Category Archives: Events

Patients, Caregivers, Doctors, Nurses, and More Come Together for a Successful Pituitary Day 2012

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On March 24, 2012, the Brain Science Foundation and Brigham & Women’s Hospital cosponsored Pituitary Day 2012. More than 100 people—patients, caregivers, family, and friends with leading clinicians, researchers, nurses and other experts—came together to discuss the latest in pituitary diagnosis and treatment.  Click here to view the welcoming remarks from the day, and here to view the days’ program.

The all-day event opened with the Brain Science Foundation’s newest Trustee, Costa Sideridis, giving the welcome. “I’m here today because I was once in your shoes as an attendee at this event,” began Mr. Sideridis. “I’ve now been to a few of these and I learn something each time. We’re really blessed to have an organization like the Brain Science Foundation and especially someone like Dr. Laws here to put in the energy and resources to offer this event. I’m honored to have this chance to welcome you and I hope everyone has a great day.” The all-star faculty, led by Dr. Edward Laws, included experts from a number of leading health care institutions, including Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.

The event covered a wide spectrum of topics—from the prognosis of various pituitary tumors, to surgical treatment and hormonal therapies. A popular session on the psychological aspects of pituitary disease also elicited a great deal of participation from the group. The event emphasized providing patients with information about their disease with ample opportunity for questions from the experienced faculty. “Tremendous day,” one patient noted. “I attended to understand Cushing’s better, but now I understand the whole pituitary system better.”

The Brain Science Foundation is proud to offer educational events aimed at directly benefiting patients, which aligns closely with our mission to improve the knowledge and understanding of primary brain tumors and brain function. With the great success of this day, we hope to offer the program again next year. In the near future, we will be cosponsoring the Master Class in Endoscopic Anterior Skull Base Surgery, a course for neurosurgeons and other health professionals to learn about and witness Dr. Laws’s advanced techniques for operating on pituitary tumors. Dr. Laws noted “I am more convinced than ever that this is a great thing to do for our patients. All of the talks and discussions and arrangements were outstanding.”

2011 Tee it Up for Brain Tumor Research

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2011 Golf & Tennis Classic a Success

On October 3rd, the Brain Science Foundation gathered with more than 150 supporters for the Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research Golf and Tennis Classic. Participants were welcomed with fantastic weather, the rare treat of playing during the harvesting of cranberries around the bog, and a moving testimonial from new grant recipient, Dr. Priscilla Brastianos. One participant noted, “from the contests to the amazing course and wonderful evening event—it was so great to be a part of this day and support this cause!”

Our top sponsor’s for the event included Suffolk Construction’s Red & Blue Foundation, EFG International, Ocean Spray Cranberries, and the Kessler Family Foundation. The BSF is truly appreciative of our sponsors! Other key sponsors included the Lagasse Group, Ferro-Ceramic Grinding Inc., Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Hinckley Yachts, Shields MRI, Cape Cod Healthcare, NetScout, MatMarket, Inc., Patrick Carney Foundation, Herb Connolly Acura, Good Works Foundation, Besse Landscape, and many individual sponsors who helped make the day a success.

One of the newest researchers receiving BSF funding, Dr. Priscilla Brastianos, attended and spoke about her new project, Identifying Drivers of Brain Metastases, and her inspiration. “My mother’s current struggle with metastatic breast cancer is a frequent reminder of the limited treatment options in this disease entity. Every time her cancer spreads to another location in her body, my drive to find new treatments strengthens.”

The Brain Science Foundation is grateful to all the sponsors, participants, volunteers, and donors to the auction for the incredible support! Their contributions are sure to help make the coming year one of the most impactful in the Foundation’s history.

Pituitary Day 2010

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Boston’s first ever Pituitary Day proved a resounding success; bringing critical awareness to pituitary disorders. A consortium of world-class physicians presented the latest research and understandings of pituitary disease in hope of improving diagnosis and treatment. Sponsored by the Brain Science Foundation, Shield’s MRI, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Pituitary Neuroendocrine Center, Pituitary Day hosted nearly one hundred patients, families, physicians, and health care providers.

Longtime BSF Principal Investigator Edward R. Laws, Jr., MD, Surgical Director of the BWH Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center, sought to bring the program to Boston after many successful years in California. His primary reason was to raise awareness of the unnoticed abundance of pituitary disease in the population. Regular autopsies have revealed an estimated twenty-five percent of the population have some form of the disease; most never showing symptoms.

Dr. Laws recruited colleagues from the BWH Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center to present this informative program at the Bornstein Amphitheater at Brigham & Women’s Hospital on November 13, 2010.

The day kicked off with a few words from the sponsors of the event. Kathy Haley, Co-Founder of the Brain Science Foundation, Siobhan Quinn of Shields MRI, and Dr. Laws on behalf of BWH expressed their gratitude to everyone for attending. Zachary Litvack, MD and Ursula Kaiser, MD presented first with a rich base of knowledge concerning the Pituitary gland itself and many of its disorders. Whitney Woodmansee, MD presented on Hypopituitarism and replacement medications.

After a brief Q&A and break, Sherry Iuliano, MSN, NP covered the agonizing headaches common to pituitary disease. Dr. Laws followed with a detailed slideshow describing the surgery involved with removing pituitary tumors. At the conclusion to Dr. Laws’ lecture, the entire surgeon body formed a panel to answer questions from the audience.

Further presentations included Dr. Valerie Golden’s discussion of the psychological aspects related to pituitary disease and Sashank Prasad, MD talk on the effects of pituitary tumors on vision assessment and outcomes.

Participants attended their choice of four breakout sessions, each led by one of the day’s presenters. The highly specific groups allowed individuals to ask more demanding questions and meet others with similar situations.

Finally, Valerie Golden, PhD led the concluding seminar of the psychological challenges of pituitary disorders. This session was a powerful culmination to an informative and empowering day.

Participant Comments

“Thank you sincerely. I can’t put into words how helpful it was to learn from the pros in a lay person’s terms. The passion of all the doctors shined through.”
Patient New York, NY

“This day showed me how much my doctors do care and want to make things better. I thoroughly enjoyed this event and would attend another.”
Patient Roslindale, MA

“Thank you so much for everything you do!!!”
Patient Hingham, MA

“The opportunity to discuss situations with other patients was invaluable.”
Patient Boston, MA

“Everyone was very informative and very open to answer a variety of questions. Fantastic Program. Thank you.”
Family Member/Friend Winthrop, MA

“Thank you for sharing your knowledge and insight to this disease. Great to talk and share with other patients.”
Patient Hampstead, NH

“Wonderful! Very informative and well planned.”
Family Member/Friend Lee, MA

Meningioma Awareness Day 2010

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The Brain Science Foundation held the Fourth Annual Meningioma Awareness Day: Empowerment Starts Here on Friday, October 1, and Saturday October 2, 2010. Patients and their family members and caregivers had the opportunity to join medical professionals and brain tumor advocates to learn more about the detection, treatment and management of meningioma. Sponsored by the Hahnemann Hospital Foundation and the Daniel E. Ponton Fund for the Neurosciences at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the event attracted participants from all over the United States.

This year’s event had an added component, affording participants the opportunity to speak directly with doctors and other health care professionals. On the evening of Friday, October 1, guests arrived at Boston’s historical Hampshire House (home of “Cheers”) where they were welcomed by BSF leadership and world renowned medical professionals for an informal question and answer session. The evening event, “One-on-One: Your Questions Answered”, was sponsored by the Daniel E. Ponton Fund for the Neurosciences at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and was intended to give patients and their families a chance to dialogue directly with doctors and nurses regarding their care. Sixteen healthcare professionals were on hand to sit with patients and caregivers to answer their questions and help lead them to available resources. Attendees were welcomed by Steven Haley, BSF Founder, David Silbersweig, MD, Director of the Institute for the Neurosciences at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Daniel Ponton, event sponsor and BSF Trustee. The evening culminated with an elegant buffet and reception, giving attendees an opportunity for networking and fellowship.

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, participants arrived at the state of the art Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School for a day of seminars regarding meningioma. The day was divided into segments that follow the journey from diagnosis through post-treatment management. Each segment was introduced by a patient or caregiver who shared their story with the audience before presenting the next topic area. The first segment was entitled Current Epidemiology and featured lectures by Carol Kruchko, President of the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States and Elizabeth Claus, PhD, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Claus, a BSF Principal Investigator and pioneer in the field of meningioma epidemiology, has recently received funding from the National Institutes of Health to support the first ever Genome Wide Association Study of Meningioma. Dr. Claus and her colleagues from the Meningioma Consortium were on hand to share information on the study and even enroll participants. The Consortium hopes to identify and examine the environmental, genetic, pathological and clinical variables associated with meningioma risk. Ms. Kruchko presented a historical review on the collection and reporting of brain tumor statistics, as well as their impact on research and treatment, noting that 34% of all primary brain tumors in the United States are classified as meningioma, making it the most frequently reported brain tumor.

In the next segment, participants learned about the Integrated Patient Centered Care Model that is being launched at the Institute for the Neurosciences at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Institute Director David Silbersweig, MD, Research Leader Philip De Jager, MD, described the model as “one-stop shopping” for patients, where the specialists from the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, neuroradiology and neuropathology work together to provide coordinated care to the whole patient. This concept of coordinated healthcare is mutually beneficial to the patient and medical professional, and will revolutionize healthcare delivery. Susceptibility and Detection was the next topic area, and Mark Johnson, MD PhD, and Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD, gave talks concerning Cancer Genomics and Meningioma. Johnson discussed what has been learned in recent years about the behavior of meningioma, and how this information may alter the diagnosis and treatment of meningiomas in the future. Beroukhim went on to discuss how technical advances have reduced the cost of genome reconstruction. This will allow scientists to better identify what went wrong in meningioma cells, thereby laying the groundwork for determining how to treat meningioma.

Drs. Alex Golby and Nathalie Agar presented the next topic area, Image Guided Therapy. Dr. Golby discussed current and future imaging techniques for neurosurgical planning and intra-operative decision making. Dr. Agar then gave a talk about the role of mass spectrometry in image guided surgery.

The next segment, Treatment and Dialogue with your Physician, featured Neurosurgeon Ossama Al-Mefty, MD, Neuro-oncologist Patrick Wen, MD and Radiation Oncologist Stephanie Weiss, MD. Dr. Al-Mefty addressed the all-important question, “Will my meningioma come back?” He discussed the role of surgery in influencing the possibility of recurrence. Dr. Wen’s talk detailed information on chemotherapies, hormonal therapies and targeted molecular therapies. Dr. Weiss demystified the use of radiotherapy in meningioma treatment.

Drs. Jong Woo Lee and William Gormley delved into the issue of Managing Symptoms Post Treatment, including side effects from medications and prevention of secondary complications.
National Brain Tumor Society’s Director of Patient Services, Harriet Patterson, MPH, delivered the final segment of the day, Healthcare Reform and Patient Issues. Ms. Patterson talked about the impact of Healthcare Reform on patient care, specifically for the brain tumor patient.

The day drew to a close with remarks from BSF Founder Steven Haley, including an announcement that the Fifth Annual Meningioma Awareness Day will be held in April of 2012, as a kick off for Brain Tumor Awareness Month. The BSF would like to thank the Hahnemann Hospital Foundation and the Daniel E. Ponton Fund for the Neurosciences at Brigham & Women’s Hospital for their generosity in sponsoring Meningioma Awareness Day 2010. We are also grateful to our planning committee and speakers for devoting their time and effort toward this conference.

Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research 2010: Second Annual BSF Golf and Tennis Classic

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The Brain Science Foundation’s Golf & Tennis Classic, “Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research” was held on Monday, September 20, 2010 at Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee, MA.  The second annual classic drew 96 golfers and 12 tennis players to participate, and raised over $70,000 that will go directly toward research to help eradicate meningiomas and other primary brain tumors.

Top sponsors included Suffolk Construction’s Red & Blue Foundation, EFG International, Wells Fargo, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Kessler Family Foundation, New England Capital and Arbor Networks. The BSF is truly appreciative of our sponsors!

Along Willowbend’s Bog and Bend courses, golfers had a chance to participate in several contests, adding a little fun competition to the day.  Hole-in-One Sponsors included Mercedes-Benz of Shrewsbury and Herb Connolly Motors. Golfers admired the brand new Mercedes Benz and Acura located on the links. There were several close shots but the cars did not find new owners that day!  Players also enjoyed the signature “Chip Away Brain Tumors” chipping contest, where players were challenged to chip brain shaped stress balls into the cup, and also had a chance to qualify for the “Shoot Out” competition based on the longest drive.

After playing 18 holes, everyone enjoyed the cocktail reception, sponsored by NatureWorks Landscape Services, Inc. During the reception, guests had a chance to cheer on the Shoot Out qualifiers as they went head to head in the final competition. Players gathered for dinner in the Willowbend dining room and heard from Steven Haley, BSF Founder. Steven expressed his thanks at a dinner presentation:

“The BSF seeds primary initiatives having to do with quality of care / quality of life issues. Without research, promising treatment and the prevention of tumors will not come anytime soon. Eighty percent of research must be done before a researcher can receive major funding. Many researchers have been able to use BSF seed money to do preliminary work and later seek NIH funding. We are pleased with the advancements that have been made. Let’s expedite the whole process of exploration, research, diagnostics, treatment and education.”

Breakfast/Lunch at the Brigham

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In 2009, the BSF launched a new educational event series that aims to bridge the gap between the medical research community and lay public. The BSF’s “Breakfast / Lunch at the Brigham” provides BSF members with the chance to connect with clinicians and researchers over the latest scientific findings across BSF funded research projects as well as other neurooncology research initiatives happening within Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Department of Neurosurgery.

Each quarter, friends of the BSF are invited to BWH for breakfast and a lecture from a top researcher from the BWH and/or affiliates Children’s Hospital-Boston and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The intimate sessions allow plenty of time for questions and networking with faculty and hospital leadership.

Meningioma Summit 2005

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The BSF sponsored the first International Meningioma Summit convened in the United States. On October 13, 2005, bringing together neurosurgeons, basic science researchers and clinicians from around the world to present to each other on the topic of meningioma, the most common type of primary brain tumor.

At the end of the session, the general consensus was that this multi-disciplinary convention was very productive and that the session should be repeated on a larger scale involving more scholars, doctors and patients.


  • Dr. Peter M. Black, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Jay Loeffler Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Dr. Jacques Brotchi, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
  • Dr. Margaret McLaughlin Broad Research Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Elizabeth Claus, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Necmettin Pamir Marmara University Institute of Neurological Sciences, Istanbul
  • Mr. Steven Haley Brain Science Foundation
  • Dr. Naren Ramakrishna Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women’s Cancer Center
  • Dr. Michel Kalamarides Hospital Beaujon, Paris
  • Dr. Charles Stiles Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women’s Cancer Center
  • Dr. Edward Laws University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Dr. Patrick Wen Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women’s Cancer Center