research faculty

Additional information can be found on our department research webpages:

BIDMC/MMHC Department of Psychiatry Research

BWH Department of Psychiatry Research

Geena Athappilly, M.D.

Overview of Research: Women's Mental Health, Geriatric Mental Health

Specific Research Interests: Pilot Record Review Study Investigating the relationship between mood/anxiety and various phases of the reproductive life cycle

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Arthur Barsky, M.D.

Overview of Research: Hypochondriasis, somatization, and psychological influences on somatic symptom reporting

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Barsky's work has focused on hypochondriasis, somatization, and psychological influences on somatic symptom reporting in the medically ill. His descriptive and empirical studies of hypochondriacal patients in ambulatory medical practice led to the formulation of somatosensory amplification as a pathogenic mechanism in the formation of hypochondriacal complaints.

Bill Beardslee, M.D.

Overview of Research: Development of children at risk because of severe parental mental illness

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Beardslee's research focuses on depression in children. He is principal investigator of a long-term study that he and several colleagues first embarked upon in 1979 studying the lives of 275 children from 143 families in which the parents had depression or several risk factors for depression.

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Susan Block, M.D.

Overview of Research: End-of-life and serious illness communication, health system change, physician behavior change

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Block has been a national leader in the development of the fields of palliative medicine and pscyhooncology and has contributed to research in medical education, palliative care, psychooncology, and health system change.  She leads the Serious Illness Care Program, place at Ariadne Labs, a laboratory for health system innovation at BWH and Harvard School of Public Health.  The Serious Illness Care Program is a large multi-site quality improvement research program designed to test a simple communication and training intervention for patients with serious illness, to improve their receipt of care concordant with their goals, and their quality of life.  She is the author of over 150 publications and has won numerous awards for education, research and leadership.

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Jon Borus, M.D.

Overview of Research: Residency, medical student, post-graduate medical education

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Borus's clinical interests include adjustment disorder, anxiety disorders, couples therapy, mood disorders, and psychiatric problems of medical professionals. He also has considerable expertise in medical education at all levels of training.

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Roscoe Brady, M.D.

Overview of Research: Bipolar disorder, neurophysiology, genetics

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Brady’s research is focused on understanding the physiology of different mood states in bipolar disorder as well as the physiology underlying mood instability in bipolar disorder. He is also interested in identifying biomarkers that differentiate between bipolar and unipolar depression. Specific techniques used in these studies include fuctional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

David DeMaso, M.D.

Overview of Research: Responses of children and their families to the psychological stresses associated with chronic illness

Specific Research Interests: Dr. DeMaso's clinical research focuses on the responses of children and their families to the psychological stresses associated with chronic illness, especially cardiac disease. He also investigates and assesses issues in the practice of pediatric medicine, such as those surrounding support staff, care of children in ICU and other difficult situations, and in the uses of newer technologies to communicate with families.

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Philip De Jager, M.D., Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Statistical genetics and computational biology to neurologic diseases

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Eric Drogin, J.D., Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Forensic Psychology

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Robert M. Goisman, M.D.

Overview of Research: Psychosocial rehabilitation, anxiety disorders, and cognitive-behavioral therapy

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Jill Goldstein, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Sex differences in the brain and psychiatric disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Goldstein's research has focused on sex differences in the normal brain and how this may help us understand sex differences in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.

John Grimaldi, M.D.

Overview of Research: Psychiatric aspects of HIV/AIDS

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Tom Gutheil, M.D.

Overview of Research: Forensic psychiatry

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David Jimerson, M.D.

Overview of Research: Psychosocial and psychobiological factors contributing to bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder and related disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Jimerson's research is directed toward a greater understanding of psychosocial and psychobiological factors contributing to illness onset, symptom perpetuation, recovery, and treatment non-response in patients with eating disorders. Current investigations focus on the role of decreased CNS serotonin function in binge eating behaviors, mood dysregulation and incomplete response to treatment.

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Hadine Joffe, M.D., M.Sc.

Overview of Research: Women’s mental health, hormonal basis of neuropsychological symptoms in reproductive endocrine-related behavioral symptoms, menopause, breast cancer survivorship

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Joffe’s work focuses on the mechanisms, interactions among, and treatment of menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, sleep disturbance, and depression in healthy women and cancer patients. She has studies the role of reproductive hormones in mood and behavioral symptoms in women during reproductive transitions and reproductive consequences of psychotropic medications.

Available Research Projects for Residents: Residents can participate in any of Dr. Joffe's active studies as well as access data from prior projects.

Women's Hormone and Aging Research Program (WHARP) page >

Dr. Joffe's Harvard Catalyst page >

Dr. Joffe's Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center page >


Matcheri Keshavan, M.D.

Overview of Research: Neuroimaging and schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and developmental neuropsychiatric disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Keshavan's neuroimaging research interests are focused on the structural, functional and neurochemical bases of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and other developmental neuropsychiatric disorders. Clinical research interests include early intervention in schizophrenia, especially as it pertains to the premorbid and prodromal phases of this illness.

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Bernat Kocsis, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Sleep medicine and neurophysiology

Specific Research Interests: The central focus of Dr. Kocsis's research is the subcortical regulation of hippocampal function and is guided by the general hypothesis that the role of this regulation is to build dynamic associations between several limbic structures that are synchronized by oscillatory population activity.

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Cindy H. Liu, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Maternal and child stress and risk in mental health, socio-emotional development, culture and health disparities

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Liu’s research focuses on culture and socio-emotional development, and race and ethnic disparities related to maternal and child mental health. Current projects focus on prenatal and postpartum stress measurement in mothers and infants involving behavioral observations, self report, and biological markers (i.e., hair cortisol), and the identifying stress and signs of mental illness and addressing stigma among ethnic minority families.

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Bob McCarley, M.D.

Overview of Research: Sleep and Dreaming/Schizophrenia and Neuroimaging

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Raquelle Mesholam-Gately, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Neurocognition, cognitive enhancement/remediation, olfaction, and reward system functioning in schizophrenia; Consumer-based participatory mental health research.

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Mesholam-Gately’s research focuses on neurocognitive functioning throughout the course of schizophrenia (including the putatively prodromal/clinical high risk stage), the link between olfaction and the brain’s reward system in schizophrenia, and the improvement of current cognitive remediation efforts in schizophrenia, including the study of novel methods and the use of reward-enhancing strategies. She is also involved in consumer-based participatory mental health research with the “Consumer Advisory Board”, a mental health consumer-directed and staffed policy and research organization, and is currently leading a study examining consumer-clinician relationships in mental health.

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Greg Miller, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Genetics and neurobiology of substance abuse

Specific Research Interests: The overall focus of Dr. Miller's research encompasses multifaceted aspects of the biology of neuropsychiatric and drug addiction disorders. The research is multidisciplinary, highly collaborative, and utilizes biochemical, molecular, cellular, behavioral and genetic approaches.

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Sarah Minden, M.D.

Overview of Research: Multiple Sclerosis

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John Mooney, M.D.

Overview of Research: Neurotransmitters, mechanisms of action of psychotropic medications

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Mooney is completing studies on the receptor-G protein-adenylate cyclase complex in blood cells before and during treatment of depressive disorders with antidepressant medications. He is also collaborating on studies involving the Affective Disorders Consult Service.

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Fremonta Meyer, M.D.

Overview of Research: Characterizing risk factors and interventions for fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and depression in cancer patients

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Megan Oser, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Cognitive Behavioral intervention in Behavioral Medicine

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Oser’s psychological treatment development and outcome research focuses on acceptance and mindfulness-based behavioral therapy models applied within medical settings and among patients with medical conditions.

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BWH CBT Program website

John Peteet, M.D.

Overview of Research: Psychosocial oncology, spirituality and psychiatry

Specific Research Interests: Current projects include studies of the relationship between psychotherapy and spiritual direction, the effect of including a chaplain in psychosocial oncology rounds, education of psychiatry residents in spirituality and psychiatry, and the influence of a therapist’s world view.

Available Research Projects for Residents: Education of Psychiatry Residents in Spirituality and Psychiatry.

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Patricia Rieker, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Gender and other social determinants of mental health and health

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Rieker's research centers on the social and biological determinants of gender differences in the development of physical and mental health and treatment outcomes. This includes the application and further elaboration of Constrained Choice theory for understanding health differences and disparities.

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Jim Rodrigue, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Behavioral health and transplantation

Specific Research Interests: This behavioral health research program represents a collaboration between the Department of Psychiatry and the BIDMC Transplant Center. Research in the program has four primary aims: (1) identification of the psychological and behavioral health sequelae associated with solid organ transplantation, (2) examination of the relationship between behavioral health variables and primary transplant outcomes (e.g., morbidity, mortality), (3) development, implementation, and evaluation of psychological and behavioral health interventions designed to enhance primary transplant outcomes (e.g., patient and graft survival, quality of life, patient-centered outcomes), and (4) identification of factors influencing organ donation decisions and the evaluation of interventions to increase rates of both living and deceased.

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Rachel Ross, M.D., Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Neurocircuitry of feeding and anxiety-like behavior

Specific Research Interests: The Lowell Lab utilizes genetic engineering techniques in mice - in conjunction with electrophysiology - and a number of other techniques, such as optogenetics and expression of "designer receptors," to study central neurocircuits controlling behavior, body weight homeostasis and fuel metabolism. The Eating Disorder Research Program, led by Dr. David Jimerson, uses imaging and biomarkers to describe the pathophysiology involved in human presentations of eating disorders. Dr. Ross is focusing her studies between these groups on the role of the neuropeptide PACAP and the neurons that express it, in animals and in humans, within these circuits and in circulation.

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Available Research Projects for Residents: For more information about research opportunities for residents, please e-mail Dr. Ross at .

Carl Salzman, M.D.

Research: Dr. Salzman has had a long career in psychopharmacology research. Beginning with pharmacokinetic and clinical outcome trials with benzodiazepines, he became an international expert in the field. This led to his becoming chair and principal author of the American Psychiatric Task Force report on benzodiazepines. His latest contribution on benzodiazepines safety has just been published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacolgy.

Dr. Salzman also has pioneered clinical research in geriatric psychopharmacology; some colleagues have referred to him as “the father of geriatric psychopharmacology”. He has published numerous papers and books, including the seminal text: “Clinical Geriatric Psychopharmacology” now in its 4th edition.

Dr. Salzman no longer conducts research although he consults with others on their projects and helps residents formulate their research plans. He continues to serve on several journal editorial boards, is often invited to be a guest speaker and visiting professor, and is a life long fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology , the primary organization for psychopharmacology research.

Russell Schutt, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Relationship between individuals and the social environment

Specific Research Interests: Homelessness and mental illness; effect of the social environment on cognitive and community functioning; the meaning and consequences of service preferences; organization of community-based care systems and delivery of care in the community.

Available Research Projects for Residents: Improving Outcomes for (Dually Diagnosed) Veterans with Peer Support. 2011- . Co-Investigator,with Marsha Ellison, PhD. (PI) and David Smelson, PhD. $1,098,060. Veterans Administration.

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Larry Seidman, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Etiology and pathophysiology of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Schizophrenia

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Seidman's research also includes clarifying the biology of schizotypal personality disorder and its evolution into psychosis. He also studies the etiology and pathophysiology of ADHD and schizophrenia.

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Martha Shenton, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Neuroimaging in Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia-related disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Other Neuropsychiatry Disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Shenton's laboratory is focused on neuroimaging studies in schizophrenia and schizophrenia related disorders as well as traumatic brain injury, including sports-related injuries. She and her collaborators have also been involved in neuroimaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder, concussion in professional football players and hockey players, and subconcussive blows to the head in elite soccer players. Her laboratory is also working with collaborators in Portugal on a project investigating brain abnormalities in William's Syndrome patients. Her laboratory is supported by NIH funds, private foundation funds, and funds from the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs Merit Award program. The lab hosts trainees from around the world.

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David Silbersweig, M.D.

Overview of Research: Functional neuroimaging research and psychiatric disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Silbersweig's research focuses on the development and application of new neuroimaging techniques to localize and characterize brain circuitry dysfunction underlying major psychiatric disorders.

Elizabeth Simpson, M.D.

Overview of Research: Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Simpson's work focuses on partial hospital, outpatient, and residential Dialectical Behavior Therapy services to chronically mentally ill people with borderline personality disorder.

Warner Slack, M.D.

Overview of Research: Use of computers in medicine

Specific Research Interests: Over the past 50 years, Dr. Slack has focused his research on the use of computers to improve communication in the field of medicine and to empower both patients and doctors for better health care.

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Roger Spealman, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Neurobiology and neuropharmacology of substance abuse

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Spealman is investigating the neurobiological basis of cocaine, heroin and sedative addiction using advanced primate behavioral models in conjunction with neuropharmacological and physiological approaches. The goal of this research is to develop improved pharmacotherapies to treat drug addiction and prevent relapse.

Adam Stern, M.D.

Overview of Research: Participant in Pilot studies of TMS theta-burst stimulation in cerebellum for schizophrenia and TDCS & CBT for Depression

Specific Research Interests: Neuromodulation

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Emily Stern, M.D.

Overview of Research: Neuroradiology

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Bob Stickgold, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: The evolution of memories during sleep and wake

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Stickgold's research seeks to discover the role of sleep and wake in off-line memory processing. His studies of sleep and memory have provided definitive evidence demonstrating the importance of sleep in learning and memory consolidation, and the impact of its failure in schizophrenia.

Available Research Projects for Residents: We are currently carrying out extensive NIH-funded studies of the process by which memories are selected for subsequent sleep-dependent processing, as well as the consequences of impaired sleep physiology on both cognitive deficits and positive symptoms in schizophrenia.

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Bill Stone, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Schizophrenia, Neuropsychology, Memory and Executive Function

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Joji Suzuki, M.D.

Overview of Research: Alcohol and substance use disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Suzuki studies alcohol and substance use and abuse; addictive disorders.

Russ Vasile, M.D.

Overview of Research: Assessment and treatment of depression and anxiety disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Vasile's research has included topics such as the psychopharmacologic management of depression and anxiety disorders, biopsychosocial approaches to affective disorders consultation, and the use of brain imaging in the assessment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

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Barbara Wolfe, Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Psychobiology of eating disorders

Specific Research Interests: Dr. Wolfe's research focuses on the psychobiology of eating disorders; in particular, on the relationship between neurotransmitter functioning and mood, impulsivity, and eating behavior.

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David Wolfe, M.D.

Overview of Research: Medical psychiatry

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Wilson Woo, M.D., Ph.D.

Overview of Research: Neurobiology of psychosis

Specific Research Interests: This laboratory is interested in understanding how specific classes of inhibitory local circuit neurons in the cerebral cortex, which regulate distinct aspects of information processing, are involved in the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders, utilizing a variety of cellular, molecular, genetic, and genomic techniques. The laboratory is also part of a Harvard-wide NIH-funded Schizophrenia Research Center of which a major focus is to try to understand how inhibitory neuronal dysfunction may play a role in triggering the onset and disease progression during the early course of schizophrenia. Previous work in this laboratory has informed the conceptualization of clinical trials that test novel therapeutic hypotheses.