Newswise — Welcome to the May 2021 edition of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s (BIDMC) Research & Health News Digest.
This edition’s update includes:
- BIDMC launches COVID-19 'long-haulers' program
- Immunomics: A conversation on the future of diagnostics with Ramy Arnaout
- COVID-19-associated seizures may be common, linked to higher risk of death
- COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent global need to control air pollution
- With masks on, three feet is just as safe as six feet apart in Massachusetts schools, researchers find
- New research shows substantially higher burden of COVID-19 compared to flu
- Racial disparities in death rates from chronic diseases show minimal improvement over last two decades
- Scientists create first-of-its-kind 3D organoid model of the human pancreas
- Open-label (honest) placebo works as well as double-blind placebo in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Researchers identify potential targets for novel treatments for lung cancer
If any of these briefs pique your interest and you’d like to speak with one of our experts, please contact us at [email protected] or by contacting the BIDMC page operator at (617) 667-4700 by asking for pager ID #33880.
BIDMC launches COVID-19 'long-haulers' program
BIDMC’s Critical Illness and COVID-19 Survivorship Program is the most comprehensive post-COVID program of its kind in New England and one of only a few in the country to integrate a broad multi-disciplinary team of medical experts to treat patients with persistent symptoms, which are also described as “long-COVID.” The program is led by Jason Maley, MD, Director of the Critical Illness and COVID-19 Survivorship Program and a physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
Watch an interview with Dr. Maley, here
Immunomics: A conversation on the future of diagnostics with Ramy Arnaout Clinical pathologist Ramy Arnaout, MD, DPhil, Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at BIDMC, discusses how the immunome — all of the genes collectively expressed by an individual's immune cells — holds the potential to provide researchers and physicians with unprecedented insight into an individual's health. Collecting that information from large numbers of patients could one day facilitate diagnostics via a near-universal blood test and pave the way to targeted therapies for a wide variety of conditions.
COVID-19-associated seizures may be common, linked to higher risk of death
A study led by Mouhsin Shafi, MD, PhD, an investigator in the Department of Neurology at BIDMC and Medical Director of the BIDMC electroencephalogram (EEG) laboratory, and colleagues demonstrated that some patients hospitalized with COVID-19 experience non-convulsive seizures, which may put them at higher risk of death.
COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent global need to control air pollution
Stephen Andrew Mein, MD, a physician in BIDMC's Department of Medicine, and Mary Rice, MD, a physician in the Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Department at BIDMC,
discuss several ways that the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to address the global problem of air pollution and improve respiratory health and equity worldwide.
With masks on, three feet is just as safe as six feet apart in Massachusetts schools, researchers find
A study led by Westyn Branch-Elliman, MD, MMSc, an infectious disease specialist at BIDMC, offers much-needed data about the optimal physical distancing between students for the prevention of COVID-19 in the school setting.
New research shows substantially higher burden of COVID-19 compared to flu
In a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Michael Donnino, MD, Critical Care and Emergency Medicine physician at BIDMC, and colleagues assessed the relative impact of COVID-19 on patients hospitalized with the viral infection in March and April 2020, versus patients hospitalized with influenza during the last five flu seasons at BIDMC.
Racial disparities in death rates from chronic diseases show minimal improvement over last two decades
In a research letter written by Rishi Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil, a cardiologist and researcher in the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC, and colleagues, and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, report that racial disparities improved only minimally in rural areas over the last two decades, with larger improvements occurring in urban areas.
Scientists create first-of-its-kind 3D organoid model of the human pancreas
Researchers led by Senthil Muthuswamy, PhD, Director of Cell Biology at the Cancer Research Institute at BIDMC, have successfully created the first three-dimensional organoid models of the pancreas from human stem cells. This first-of-its-kind organoid model, reported in Cell Stem Cell, includes both the acinar and ductal structures that play a critical role in the majority of pancreatic cancers and could reveal potential means for discovering markers of early diagnosis and monitoring of the disease.
Open-label (honest) placebo works as well as double-blind placebo in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A new study published in the journal PAIN and led by Anthony J. Lembo, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at BIDMC, suggests that patients don't need to be deceived to receive benefit from treatment with placebo.
Researchers identify potential targets for novel treatments for lung cancer
A team of investigators led by Elena Levantini, PhD, a research associate in Hematology-Oncology in the laboratory of Daniel Tenen, MD, at BIDMC, evaluated a novel agent, PTC596, which is capable of decreasing tumor growth in preclinical studies performed on a mouse model of mutant K-RAS lung cancer.