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DR. JEROME GROOPMAN – Health and Wellness Speaker

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Dr. Groopman holds the Dina and Raphael Recanati Chair of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and is Chief of Experimental Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He received his B.A. from Columbia College summa cum laude and his M.D. from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He served his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Following that, his specialty fellowships in hematology and oncology were performed at the University California and the Children’s Hospital/Sidney Farber Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Groopman served on the Advisory Council to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for AIDS-related matters, as Consultant for the Center for Biological Evaluation and Research at FDA, and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Senior Biomedical Service Credentials Committee. He also was Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the FDA for Biological Response Modifiers, and was an original member of the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences Committee on AIDS. He serves on many scientific editorial boards and has published more than 150 scientific articles.

Dr. Groopman’s research has focused on the basic mechanisms of cancer and AIDS. He did seminal work on identifying growth factors which may restore the depressed immune systems of AIDS patients and on treatment for AIDS-related neoplasms, particularly Kaposi’s sarcoma and lymphoma. He performed the first clinical trials utilizing recombinant colony stimulating factors and erythropoietin to augment blood cell production in immunodeficient HIV-infected patients. He has been a major participant in the development of many AIDS-related therapies including AZT, ddI, ddC, d4T, 3TC and most recently the protease inhibitors. His basic laboratory research involves understanding how blood cells grow and communicate (“signal transduction”), and how viruses cause immune deficiency and cancer. He is active in regional and national education activities in AIDS and cancer medicine, and the training and education of young scientists in these fields.

Recently, Dr. Groopman has extended the research infrastructure in genetics and cell biology to studies in breast cancer and neurobiology. The Laboratory has discovered a gene called CHK which appears to oppose the growth of breast cancer cells. A concerted research program has developed to both exploit this discovery and create new therapies for breast cancer as well as search for other genes which may influence breast cancer growth and spread. In neurobiology, the Laboratory has identified a new gene family in the brain which appears to regulate the growth of neurons. Research is ongoing to understand how these genes may be deranged in degenerative neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Groopman also has established a large and innovative program in clinical research and clinical care at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an institution which provides specialized medical services to people with AIDS and cancer. He has also been active in community education projects, fostering AIDS awareness among teenagers and young adults. He has authored several editorials on policy issues in The New Republic, Washington Post and the New York Times. His first popular book, “The Measure of Our Days,” published in October, 1997 by Viking Penguin, explores the spiritual lives of patients with serious illness, and the opportunities for fulfillment they sometimes find. It was serialized in The New Yorker and in The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. In 1998, he became a staff writer in medicine and biology to The New Yorker. His second book entitled “Second Opinions: Stories of Intuition and Choice in the Changing World of Medicine,” was published in February 2000. The “Anatomy of Hope,” is his third book.

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