BWH psychiatric investigators are making substantial contributions toward
advancing the understanding of mental illness and its treatment. These investigations have generally been concentrated in three areas: psychiatric neurosciences; population-based, mental health services and treatment research; and longitudinal studies of adult development.
Three major laboratory groups have been working on brain circuitry and brain development in psychiatric disorders. The Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory, directed by Drs. Emily Stern and David Silbersweig, has performed ground-breaking work localizing the fronto-limbic dysfunction in brain circuitry that underlies the core features of several psychiatric disorders, including psychosis in schizophrenia, anhedonia in major depression, and emotional dyscontrol in borderline personality disorder. They are developing systems-level biomarkers that can provide a foundation for new diagnostic approaches and therapeutic targets in psychiatry. They are also studying the role of neuroinflammation in neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Martha Shenton, director of the BWH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Laboratory, has performed widely-cited work utilizing structural MRI techniques to study of schizophrenia, demonstrating a reduction in volume and disruptions of connectivity among several limbic and cerebral structures. Dr. Jill Goldstein, also Director of Research for the Connors Women's Health Center, has led numerous pioneering studies focusing on fetal antecedents to sex differences in normal brain, and fetal antecedents to sex differences in schizophrenia and depression in adulthood.
Dr. Arielle Stanford is testing new targets for non-invasive brain circuit modulation with transcranial magnetic stimulation in schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease patients with disordered volition. She and Dr. Silbersweig are working closely with Dr. Travis Tierney ,in the Department of Neurosurgery, to identify and test novel targets for deep brain stimulation in patients with severe, refractory psychiatric illness. Dr. David Wolfe is implementing clinical trials of novel neuroprotective agents in depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders, based upon pathophysiological (not just neurotransmitter) models. Drs. Philip DeJager and Tracy Young-Pearce (also with primary appointments in the Department of Neurology) are pursuing studies of genetics and epigenomics to identify mechanism-based sub-types of illness, and of neural stem cells and neurogenesis to develop methods of neural repair, respectively. Dr. Daniel Herrera performed studies clarifying neurochemical and pathophysiological factors disrupting hippocampal neurogenesis, and identifying neuroprotective agents to block such damage. Dr. Gabriel DeErasquin performed population molecular studies defining genetic signatures of schizophrenia. Dr. Elizabeth Sajdel-Sulkowska examined the role, and underlying mechanisms, of toxic and endocrine disruption of brain development implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Other investigators in psychiatry have made significant contributions in the areas of population-based research, psychiatric epidemiology, and mental health treatment and services research. Arthur J. Barsky, M.D., a world leader in the study of somatoform disorders, established and expanded the concept of somatosensory amplification. He delineated its mechanistic role in the generation of medically unexplained symptoms, and in contributing to the wide inter-individual variability in symptoms among patients with the same serious medical disorder. He has developed cognitive-behavioral techniques to ameliorate the distress and discomfort accompanying somatic symptoms in the medically ill, and demonstrated their efficacy is several medical populations. Susan Block, M.D. has been a national leader in creating the field of palliative care medicine and has been responsible for major advances of national and international impact in this field. She has studied the training in, and conduct of, end-of-life care as it currently occurs, and has conceptualized and developed major training programs in palliative care. Holly G. Prigerson, Ph.D., at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, has completed a series of groundbreaking investigations of the interpersonal and intrapersonal reactions to loss and trauma. Her studies, performed with Dr. Paul Maciejewski, have illuminated the process of normal bereavement and distinguished it from prolonged or complicated grief, and from major depression. Dr. John Peteet has advanced the understanding of the role of spirituality in this context. Grace Chang, M.D., M.P.H., made significant contributions in the description, detection, and treatment of problem drinking and alcohol abuse in pregnancy. She developed screening instruments for use in medical settings and successfully developed and tested brief interventions for problem drinking in pregnancy. Sarah L. Minden, M.D. has conducted a series of epidemiological studies of patients with multiple sclerosis. She has described the psychiatric co-morbidity, quality of life and disability, and the utilization of mental health and general health services that accompany this illness. Most recently, she has examined the stress on the care-givers of patients with this disorder. Her work has led to the development of policy standards for mental health care for multiple sclerosis patients. Dr. Olivia Okereke has conducted leading epidemiological research concerning geriatric depression, biomarkers and modifiable risk-factors.
Dr. Megan Oser is developing and testing novel forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy for co-morbid psychiatric and medical illness and testing strategies to improve patient collaboration in self-management of chronic disease. Dr. Joji Suzuki is developing and testing new approaches to the treatment of opiate addiction in medically ill patients. Dr. David Gitlin and his team of hospital-based medical psychiatrists have made a number of important observations and advances in the realm of psychosomatic medicine and consultation-liaison psychiatry. Drs. Jonathan Borus and Michael Mufson are senior faculty with many high-level contributions in this area. Dr. Laura Miller has performed leading work in the area of women's mental health service creation, particularly associated with the peri-natal period. This work has informed state-level programs. Dr. Janis Anderson has conducted a series of treatment studies that have increased the use and understanding of light therapy for seasonal affective disorder. In the Center for Brain-Mind Medicine (partnering with the Department of Neurology), Drs. Kirk Daffner, Aaron Nelson, Dorothy Rentz and Nancy Donnovan are involved in work enhancing the early neuropsychological detection of Alzheimer's disease and explicating the role of psychosocial factors, and the nature of executive dysfunction in dementias, in the context of neuroimaging and biomarker work performed by Dr. Reisa Sperling. Dr. David Ahern has led national efforts in e-health, concentrating on its role in shaping health-related behaviors and in self-management of chronic disease. Dr. James Cartreine has developed computerized, individualized interventions for psychiatric conditions and conflict in outer-space and work settings. Dr. John Winkelman, working in the BWH division of sleep medicine, has performed studies shedding light on restless leg syndrome and its treatment. Drs. Robert Jamison and Ajay Wasan have long conducted leading work at the intersection of psychiatric disorders and pain medicine.
George E. Vaillant, M.D., continued his landmark, prospective study of adult development while in the department. This long-term study examined the psychological and physical health of 268 male college students, first studied between 1939 and 1942, and followed regularly and continuously thereafter. The findings have fundamentally shaped our understanding of adult development and mental health throughout the life course, and of the psychological factors that contribute to successful aging and longevity. Dr. Robert Waldinger also participated in this work, and extended it into the areas of interpersonal development and psychophysiology. Dr. Philip Wang (now Deputy Director at the National Institute of Mental Health) performed seminal studies in psychopharmacoepidemiology. Dr. Sue Levkoff developed and tested programs for the integration of mental health in primary care, and for the incorporation of an enhanced understanding of ethnic and minority factors in dementia care. Dr. James Sabin has made substantial contributions to the integration of ethics in healthcare, both nationally and internationally.
- Biological Psychiatry and Brain Development
- Neurosciences Institute
- Population-based Research, Clinical Trials and Services Research
- Psychological Studies of Development, Interpersonal Relationships, and the Medical Care Process
The aim of the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL) under the direction of Dr. Emily Stern and Dr. David Silbersweig is to develop and apply new methods of imaging for the detection, localization, and characterization of final common pathways of major psychiatric disease expression, as a foundation for clinical advances. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies address schizophrenia, anxiety disorders (panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety in the wake of the World Trade Center [WTC] disaster), mood disorders (major depression, geriatric depression, and bipolar disorder), personality disorders (borderline personality disorder), cognitive changes associated with chemotherapy, sex differences in brain function in health and disease, normal cognitive and emotional function, and methodological development. In addition, positron emission tomography (PET) is used to study specific pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disease.
Functional neuroimaging has revolutionized the study of brain-mind function, and dysfunction in the setting of disease. With the advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), researchers are now able to localize brain regions and circuits associated with human perceptual, cognitive, emotional and behavioral functions non-invasively, in vivo. The results of these studies are not only increasing our understanding of the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, but are also becoming a prerequisite for developing, monitoring and screening new, targeted biological therapies, for providing guidance for early intervention, for finding biomarkers for risk/resilience factors, and for subtyping and predicting responses to treatments. The field is at the cusp of being able to apply this information clinically to individual patients with neuropsychiatric disorders.
Jill M. Goldstein, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Research, Connors Center for Women’s Health & Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is also a Consultant in Neuroscience in Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Senior Scientist at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center. Over the last 20 years, she has become an internationally-recognized expert on sex differences in the normal brain and how this may help us understand sex differences in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and, more recently, mood disorders. She has published numerous articles in these areas and has received numerous awards to pursue this work. Her program of research, called the Clinical Neuroscience of Sex Differences in the Brain, consists of an interdisciplinary team of investigators, integrating structural and functional brain imaging studies, psychophysiology, neuroendocrine studies of hormones and brain function, genetics, and collaborative efforts with animal investigators studying genes, hormones and the brain. Her current work is particularly focused on investigating fetal antecedents to sex differences in adult onset psychiatric disorders with fetal origins and the co-morbidity between sex differences in psychiatric and general medical disorders, such as cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a number of NIH grants investigating sex differences in schizophrenia, affective psychoses, and major depression and its association with cardiovascular disease and a Specialized Center for Research (SCOR) on “Fetal Antecedents to Sex Differences in Depression: A Translational Approach”. She was recently named the 2007 Spinoza Professor by the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, for her work on the role of hormones, sex differences and the brain for understanding clinical disorders in medicine. Dr. Goldstein is also building a unique research infrastructure for the Connors Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital to foster collaborative efforts to understand mechanisms that explain sex differences in the health and disease across disciplines and methods of study and to provide a source of knowledge and training for future young scientists and clinicians in women’s health and gender biology.
Martha E. Shenton, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the BWH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Laboratory. She applies new brain imagining techniques to the study of schizophrenia in order to determine the brain abnormalities that underlie the disordered thought and behavior seen in this illness. In collaboration with the BWH Department of Radiology’s Surgical Planning Laboratory, for over 20 years Dr. Shenton has used newly developed image processing techniques to obtain more precise and accurate measurement of brain abnormalities. She has demonstrated a reduced volume of several temporal lobe limbic structures that is specific to schizophrenia. Her findings suggest damage to an interconnected neural network that may be important in verbal associations and verbal memory and that might therefore account for the disordered formal thinking and loosened associations observed in schizophrenia. This line of research is continuing with state-of-the-art methods for brain imaging and analysis, including measurements of shape and of neural pathway tracts (white matter). Dr. Shenton is currently the Principal Investigator of an NIH R01 grant, an NIH P41 grant, and an NIH K05 award. She also has a Veteran’s Administration Merit Award. Dr. Shenton is also a Co-Investigator on a Veteran’s Administration Merit Award and a Veteran’s Administration Research Enhancement Award. As above, although Dr. Shenton has been a part-time member of the BWH Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology for many years, she recently relocated from the Boston VA to BW/F Psychiatry full-time and transferred her HMS appointment to BWH in October 2005. For more information please see: http://pnl.bwh.harvard.edu
Marek Kubicki, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. Trained as a radiologist, Dr. Kubicki applies new brain imaging techniques to the study of schizophrenia. Using diffusion tensor imaging and magnetization transfer imaging, he has demonstrated that schizophrenic patients have a reduction in the coherence and organization of fronto-temporal fiber tracts, and he has correlated these structural findings with deficits in performance on neuropsychological tests of learning. These findings point towards the importance of white matter tracts in schizophrenia. Dr. Kubicki is also developing new, more automated methods for volumetric analyses of brain regions, and applying these to un-medicated, first episode patients with schizophrenia, thereby avoiding the possible confounding effects of anti-psychotic medications. He has also extended this method of analysis to white matter. Dr. Kubicki’s work is currently supported by a Milton Award from HMS (for which he is the Principal Investigator) and a BWH Translational Neuroscience Project Grant (for which he is Co-PI).
Sylvain Bouix, Ph.D., is Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a computer scientist, with special expertise in the field of shape analysis, who uses mathematics and computer science to develop algorithms for medical image analyses. In particular he has been working on the use of medial surfaces to detect, quantify and localize the differences in shape of complex brain structures in schizophrenia. Most recently he has begun working on the problem of validation by comparing alternative, state-of-the-art, brain tissue segmentation algorithms. Dr. Bouix is supported by Dr. Shenton’s VA Merit Award (on which he is an Investigator) and her NIMH R01 grant (on which he is also an Investigator).
Florina Haimovici, M.D., an Instructor in Psychiatry, is interested in reproductive immunology and psychoneuroimmunology. For many years, she has studied the role of cytokines in infertility, using an animal model. She has now extended this work to problems of human infertility, testing the hypothesis that cytokine function in the genital tract can be modulated by stress and/or depression and other psychopathology, and that these mechanisms play a role in heretofore poorly understood cases of human infertility.
Dorene M. Rentz, Psy.D., is Instructor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology. Her major interests are the heterogeneity of Alzheimer’s disease and the detection of early cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease among highly intelligent elders. She has developed an IQ-adjusted method for detecting early memory problems in these individuals. She has then correlated these psychometric test findings with SPECT and PET perfusion abnormalities, and has begun comparing these findings with those seen in individuals with familial Alzheimer’s disease. She is also using functional brain imaging to investigate hippocampal activation during memory encoding, and functional connectivity between the hippocampus and neocortical regions in early Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Rentz also studies and compares dopaminergic systems in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy-Body dementia. In her role as a Co-Investigator, Dr. Rentz has been supported by the Alzheimer Association, private foundations, the National Institute on Aging, and industry. Dr. Rentz’ funding flows through the BWH Department of Neurology.
Unique and Collaborative Model
The Institute is harnessing the power of collaboration and cooperation, bringing together world-recognized leaders from diverse disciplines and institutions (including Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute), rising stars among BWH's junior faculty, gifted physicians-in-training, and brave, committed patients whose participation in clinical trials is essential for progress.
A Differentiated Approach
The Institute speeds the pace of discovery with practical translation to enhance care. Our strategy spans basic research aimed at revealing the molecular, biochemical and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying brain and mind disorders, to translational studies converting laboratory findings into personalized biomarkers and targeted therapies, and clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of new treatments. Our approach incorporates:
- Cross-disciplinary translational clinics with advanced proof-of-concept clinical trials capacity
- Research cores in neuro-genetics/genomics, biomarkers, neuroimaging, and bio-analysis
- Informatics supporting clinical research databases, advanced analyses and ongoing comparative effectiveness and outcomes studies
- Cross-cutting educational programs and conferences
- Accelerated commercialization of translational insights
Arthur J. Barsky, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of Psychiatric Research at BWH. 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. Based upon this formulation, he developed a cognitive/behavior therapy for hypochondriasis and demonstrated its efficacy in a randomized, controlled intervention trial. This work has led to an intervention trial to test the effectiveness of this therapy in a “real world,” community primary care practice. Dr. Barsky is also beginning a randomized, placebo-controlled intervention trial comparing cognitive/behavior therapy, fluoxetine, and their combination for hypochondriasis. In a descriptive, empirical study, Dr. Barsky has documented the economic and personal costs of somatization in general medicine practice, finding that 16% of total health care costs (an estimated $256 billion nationally) is devoted to the care of patients with clinically significant somatization. Dr. Barsky’s other research interest is in the examination of psychological factors that account for the inter-individual variability in somatic symptoms among patients with serious medical disease of comparable severity. This work has led to an intervention trial comparing the efficacy of two forms of cognitive/behavior therapy in a palliating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Barsky has had 19 years of continuous NIH funding and is currently the Principal Investigator of three R01 grants from the NIMH and NIH.
James E. Sabin, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Ethics Program. He is a co-founder of the Center for Ethics and Population Health, a program for research, teaching and policy development at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Teaching for the Harvard Medical School Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention. As Director of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Ethics Program, Dr. Sabin is responsible for a nationally recognized, highly innovative organizational ethics program firmly based in a managed care system. Dr. Sabin’s major research interests are in the clinical and theoretical aspects of fair resource allocation, the ethics of managed health care, the role of consumers in overseeing health policy and practice, and the social and ethical dimensions of bringing antiretroviral treatment for AIDS to India. He is currently supported by grants from AHRQ and the HMS Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention.
Sarah L. Minden, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. Dr. Minden is a consultation-liaison psychiatrist whose two major areas of research are in the psychiatric aspects of multiple sclerosis and mental health care policy. She has conducted several large, longitudinal, epidemiological surveys of multiple sclerosis patients to establish their mental health, quality of life, disability, and use of health and mental health services. Her most recent policy research has been directed toward developing uniform standards for mental health data, including encounter data, population data, indicators of performance, and financial data. She currently is Principal Investigator of a grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and an Investigator on grants from the Center for Mental Health Services, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).
Olivia I. Okereke, M.D., S.M., is Instructor in Psychiatry. Dr. Okereke’s area of interest is dementia, and in particular, the identification and description of modifiable risk factors of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Using a subsample of women from a larger longitudinal cohort study, she identified a prospective association between higher levels of insulin secretion and decreased cognitive performance. She is currently conducting similar work in a longitudinal cohort of elderly men, examining the relationship between metabolic and lifestyle risk factors and cognitive function, in order to compare and contrast her findings by gender. Dr. Okereke is supported by an NIH Minority Supplement Award, of which she is the Principal Investigator. Dr. Okereke’s funding flows through the Channing Laboratory of the BWH Department of Medicine.
David K. Ahern, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Ahern has developed or refined several widely used measures for the assessment of chronic pain. He has also studied the role of bio-behavioral and psychosocial factors in cardiac arrhythmias, and completed a landmark prospective study of depression as an independent predictor of sudden cardiac death. Dr. Ahern’s other major area of research interest is in computer applications in medicine. He authored a computer program to assist researchers in experimental design evaluation and has developed an innovative, integrated voice response system for tracking symptoms and for disease self-management. His work with computers and innovative technologies in health care led him to be selected as the National Program Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health-E Technologies national initiative to develop new technologies (including the Internet, interactive TV, voice response systems, and hand-held devices) for managing chronic disease and changing health behavior. Dr. Ahern is currently a Co-Investigator on three NIH R01 grants and, as above, is funded as Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative.
Janis L. Anderson, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry. Her major interests are in the chronobiology of mood disorders and the mechanisms of light therapy for seasonal affective disorder. She is currently the Principal Investigator of an industry-sponsored intervention trial comparing light of varying wavelengths for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.
Hongtu Chen, Ph.D., is a psychologist who is Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry. His research interests are in geriatric psychiatry and cross-cultural psychiatry. Dr. Chen directed a participating site in a multi-site, randomized trial comparing the provision of psychiatric care that was closely integrated into primary care with psychiatric care provided via an enhanced referral model. Dr. Chen then went on to direct the statistical analyses conducted by the coordinating center for these multiple sites. In his other area of interest, Dr. Chen has investigated the ways in which culture influences the clinical presentation of depression in Asian immigrants. His findings pointed to the importance of self-attention and culturally shaped valuation of the self in shaping depressive symptomatology. Dr. Chen’s work has been supported by HRSA and SAMHSA.
Susan D. Block, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry with a secondary appointment as Associate Professor of Medicine, is the Chief of the Division of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Block has been involved in reforming medical education through both implementing and evaluating basic curricular changes. Dr. Block was involved in the creation of the HMS New Pathway curriculum and then used a randomized, controlled trial design to demonstrate the enhancement of students’ humanistic competencies resulting from the curriculum. She subsequently led the evaluation of three major, national, medical education reforms using sophisticated survey designs and methods. Most recently, she has been a major national figure in the creation of a new field of medicine, Palliative Care Medicine, now well on the way to becoming a recognized medical subspecialty. She was the conceptualizer, founder, and National Director of the Soros Foundation’s Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars Program which has trained many of the nation’s leaders in palliative medicine. Dr. Block’s most recent research has examined the status of medical education in end-of-life care; physician emotional responses to patient deaths; quality indicators for end-of-life care; and the mental health of patients with terminal illness. Dr. Block has served as the Principal Investigator on grants from the NIH and many private foundations (including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation). She is currently a Co-Investigator on one P50 grant and Principal Investigator on two R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Block’s grant funding flows through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
John R. Peteet, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and the Clinical Director of the Adult Psychosocial Oncology Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Peteet has long been involved in collaborative research in psycho-oncology, including studies of pain management, the attitudes of oncology clinicians, and the clinical process of conveying the diagnosis of cancer. Most recently, he has developed an interest in the role of spirituality in psychiatry and medicine. Dr. Peteet is currently involved in two projects. He is developing a self-report instrument to assess the existential needs and spiritual resources of oncology patients; this instrument will be used to help clinicians and chaplains to better identify and address their patient’s core concerns. He is also assessing the impact of a pre-clinical HMS course in spirituality and medicine on the students’ comfort in dealing with a variety of clinical situations.
Holly G. Prigerson, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Prigerson, who came to Harvard Medical School from the Yale University School of Medicine in late 2004, has conducted a series of studies focusing on the interpersonal and intrapersonal reactions to loss and trauma. Her research program examines the quality of life and care of patients at the end-of-life, and has included related studies of the responses to bereavement, trauma, and suicide. Her major contribution has been to define and describe complicated grief as a distinct psychiatric disorder. Using data from epidemiologic, pharmacological and psychotherapeutic studies, she and her colleagues have identified a specific symptom complex following significant interpersonal loss that is distinct from depression and anxiety, has distinctive risk factors and clinical correlates, that becomes chronic in a substantial minority of bereaved persons, and that requires specialized treatment. Substantial empirical and clinical validation for Dr. Prigerson’s work has emerged, and numerous replication studies and independent investigations have extended this work to a variety of losses and cultural contexts, and most recently biological studies of complicated grief that have distinguished it from depression. Dr. Prigerson has also conducted descriptive and analytic studies of the mental health and mental health service use of advanced cancer patients and the caregivers who survive them. Most recently, this work has led to an examination of psychosocial factors (including religious coping, acculturation, and doctor-patient communication) that mediate racial and ethnic differences in end-of-life care. Dr. Prigerson is the Principal Investigator of two R01 grants (from the NIMH and the National Cancer Institute) and an Investigator on an additional R01 grant from the National Institute on Aging. She is also the Principal Investigator of a research grant from the Fetzer Institute and Co-Director of a Geriatric Clinical Research Center supported by the RAND and Hartford Foundations. Dr. Prigerson’s funding flows through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Mary-Ellen Meadows, Ph.D., is a Neuropsychologist and Instructor in Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and of Neurology. She studies the neuropsychological and cognitive sequelae of cancer. She is currently examining these deficits in adult survivors of childhood cancers who were treated with cranial irradiation. She is also Principal Investigator for a prospective study of cognitive changes following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, funded by the American Cancer Society. Dr. Meadows’ funding flows through the BWH Department of Neurology.
Robert N. Jamison, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine. He is a clinical psychologist and a staff member of the BWH Pain Management Center. Dr. Jamison develops and studies innovative technologies (such as electronic diaries) for assessing chronic pain. He also investigates the effectiveness of chronic opioids in the treatment of non-malignant, chronic pain in patients with and without psychiatric comorbidity. Dr. Jamison’s work is currently supported by six NIH Small Business Innovative Research Grants, on which he serves as a Co-Investigator or consultant. His funding flows through the BWH Department of Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine.
Ajay D. Wasan, M.D., M.A., M.MSc., is Instructor of Psychiatry who works in the BWH Pain Management Center. His research focuses on chronic pain and psychiatric comorbidity. He is currently examining the effectiveness of opioid analgesia, acupuncture, and nerve blocks in chronic pain patients with psychiatric comorbidity. This work is supported by a P01 grant from the NIH (NCCAM), on which Dr. Wasan is an Investigator, through the BWH Department of Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine.
John W. Winkelman, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and the Medical Director of the BWH Sleep Center. His research focuses on three areas: restless legs syndrome, sleep-related eating disorders, and the effects of psychotropic medications on sleep. He has shown that restless legs syndrome is associated with increased mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease, and was the first to report an association between heart rate acceleration and periodic leg movements on sleep. His work on sleep-related eating disorders helped to identify, describe, and characterize the disorder, and he was the first to report on its treatment with topiramate. He has also conducted polysomnographic studies of the effects of psychotropic medications and psychiatric illness on sleep, and described abnormalities in patients taking antidepressants and in un-medicated patients with schizophrenia. He is currently studying glucose metabolism and brain structure in patients with chronic, primary insomnia. Dr. Winkelman’s research is supported by industry research grants which flow through the Division of Sleep Medicine of the BWH Department of Medicine.
This page was last modified on 9/18/2015