
Early Detection of Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy
Florian Eichler, MD, discusses his work studying childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a progressive demyelinating disease of the brain. Eichler is director of the Center for Rare Neurological Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, and part of a team that recently received pilot funding from us to improve early detection of this disease.
Florian Eichler, MD, is the director of the Center for Rare Neurological Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a neurologist who leverages the biology of single gene disorders which affect the nervous system to develop treatments for leukodystrophies and hereditary neuropathies. Eichler aims to accelerate progress and treatment for rare conditions by identifying knowledge gaps and creating partnerships.
December 2, 2020
Delivering Better Glaucoma Solutions
“Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world,” says David Friedman, director of the glaucoma service at Mass Eye and Ear. Friedman discusses his current Harvard Catalyst pilot grant to improve glaucoma treatment by studying a contact lens that can deliver medication.
David Friedman, MD, PhD, MPH, is director of the glaucoma division, medical director of clinical research, and the Alfred and Diane Kaneb Professor of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. His research has focused on angle closure glaucoma, ophthalmic epidemiology, and glaucoma therapy, with an emphasis on medication adherence among glaucoma patients. He is renowned for his contributions to the study of the mechanisms, epidemiology, and prevention of angle-closure glaucoma. Over the last 20 years he has worked closely with researchers in Singapore, Guangzhou, Beijing, and South India.
November 18, 2020
The Vision System and Psychosis
“Hallucinations are often associated with greater delusions, which leads to poor performance in processing visual information,” says Paulo Lizano, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Lizano discusses his recent Harvard Catalyst pilot grant to improve visual processing in patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses using non-invasive brain stimulation.
Paulo Lizano, MD, PhD, is an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on utilizing imaging, blood-based biomarker technology, and neuromodulation to better characterize and offer potential interventions in serious mental illness, specifically idiopathic psychotic disorders. Lizano’s long-term goal is to become an established academic neuropsychiatric researcher who identifies both diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, as well as novel treatment targets for patients living with psychosis, particularly those in the early stages.