Innovative Projects in Integrative Medicine:
Updates from the Osher Pilot Research Grant Awardees (Research)
The February installment of the Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds was presented by four Osher Pilot Awardees from past years. Each awardee discussed their Osher funded pilot project and subsequent updates on their research.
The Osher Pilot Research Award program provides seed grants to support collaborative projects consistent with the Osher Center thematic areas of musculoskeletal health, healthy aging, and mind-body exercise. The aim is to provide early funding for innovative projects in the field of integrative medicine including basic, translational, and clinical research. The Request for Applications is now Open for 2018 awards.
This event was live streamed at the time of the event. If you are not able to make it to the Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds in the future, please check the event page for a live stream link.
The Osher Pilot Grant Awardees at Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds:
The following projects will be presented at the February 6th Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds:
A Novel Mind-Body Program for Grieving Older Adults: Development and Initial Piloting
Presenter: Eric Bui, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and currently serves as the Interim Director for Research at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders and Complicated Grief Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as the Associate Director for Research at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program. His research focuses on improving our understanding and treatment of stressor-related conditions, such as PTSD and Complicated Grief. He has published over 120 scientific papers and book chapters in the field and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Ecological Momentary Assessment of the Relationships between Sleep Disturbance, Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function, and Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients: The Impact of Daily Yoga-Based Exercise
Presenter: Kristin L. Schreiber, MD, PhD is a translational pain researcher with a background in Neuroscience. Her research focuses on the development of chronic pain after surgical injury and inflammation, with a goal to translate knowledge of the important mechanistic pathways to prevent the development of chronic pain in humans in the perioperative setting. She studies the mechanisms by which individual differences in psychosocial processing and nociceptive sensitivity lead to enhanced pain propensity and longevity in some people, but not others. With accurate measurement and understanding of these differences, prospective identification of individuals at highest risk of pain persistence may allow the processes underlying this propensity to be averted through preventive perioperative treatment. In collaboration with several investigators in many departments across the Harvard system, she also investigates mechanisms of pain processing, and how these differ between individuals with chronic pain using fMRI, sleep analysis, digital pills and quantitative sensory testing in humans, as well as how these may be modulated by non-opioid analgesic techniques including distraction, mindfulness, music and yoga-based exercise.
Integrated Yoga / Meditation-Based Therapy for Complex Sleep Apnea
Presenter: Amit N. Anand, MD is a faculty member in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his Bachelor in Medicine, Bachelor in Surgery (M.B.B.S.) Degree from Seth G.S. Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital in Bombay, India. Dr. Anand’s current research project is titled “Integrated Yoga / Meditation-Based Therapy for Complex Sleep Apnea” for which he received funding from the Osher Pilot Research Grant Award. Dr. Anand performed previous research, from 1997-2005, as a co-investigator assessing the Cardiovascular Consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, focused on the effects of intermittent and sustained hypoxia on autonomic tone and peripheral vascular control of blood pressure. He was also a co-investigator on a research project assessing the role of inducible nitric oxide synthase in regulation of the immune response by rat lung macrophages from 1996-1997. Dr. Anand has co-authored numerous publications and chapters.
Relation of DNA Methylation and Molecular Markers to Health and Well-being in Aging
Presenter: Olivia Okereke, MD, MS is a Board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She is Director of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director (Research) of the Geriatric Psychiatry Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Okereke’s programmatic goals are: (1) to identify modifiable risk factors involved in adverse mental aging and (2) to translate and apply knowledge gained into strategies for large-scale prevention of late-life depression and cognitive decline. Her research portfolio has been supported by numerous National Institutes of Health, University and foundation awards. Currently, she is: evaluating the role of dietary factors, such as vitamin D and omega-3, along with novel biologic markers in relation to risk of late-life cognitive decline and depression; testing effects of nutritional interventions on late-life mood in large-scale randomized trial settings; and addressing relations of later-life depression and anxiety to molecular markers of biological aging, with attention to their potential contributions to disparities in health and aging. Dr. Okereke is active in efforts to promote knowledge in geriatric mental health. She regularly provides education on healthy brain aging at community centers, Councils on Aging, and senior centers around Massachusetts. She has served on both the Board of Directors and the Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and has been a Past Chair of the Chapter’s Annual Meeting.