Leadership at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology

Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc, Executive Director

Dr. Joffe is the Paula A. Johnson Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. She also services as the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at BWH. With joint positions at BWH and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Joffe directs the Women’s Hormones and Aging Research Program. She is an experienced clinician and NIH-funded researcher in women’s mental health, her work is dedicated to advancing the understanding, treatment, and consequences of symptoms resulting from reproductive hormone changes in the brain. Her clinical and research work focuses 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.

Dr. Joffe received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and her master’s degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her residency training in psychiatry at McLean Hospital and a fellowship in women’s mental health 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. 

JoAnn Manson, MD, MPH, DrPH, Scientific Advisor

Dr. Manson is the Chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at BWH, the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School, and a Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The focus of Dr. Manson’s research has been women's health, randomized clinical trials in cardiovascular disease prevention, and population health/translational research. She has studied the role of lifestyle factors, diet, micronutrient supplementation, and reproductive and hormonal factors as predictors of chronic disease in women. Other major interests include the role of vitamin D, omega-3s, and folate in the prevention of CVD, diabetes, and cancer. She has studied extensively the role of moderate-intensity exercise as compared with vigorous exercise in the prevention of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer in women. She has also been actively involved in studies of biomarker and genetic predictors of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. She is one of the lead investigators on several landmark women’s health studies, including the Women’s Health Initiative, the Nurses’ Health Study, the Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study, and others. Learn more about Dr. Manson's work.

Lydia Pace, MD, MPH, Director of the Women’s Health Policy and Advocacy

Dr. Pace is a researcher with the Division of Women’s Health and an urgent care physician in primary care at BWH, and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is a also a graduate of the Global Women’s Health Fellowship with the Connors Center/Division of Women’s Health.

Her research focuses on the delivery of and access to preventive health care services to women in the United States as well as the developing world. She is particularly interested in women’s cancers and family planning. She has researched breast cancer screening behaviors in the U.S. following the 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, and has studied the complexities of breast cancer screening decisions in the US. She has also examined the impact of the Affordable Care Act on contraceptive costs and use. She leads research in Rwanda examining effective and feasible strategies for breast cancer early detection, and the quality of breast cancer care. Dr. Pace also teaches Harvard Medical School students and BWH residents in health policy and women’s health. 

Deborah Bartz, MD, MPH, Director of Education

Dr. Bartz is an obstetrician-gynecologist at BWH and an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. She has previously served as an Associate Clerkship Director for medical student rotations and is currently the Medical Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s state-wide Title X Program and the Director of the BWH Ryan Training Program, where she has been innovative in expanding primary care specialist, resident, and medical student training to include evidence-based, women’s health care through simulation and through graduated models of training. As a result of her mentorship work, she has received several teaching awards and entrance into the BWH Faculty Mentorship Leadership Program and the Association of Professors in Obstetrics and Gynecology Scholars and Leaders Program. 

Her current research program focuses on the development, assessment, and propagation of best educational practices of women’s health curricula. The resulting publications describe reproducible educational initiatives for teaching medical students, residents, or emerging reproductive health providers and demonstrate the educational outcomes affected by these new curricula. By creating, studying, and disseminating these much-needed educational innovations, this body of work allows other women’s health educators to bring this content to their own trainees. Learn more about Dr. Bartz's work.

Janet Rich-Edwards, ScD, MPH 

Dr. Rich-Edwards is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is leading the development of a family cohort/population database of sociodemographic information, medical history and biologic samples based on the 9,000 births at BWH each year, which will serve as an important resource for scientists across BWH and HMS. Her research focuses on determinants of women’s reproductive health across the lifecourse, as well as prenatal and childhood factors that affect the risk of developing chronic disease in adulthood.

Dr. Janet Rich-Edwards also continues to develop a program in epidemiology research related to maternal and child health, an area to which she brings considerable expertise and grant funding. She is an investigator in the national Nurses’ Health Studies, where she has examined predictors of adult chronic disease, and is currently leading investigations of the predictors of pregnancy and fertility based on occupation and physical and emotional abuse. She investigates factors underlying the race-related mortality gap, and is a founding investigator of Project Viva, a prenatal and early childhood study in the Boston area. Dr. Rich-Edwards has been funded for a five-year NIH R01 study on Violence, Genes and Cardiovascular Disease in Women, a four-year CDC/NIOSH contract to launch a new Nurses’ Health Study cohort, and a two-year foundation grant to start a cohort study in Mongolia of the impact of vitamin D and milk consumption on childhood growth and development. Learn more about Dr. Rich-Edwards' work.

Julie Alperen, DrPH is the Administrative Director of the Connors Center. Prior to joining the center in January 2018, she served for twelve years as the Program Director of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study Data and Operations Center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The project for which she had daily oversight is the largest NIH funded research study at Harvard, with over 20 study sites conducting multiple ongoing investigations. Julie helped launch their recent expansion to incorporate a women’s health focus. She has extensive experience collaborating with thought leaders across disciplines to develop and launch new initiatives. Julie received a Master’s Degree in Maternal and Child Health and a Doctorate Degree in Sociomedical Science from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

Kara Brown, MD, is Director of the Women's Mental Health Fellowship, a collaboration between the Department of Psychiatry and the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Alisa Goldberg, MD, MPH, is Director of the Family Planning Fellowship at the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School.


Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH, Executive Director of HEAL Trafficking, is an emergency physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital with appointments at Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Dr. Stoklosa is a well-recognized investigator, advocate, and speaker focusing on the public health of trafficking survivors in the US and internationally. 

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