Annual Scientific Meeting

2023 Center for TB Research & TRAC Annual Scientific Meeting

The 2023 TRAC/TB Center Annual Meeting will be held on Monday, June 5th in the Owens Auditorium as well as on Zoom. The Annual Meeting Program will include the 2023 Maria Nikitin Memorial Lecture as well as a presentation by Maria Smilios, author of upcoming book The Black Angels.

View the agenda here – 2023 TB Center & TRAC Annual Meeting Agenda

2023 Maria Nikitin Memorial Lecture

Jennifer Furin, MD, PhD,
Lecturer, Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine

Jennifer Furin is an infectious diseases physician and medical anthropologist who specializes in the care of vulnerable and neglected populations who are impacted by TB. She has almost 30 years of experience providing clinical services and carrying out qualitative research to improve the lives of people with drug-resistant TB, including children, pregnant people, migrants, and incarcerated individuals. She was trained by Dr. Paul Farmer and currently works on global TB projects in collaboration with National TB Programs and Médecins Sans Frontières in South Africa, Liberia, Peru, Georgia, Ukraine, Lesotho, and Eswatini.

The Black angels – presentation by author maria smilios

New York City, 1929. A sanatorium, a deadly disease, and a dire nurse shortage.

In the dark pre-antibiotic days when tuberculosis killed one in seven people, white nurses at Sea View, New York’s largest municipal hospital, began quitting en masse. Desperate to avert a public health crisis, city officials summoned Black southern nurses, luring them with promises of good pay, a career, and an escape from the strictures of Jim Crow. But after arriving, they found themselves on an isolated hilltop in the remote borough of Staten Island, yet again confronting racism and consigned to a woefully understaffed sanatorium, dubbed “the pest house,” where word was “no one left alive.”

Spanning the Great Depression and moving through World War II and beyond, this remarkable true story follows the intrepid young women known by their patients as the “Black Angels.” For twenty years, they risked their lives working under appalling conditions while caring for 1800 of New York’s poorest residents who languished in wards, waiting to die or become “guinea pigs” for experimental surgeries  and often deadly, drugs. But despite their major role in desegregating the NYC hospital system—and their vital work in helping to find the cure for tuberculosis at Sea View—these nurses were completely erased from history. The Black Angels recovers the voices of these extraordinary women and puts them at the center of this riveting story, celebrating their legacy and spirit of survival.

Maria Smilios learned about the Black Angels while working as a science book editor at Springer publishing. A native New Yorker who loves history, medicine, and women’s narratives, she became determined to tell their story. In addition to interviewing historians, archivists, and medical professionals, she spent years immersed in the lives and stories of those close to these extraordinary women. Smilios holds a Masters of Arts from Boston University in Religion & Literature. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, and hanging out with her tween daughter and their rescue dog. This is her first book.



Joining in person? Register for in-person attendance here.




Joining virtually? Register here to receive the Zoom link.


The Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr., MD, PhD Award

The Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr. award is given each year to a trainee or trainees in the Center for Tuberculosis Research whose work exemplifies the commitment, industry, and vision demonstrated by Art during his long and illustrious career as a TB researcher. The award is presented annually at the Scientific Meeting of the Center for TB Research based on original research presented at the meeting by trainees. Individuals are nominated for the award by their mentors and decisions are based on a vote by the faculty of the TB Center during the meeting. Faculty eligible to vote are those with a full-time appointment within the TB Center or those committing a substantial amount of time to research collaborations in the Center.

Learn more and view previous Arthur M. Dannenberg Jr. Awardees here.