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Hadine Joffe, MD MSc

Dr. Joffe is the Executive Director of the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was recently appointed as the Paula A. Johnson Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School. With joint positions at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Joffe also directs the Women’s Hormones and Aging Research Program, which is dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of symptoms resulting from reproductive hormone changes in the brain. Her clinical and research work is focused on the course, mechanisms, and treatment of menopausal symptoms – including hot flashes, sleep disturbance, depression, and fatigue – in healthy women and in breast cancer patients. An experienced clinician and NIH-funded researcher in women’s mental health, she is also studying the effects of reproductive hormones on mood, as well as the reproductive and metabolic consequences of psychotropic medications. Dr. Joffe received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. She completed residency training in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and a fellowship in Reproductive Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. In recognition of her contributions to women’s health research, she was awarded the Thomas Clarkson Outstanding Clinical & Basic Science Research Award from the North American Menopause Society.

Jessica Harder, MD

Dr. Harder is a neuropsychiatrist with an interest in inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and neuropsychiatric disturbance. She obtained her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, completed her residency in psychiatry at the Harvard Longwood training program, and her fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is the principal investigator on a randomized controlled trial of salicylic acid as an augmenting agent for treatment-resistant depression, as well as co-investigator on a trial of an IL-6 receptor antagonist for the treatment of depression. She is currently working with Dr. Joffe on a study of premenstrual inflammatory markers and their association with depression.


Shadab A. Rahman, PhD MPH


Dr. Rahman . . .


Aviva Cohn, MD

Dr. Cohn is an endocrinologist with an interest in women’s health and endocrinology. She completed her medical degree and internal medicine residency at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and her fellowship training in endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Cohn has been a part of WHARP since her fellowship where she studied the changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis in relation to the hormonal and sleep changes characteristic of menopause under the mentorship of Dr. Joffe. Since graduating, Dr. Cohn is continuing to pursue her research interests in women’s aging and endocrinology at WHARP.


Leilah Grant, PhD

Dr. Grant is an Associate Physiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She joined BWH in 2018 after completing her PhD at Monash University in Australia. Dr. Grant’s research focuses the effects of sleep, the circadian system and light on cognitive performance, and metabolic and endocrine outcomes. With the Women’s Hormone and Aging Research Program, she is part of the team investigating the effects of sleep fragmentation and estradiol withdrawal on biomarkers of body fat gain in women.


Irene Gonsalvez, MD

Dr. Gonsalvez joined the Brigham and Women’s Psychiatry Department as Junior Faculty in 2020, also working as an Associate Researcher at WHARP since. She completed medical school from Universidad Miguel Hernandez in Spain and adult Psychiatry Residency training at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. She moved to Boston in 2012, after she was awarded with a Clinical Research grant from “La Obra Social La Caixa” in 2012, joining the Berenson-Allen Center at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston as a Research Fellow, where she spent 3.5 years participating in different research projects involving non-invasive brain stimulation in Alzheimer’s Disease and Schizophrenia. She is currently working with Dr. Joffe’s team on various projects. She plans to continue her clinical research career focusing on her main areas of interest, neuropsychiatry and brain gender differences.


Primavera Spagnolo, MD PhD

Dr. Spagnolo is a Research Scientist at the Department of Psychiatry (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Scientific Director of Connors Center First.In.Women Precision Medicine Platform. She holds an MD in Medicine and Surgery and a PhD in Pharmacology from Sapienza University in Rome, Italy and is specialized in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. She is a physician-scientist studying the neurobiological underpinnings, inter-relationships among, and treatment of addictive disorders and stress-related disorders. Her research uses endophenotype-based approaches that span across these diagnostic categories and combines different techniques and interventions, including neuromodulation and neuroimaging, behavioral pharmacology and genetics.

Aleta Wiley, MPH MSc – Senior Project Manager

Aleta joined the Women’s Hormones and Aging Research Program in late 2015 as the Project Manager. She completed her MPH in Epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health, her MS in Conservation Biology & Sustainability from the University of Maryland-College Park, and her BA in Psychology from the University of Chicago. Before joining WHARP, Aleta worked for the Nurses’ Health Study at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and for the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. She also completed a practicum at Slone Epidemiology Center for PRESTO, an Internet-based fertility cohort study. She is interested in studying women’s mental and reproductive health and investigating quality-of-life outcomes for women across the lifespan.


Monica Bennett Fonseka, MA – Research Specialist

Monica Bennett Fonseka is a Research Specialist in the Psychiatry department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She graduated from McGill University with a B.A.Sc. in Cognitive Science in 2010, then earned her M.S. in Psychology, specializing in cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics, from UMass Amherst in 2015. Monica has worked in psychiatric and neuroimaging research since joining the department in 2014. Her primary research interests include the intersection of cognition, psychiatry, and neuroscience, in addition to the study of reading and executive function, and related disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD.


Ancella Roy, MSc – Senior Research Coordinator

Ancella joined the Women’s Hormones and Aging Research Program in February 2021 as a Sr. Research Coordinator. She has an MSc in Applied Psychology from Pondicherry University, India, and another in Research Methods in Psychology from Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Before joining WHARP, Ancella worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. She enjoys teaching as well as research and worked as a Psychology teacher in Dubai and India, mentoring both AS/A level students and undergraduates.


Tianyu Luo, BS – Clinical Research Coordinator

Tianyu (Cindy) is a Clinical Research Coordinator who graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2021 with a BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Concentration in Theater Arts. During her time at MIT, she collaborated with graduate advisors and faculty from the Picower Institute of Learning and Memory and MIT Sloan School of Management on three different research projects aimed at exploring fear conditioning and visual feature-selective attention in animal models, and examining the effects of impostor phenomenon in the field of organizational behavior. Born in Shanghai and raised in LA, Cindy is a proud immigrant who has fallen in love with Boston ever since she moved here for college. Outside of work, she is either on her way to the dance studio or exploring local eateries. She plans to pursue a career in medicine in the future.


Ellexa Menezes, BA – Clinical Research Coordinator

Ellexa is a Clinical Research Coordinator who graduated from Boston University in May 2021 with a BA in Psychology. She completed her senior internship at the Dauten Family Center at MGH; there she assisted with various studies investigating treatments for bipolar disorder and conducted independent research on mindfulness treatments for chronic stress. Ellexa grew up in central Massachusetts and enjoys walking, biking, and rollerblading around Boston. She aims to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a specialty in Neuropsychology.


Anna Joseph, BA – Clinical Research Coordinator

Anna is a Research Assistant who graduated from Tufts University in May 2021 with a BA in History. At Tufts, she conducted independent research at the McVey lab utilizing CRISPR-mediated mutagenesis to determine DNA repair protein function in Drosophila melanogaster. Anna previously worked at the Connors Center in 2020 as our Health Communications Intern and also interned in the Brigham’s Office of Strategic Communications. She enjoys dancing, playing piano, and eating cookies, and plans to pursue a career in medicine.


Emily Sinrod, BS – Clinical Research Coordinator

Emily is a Research Assistant who graduated from Tufts University in May 2022 with a BS in Biopsychology. During her time at Tufts, she studied Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Dr. Lisa Shin exploring the impact of racism on health. She also interned at the Center for Depression and Anxiety Research at McLean Hospital studying the connection between childhood experiences, emotions, and the brain’s response to stress. Emily grew up in Villanova, Pennsylvania and enjoys expressing her creativity through dance, music, and cooking. She aims to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Fremonta Meyer, MD

Dr. Meyer is a consultation-liaison psychiatrist specializing in psycho-oncology, particularly women’s cancers. Her current research focuses upon characterizing risk factors and interventions for fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and depression in cancer patients. She is the principal investigator on a RCT assessing the effect of naltrexone on treatment-emergent fatigue during radiation therapy for breast cancer and is a co-investigator on Dr. Joffe’s study assessing predictors of hot flashes on adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer.


Leena Mittal, MD

Dr. Mittal is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Reproductive Psychiatry Consultation in the Department of Psychiatry at BWH. She currently provides inpatient and outpatient psychiatry consultations at BWH. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, residency training in the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, and a fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine at BWH. Her clinical interests include substance use and its treatment during pregnancy, as well as the mental health care of women with high risk pregnancy and with babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Dr. Mittal sees outpatients in a co-located clinic within the Maternal Fetal Medicine practice and is a consulting psychiatrist for McPAP for Moms.


Margo Nathan, MD

Dr. Nathan joined the Women’s Hormone and Aging Research Program in July 2016 as a clinical and research fellow and as junior faculty in July 2017. Prior to this she completed medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and her adult Psychiatry Residency training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. During her last year she served as chief resident. She has a particular interest in mood disorders and is hoping to pursue a career in academic psychiatry.


Jacob L. Taylor, MD MPH

Dr. Taylor joined WHARP in July 2017 as a co-investigator on Dr. Joffe’s protocols investigating sleep disturbance during menopause. He completed his MD, MPH, and residency in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University where he served as chief resident in his last year. He is currently a fellow working with the Broad Institute helping to develop tools for collecting phenotypic data in large-scale psychiatric genetic studies. He has a particular interest in mood disorders, substance-use disorders and non-substance related disorders of motivated behavior.


Jamie Coborn, PhD MS – Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Coborn joined Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology in July 2018. She completed her BS and MS in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Minnesota and her PhD in Nutritional Sciences, with a minor in Neuroscience, at the University of Arizona. Her doctoral research focused on the weight-related outcomes of disrupted sleep in male and female rodents, and on the neural mechanisms that underlie sex differences. Dr. Coborn has also studied the effects of orexin-A, a neuropeptide that stimulates energy expenditure and physical activity, on sleep and obesity in rodents and the effects of pharmacological therapies on sleep, bodyweight and energy metabolism in rodents exposed to sleep disruption.

As a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Dr. Coborn plans to continue her research into the connection between sleep disturbances and health outcomes, with a focus on sex differences and how health outcomes can be optimized in men and women suffering from poor sleep.


Suzanne Bertisch, MD MPH

– Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Matt Bianchi, MD PhD

– Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Janet Carpenter, PhD, RN

– Science of Nursing Care, Indiana University

Lee Cohen, MD

– Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital

Sybil Crawford, PhD

– University of Massachusetts Medical School

Marlene Freeman, MD

– Massachusetts General Hospital

Judy Garber, MD MPH

– Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Janet Hall, MD

– Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Ursula Kaiser, MD

– Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Elizabeth Klerman, MD PhD

– Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Pamela Mahon, PhD

– Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Erica Mayer, MD MPH

– Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Paul Newhouse, MD

– Director, Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Ann Partridge, MD MPH

– Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Hanneke Poort, PhD

– Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Shadab Rahman, PhD MPH

– Instructor, Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Deborah Schrag, MD MPH

– Chief, Division of Population Sciences, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Frank Scheer, PhD

– Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

J. Andrew Taylor, PhD

– Director, Cardiovascular Laboratory, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Rebecca Thurston, PhD

– Director, Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh

John Winkelman, MD PhD

– Chief, Sleep Disorders Clinical Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital

Miryam Yusufov, PhD

– Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Eric Zhou, PhD

– Psychologist, Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms & Health (MsFLASH)

– MsFLASH is a research group that conducts studies focused on relieving the most common, bothersome symptoms of menopause.  MsFLASH’s goal is to find promising treatments for these problems and improve the quality of life and health of midlife women as they age. Since 2008, the MsFLASH network has completed four clinical trials testing seven interventions that involved 1000 women between the ages  of 40 and 62 with hot flashes, sleep problems and other menopausal symptoms.

Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

– SWAN is a multi-site longitudinal, epidemiologic study designed to examine the health of women during their middle years. The study examines the physical, biological, psychological and social changes during this transitional period. The goal of SWAN’s research is to help scientists, health care providers and women learn how mid-life experiences affect health and quality of life during aging.

Clinical Research Coordinators

  • Mathena Abramson (2019-2021)
    Began PhD program in Clinical Psychology at University of Boston in 2021
  • Athena Erickson (2019-2021)
    Began PhD program in Clinical Psychology at Boston University in 2021
  • Elkhansaa Elguenaoui (2019-2021)
  • Lauren Finkelstein (2019-2020)
    Began PhD program in Clinical Psychology at University of Colorado-Boulder in 2020
  • Alina Fein (2018-2019)
    Began MSW program at Simmons University in 2019
  • Moira Nolan (2018-2019)
  • Akanksha Srivastava (2018-2019)
    Began MD program at Boston University in 2019
  • Julia Russell (2017-2019)
    Began PhD program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Kansas in 2019
  • Kathleen McCormick (2016-2018)
    Began PhD program in Human Development at Cornell University in 2019
  • Katie Sullivan (2015-2017)
    Began MD program at Brown University in 2017
  • Julie Camuso (2014-2016)
    Began PhD program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Vermont in 2016
  • Thania Galvan (2013-2015)
  • Semmie Kim (2013-2014)

 

Research Trainees

  • Nina Kosowsky (2020)
  • Sarina Hanfling (2019-2020)
  • Katherine Oh (2020)
  • Manjot Kaur (2019)
  • Lily Charron (2019)
  • Lindsay Walsh, MD candidate (2019)
  • Olivia Noe, MD candidate (2019)
  • Phoebe Gianis (2017-2018)
  • Catharine Hemp (2017)
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