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Drs. Berman and Cunningham Give Presidential Lecture

From left, Dean Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D.; Pamela Stanley, Ph.D., presidential lecture chair and professor of cell biology; Dr. Chinazo Cunningham; Dr. Joan Berman; and Montefiore Medicine CEO Steven M. Safyer, M.D.

The third annual Presidential Lecture, which highlights outstanding research conducted at Einstein and Montefiore, featured the work of Joan W. Berman, Ph.D., and Chinazo Cunningham, M.D., M.S.

Their speeches, given on June 3, focused on buprenorphine, a drug used in medication-assisted treatment to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates. Dr. Berman, who studies the interaction of HIV with the central nervous system, including neuroAIDS, spoke about buprenorphine as a novel therapy for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

Dr. Berman was followed by Dr. Cunningham, whose research has shown that buprenorphine is highly effective in treating opioid-use disorder and carries a low risk of overdose and misuse, making it appropriate for office- and community-based treatment.

Dr. Berman is a professor of pathology and of microbiology & immunology and holds the Irving D. Karpas Chair in Medicine at Einstein. Dr. Cunningham is the associate division chief of general internal medicine at Einstein and Montefiore and a professor of medicine, of family and social medicine, and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Einstein.

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