Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences

A Modern Hippocratic Oath

On Saturday, more than 200 students at Tufts Medical School were welcomed into the medical profession during the annual White Coat Ceremony. The Class of 2016 came together at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston to receive their white coats and then celebrated at a reception at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

Common Health, a WBUR blog, wrote about the ceremony and also about the Hippocratic Oath that all medical doctors take. Although many people know of this oath, most don’t know that the modern version has a Tufts connection. The modern oath was written in 1964 by Dr. Louis Lasagna, who later became Dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. This updated oath emphasizes a “holistic and compassionate approach to medicine” and has been adopted by many medical schools.

Take a look at these excerpts from the old and new oaths (from the Common Health blog):


I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant.

Modern version by Dr. Louis Lasagna:

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

Congratulations to the newest Tufts medical students on receiving their white coats!

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Interview with President Monaco

Ever wonder how President Monaco takes his tea (spoiler alert: he doesn’t like tea) or what it’s like to live in Gifford House? Before his first commencement here at Tufts on Sunday, check out this “Interview with President Monaco” and get a glimpse into the life of Tony Monaco and his first year at Tufts:

Note: Though recently posted, this video was filmed earlier this year.

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Commencement 2012 Online

You may be on campus this Sunday for commencement or you may be cheering on your friends and family from afar. Either way, you can get an inside look at the day by following Tufts Commencement 2012 online. We’d love to have you join the conversation, so check out how you can take part:

  • Twitter: We’ll be live tweeting from @TuftsLive, so follow along from early morning preparation to the procession, the awarding of honorary degrees, and the commencement address. Use the hashtag #Tufts2012 to let us know what you’re up to.
  •  Web: Watch the live streamed ceremony at, where you will also find the @TuftsLive and #Tufts2012 feeds, so you’ll be sure to not miss a thing.
  • Instagram: We love photos! If you’re on campus, snap some pictures and tag them #Tufts or #Tufts2012. We’ll be capturing some shots too, so be sure to check them out (username: TuftsUniversity)
  • Facebook: We’ve been getting ready for commencement, and will have tons more photos to share just after the ceremony ends.
  • Foursquare: Check into Tufts University Commencement 2012 on Foursquare, include a shout out about graduation, and you’ll earn the Hats Off Badge.

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Post Grad Advice

If you’re thinking about going into scientific research post-graduation and need a little advice, fear not, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Phd. genetics student Sohini Mazumdar has your back. She recently blogged about the five things you should consider when looking for a lab to work in after college in Nature Network, a professional networking website for scientists around the world. Her post is colored by her experiences, which may give an invaluable voice for those struggling to find a lab.

4. Lab culture-
“Serious/hardcore” scientists dont like to consider this.. but it is critical. You are going to be spending the next 4-5 years of your life here, if you hate your lab you will be miserable. Lab culture comes in two flavors- 1: “is everyone in your lab a workaholic?, does your mentor monitor when you time stamp in and out? (eek!), is this going to take over your entire life? and 2: “Is your lab social? Are people friendly and collaborative?”.
I am all set on flavor one- I make my own schedule and do my own thing. I epic failed on flavor two- but I made up for it by having a social network at school outside of my own lab.

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Tufts Scientists Win Innovator Award

This year the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Innovator Award was given to a group of Tufts scientists. According to the grant website, the Innovator Award,

supports visionary individuals who have demonstrated creativity, innovative work, and leadership in any field including, but not limited to, breast cancer.

This groundbreaking research, headed by Tufts Chemistry Department’s David Walt, Ph.D, aims to use single-cell technology to find breast cancer at its early stages. Walt’s lab focuses on single-cell and single molecule technology, genetic variation, and other biochemical areas of research.

Other team members include associate professors at Tufts School of Medicine Rachel Buchsbaum, M.D., and Charlotte Kuperwasser, Ph.D., and Professor Gail Sonenshein, Ph.D. All three also work as faculty at the Sackler School.

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President Bacow: Under the Roof Tribute Video

Tufts President Lawrence Bacow was recently awarded the Under the Roof Leadership award for his work with the Somerville Homeless Coalition. This tribute video, presented by the Homeless Coalition, honors Bacow for his commitment to community service and active citizenship. As both an individual and the leader of the Tufts community, Bacow has taken a personal investment in getting involved in causes like the Homeless Coalition, and his initiative has inspired many others to do the same. Bacow explains the importance of the cause:

One way of measuring the justness of a society is [looking at] how it treats the most vulnerable among us…I think it’s important that we reach out, that we don’t turn a blind eye — that we try and engage, and that we try and help. And I am proud of what the university has been able to do to support the Homeless Coalition.”

Here’s the video honoring Bacow’s contribution:

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Greening the Curriculum

Tufts graduate student Elizabeth Mahaffy (A’11) and recent alumni Joseph Cutrufo (A’10) created a video called “Greening the Curriculum.” The video, which was produced in partnership with Tufts Institute of the Environment for the Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute, features conversations with students on the Medford/Somerville and Boston campuses about integrating environmental issues into Tufts classes. Both Mahaffy and Cutrufo are of the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program at Tufts.

Here’s the video:

Greening the Curriculum from JD Cutrufo.


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Tufts Does Trivia!

Tufts grad students from a range of disciplines within the health sciences recently joined together for a night of trivia. A recent post on the Friedman School’s Slow Food Tufts blog tells of the event:

Here on the downtown Boston campus of Tufts, we have several separate schools full of grad students working towards degrees in the health sciences (nutrition, dentistry, public health, medicine, biomedical science, and more). While we all pass by each other in the library and around campus, it’s not often that we have events involving more than one school. This all changed on a recent Thursday night, when students from the Friedman, Dental, Medical, PHPD, and Sackler programs came together to test their trivia knowledge! With questions submitted by professors from various disciplines, as well as some pop culture and Boston-specific trivia, everyone had their chance to shine – and to be occasionally stumped.”

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The Relay Innovation Engine

The Relay Innovation Engine, which identifies promising drug candidates from academic research institutions and early-stage biotechnology companies, is the brainchild of a Tufts University team of inventors (David Greenwald, Sackler; Brigham Hyde, M09; Rachel Lomasky, E05, E10) and a finalist for this year’s top 2011 Open Minds Video Competition award from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. The team is competing against more than a dozen other innovations from campuses around the world for the top prize.

Here’s the video entry that landed The Relay Innovation Engine a spot in the finals:

You can vote for The Relay Innovation Engine by selecting its video from the list of finalists and clicking “Submit.” The voting period ends today.

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Race, Place and Health Science

Tufts researchers from the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute have been featured in a podcast put out by Boston’s Museum of Science. The podcast, entitled “Race, Place and Health Science,” focuses on health studies in the Boston area. The piece covers issues such as the danger of living too close to the highway in Somerville and how the state of parks in Lawrence may affect obesity rates.

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