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2024 media fellowship schedule 

Day 1: Wednesday, March 13  

Unless otherwise noted, sessions will take place in the Albert Sherman Center Cube on the third floor.  

6:30 p.m.: Arrival & welcome reception  

Meet in the lobby of the Albert Sherman Center on UMass Chan Medical School’s Worcester campus. Meet members of the Office of Communications and begin making connections with media fellows during a welcome reception. There will be hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. 

Day 2: Thursday, March 14  

8:30 a.m.:  Check-in and networking breakfast 

Arrive at UMass Chan’s Albert Sherman Center lobby to check-in. Join us for a light breakfast as you settle in and prepare for the day ahead. 

9 – 10:15 a.m.: Welcome from Chancellor Michael F. Collins  

Michael F. Collins, MD, is chancellor of UMass Chan Medical School and senior vice president for the health sciences for the University of Massachusetts system. Chancellor Collins will provide an overview of Massachusetts’ first and only public medical school, a leading academic destination and economic engine across the commonwealth. UMass Chan comprises three graduate schools - the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing; and unique business units, including ForHealth Consulting at UMass Chan. We are advancing together to improve the health and wellness of our diverse communities throughout Massachusetts and across the world by leading and innovating in education, research, health care delivery and public service.  

10:15 a.m.: Quick break  

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.: Delving into the mental health crisis  

Bring your questions to this panel discussion, as UMass Chan experts share their diverse perspectives and research about the complexities of the mental health crisis that is plaguing our society. Areas of expertise include maternal mental health, treatment-resistant depression, childhood trauma, interventions for people with serious mental illness and a special training pipeline for future mental health providers. 

  • Anthony Rothschild, MD, the Irving S. and Betty Brudnick Chair in Psychiatry and professor of psychiatry and vice chair of research for the Department of Psychiatry 
  • Nancy Byatt, DO, MS’15, MBA, professor of psychiatry, obstetrics & gynecology, and population & quantitative health sciences; executive director of Lifeline for Families Center & Lifeline for Moms Program; medical director of research and evaluation at the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) for Moms 

  • Jessica Griffin, PsyD, associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and executive director of Lifeline for Kids 

  • Xiaoduo Fan, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of UMass Mind  

  • Ché Anderson, assistant vice chancellor for city & community relations and lead of Dynamic Futures, a program that opens doors for high school students with diverse interests in mental health fields  

Noon – 12:30 p.m.: Lunch  

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.: The evolving landscape in vitiligo research    

Dive into the world of vitiligo research with renowned physician-scientist John E. Harris, MD, PhD’05, the Lambi and Sarah Adams Chair in Genetic Research, chair and professor of dermatology and director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMass Chan. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease of the skin that causes white spots. Dr. Harris will help you understand the fascinating history of vitiligo, current therapies and what’s on the horizon for research and treatment.  

1:45 p.m.: Coffee break  

2 – 3:30 p.m.: From bench to bedside: Spotlight on progress in gene therapy  

UMass Chan has emerged as a gene therapy powerhouse, inspired by families to find cures for rare genetic disorders. Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor, executive deputy chancellor, provost, dean of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine and professor of pediatrics, has been driving the progress. In the session, Dr. Flotte will provide an overview of the science behind gene therapy and UMass Chan’s pursuit for novel treatments. He will be joined by Guangping Gao, PhD, who has spent his career researching rare diseases. Dr. Gao, the Penelope Booth Rockwell Professor of Biomedical Research, professor of microbiology & physiological systems, director of the Horae Gene Therapy Center and director of the Li Weibo Institute for Rare Disease Research, will highlight milestones in Canavan disease research, beginning with his discovery of a gene mutation responsible for causing the disease and development of a gene therapy. Physician-scientist Dominic J. Gessler, MD, PhD’20, assistant professor of neurological surgery, will explore the next era in Canavan disease research. You will meet Lori and Lee Greenwood, of Boston, whose 3-year-old daughter, Noa, was one of the first to receive an experimental therapy for Canavan disease developed by UMass Chan. 

4:00 p.m.: Check email, return to the hotel and relax before dinner  

6:00 p.m.: Dinner with the fellows  

Meet at 110 Grill in Worcester for a casual dinner with the media fellows and the Office of Communications team. The address is 123 Front Street. Parking is available at the Worcester Common Garage (GPS: 3 Eaton Place, Worcester, Mass. 01655). The restaurant will validate parking after 5 p.m. The Office of Communications will organize carpooling for anyone without a car. 

Day 3: Friday, March 15  

8:30 a.m.:  Morning check-in and light breakfast 

Arrive at UMass Chan’s Albert Sherman Center lobby to check-in. Prepare for day two over a light breakfast.  

9 – 10:30 a.m.: Harnessing the power of digital technology, artificial intelligence in health care   

UMass Chan is focused on harnessing the power of digital technology and artificial intelligence to enhance the diagnosis and care of patients. You will hear from UMass Chan’s innovative team in the Program in Digital Medicine. Faculty will present research projects underway that demonstrate the possibilities of AI in health care.  

  • Neil Marya, MD’12, assistant professor of medicine and co-director of the Program in Digital Medicine, will provide an overview of the Program in Digital Medicine. Dr. Marya will explain promising AI research in cancer diagnosis.  

  • Apurv Soni, MD, PhD’21, assistant professor of medicine and co-director of the Program in Digital Medicine, will highlight a study about a toilet seat to manage health of chronically ill patients. 

  • Honghuang Lin, PhD, professor of medicine and co-director of the Program in Digital Medicine, will share his AI research to predict aging and risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.: Explore the new, state-of-the-art biomedical research building   

Location: NERB construction site  

*Please wear pants and close-toed shoes for the tour 

As finishing touches are being made to the new education and research building on UMass Chan’s campus, you will embark on a guided tour of the nine-story, 350,000 square foot facility. Get a glimpse inside the state-of-the-art building that will serve as a hub for groundbreaking research inside dynamic labs that will house more than 70 investigators. Learn about the building’s multiple energy efficient design elements, a geothermal heating and cooling system, as part of UMass Chan’s commitment to sustainability. Brian Duffy, senior director, facilities engineering & capital projects, and Suzanne Wood, associate director of sustainability and campus services, will be your tour guides. 

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Experience the emotions of Match Day! 

Location: Medical School lobby  

Step inside a packed lobby of anticipation as fourth-year medical students from the T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan open their Match Day envelopes to find out where they will begin their careers as doctors. For the life-changing moment, the soon-to-be resident physicians will be joined by family, friends, mentors, faculty and leadership. Across the U.S., all graduating medical students will open their “match” envelopes at the stroke of noon, eastern standard time.  

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch    

1:00 – 3:30 p.m.: Explore, engage and excel: Inside’s UMass Chan’s immersive learning space 

Location: iCELS 

Embark on a hands-on journey within UMass Chan’s state-of-the-art clinical education space where students in the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing and others develop and practice clinical skills. The interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning & Simulation, or iCELS, is an experiential learning resource meeting health care needs across the spectrum of providers and levels of training. iCELS offers a full spectrum of clinical simulation, including high fidelity manikins, standardized patient (SP) actors, skills labs and procedural training.  Observe and debrief an SP encounter. Take part in a simulation session to learn how to deliver naloxone and reverse opioid overdose. Tour the facility where cutting-edge technology and hands-on humanistic learning replicate medically accurate and emotionally authentic real-world experiences and shape clinicians of the present and future. 

3:30 p.m.: Wrap-up  

Complete a fellowship evaluation, wrap up and head out