The Bipolar Clinic & Research Program (BCRP) has three missions at our clinic. We are dedicated to providing quality clinical care, conducting clinically informative research, and educating our colleagues, our patients, as well as the greater community about bipolar disorder.
Research RegistryTo join the BCRP's Volunteer Research Registry, e-mail your contact information to BCRPnewsletter@partners.org
Andrew A Nierenberg MD
Dr. Andrew Nierenberg graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York. He did his residency in psychiatry at New York University/Bellevue Hospital in New York City, where he became a chief resident, and then went on as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale University to study clinical epidemiology. He continued his trek north to join the faculty at Harvard, and then to direct the Affective Disorders Outpatient Unit at McLean Hospital. Dr. Nierenberg then joined the Psychopharmacology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 1992 where he is currently Associate Director of the Depression Clinical and Research Program, Medical Director of the Bipolar Programs, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His primary interests are treatment resistant depression, management of antidepressant side effects, the longitudinal course of affective disorders, and pharmacoepidemiology.
Astrid Desrosiers MD, MPH
Astrid Desrosiers, MD, MPH is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She completed her training in Adult Psychiatry through the Harvard Medical School Consolidated Training Program: Harvard South Shore Training Program and Cambridge Hospital in 1995. She is a graduate of the State University of Haiti, School of Medicine and Pharmacy. She completed a Master in Public Health in Family and Community at the Harvard University School of Public Health. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Her major research interests include psychopharmacology, the role of psychosocial factors in the treatment of Mood Disorders, health disparities and the impact of Multicultural issues on patient care.
Sharmin Ghaznavi, MD, Ph.D
Dr. Sharmin Ghaznavi graduated from the Yale University School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program. She holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and M.A. in Philosophy. Dr. Ghaznavi completed her adult psychiatry residency training at the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program, where she was a resident in the Research Concentration Opportunity. In addition to serving as a staff psychiatrist at the BCRP, she received both the Dupont-Warren and Livingston fellowships to pursue research examining the neural correlates of rumination in bipolar disorder.
Michael Henry, MD
Michael Henry, MD assumed the position of Medical Director in April of 2012. Before coming to the BCRP, he was the vice-president for mental health at Steward Health Chair and the Chairman of Psychiatry at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, as well as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical School. Dr. Henry’s research interests have been focused on the use of brain imaging techniques to study mood disorders and facilitate drug discovery. He has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters. He has presented his work both nationally and internationally. In addition to research, Dr. Henry enjoys teaching. He received recognition for his outstanding teaching from the Tuft’s University Medical Students and received the annual teaching award from the St. Elizabeth's Psychiatry Residents in 2010. As the Medical Director, he is excited to be continuing his work in teaching, direct patient care, as well as expand his research activities at this institution with world-class collaborators.
Brian Schulman, MD
Brian Schulman, MD originally hails from suburban Maryland, but has lived in Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco, before moving to Boston. He recently completed his adult psychiatry residency training in the joint MGH/McLean program in June 2012 where served as Outpatient Psychotherapy Chief Resident in his final year of training. He joins the BCRP as a staff clinical psychiatrist with an interest in combining psychopharmacological treatment of Bipolar disorder with psychotherapeutic approaches, including the use of group psychotherapy. He is also pursuing advanced training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
Ji Hyun Baek, MD
Ji Hyun graduated from the school of medicine at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea. She finished her master’s degree and is currently a PhD. candidate in Medical Science there. She did her residency and clinical fellowships in psychiatry at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea. In Korea, Ji Hyun’s research is mainly focused on finding biologically/genetically homogenous phenotypes in schizophrenia/bipolar disorder. Currently, she is interested in behavioral economics of bipolar disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and depression in youth.
Thilo Deckersbach Ph.D
Dr. Deckersbach is the Director of Psychological Services and the Director of Cognitive Neuroscience Research in the Bipolar Disorder Clinic and Research Program at MGH. Dr. Deckersbach graduated from the Philipps University Marburg, Germany in 2000 and completed his clinical psychology internship in the Cognitive-Behavior Science Track at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He specializes in cognitive-behavior therapy and neuroimaging of bipolar disorder.
Louisa Grandin Sylvia Ph.D.
Dr. Sylvia is the Associate Director of Psychological Services at the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program. Dr. Sylvia received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Wesleyan University. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Temple University and completed her psychology internship at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA. In 2006, Dr. Sylvia received a “Commendation of Excellence” awarded by the faculty at Temple University for her work investigating the role of lifestyle regularity in individuals at risk for developing bipolar disorder. Currently, Dr. Sylvia’s major research interests are the impact of exercise and lifestyle regularity on bipolar disorder. Dr. Sylvia has published several papers examining the effect of increasing lifestyle regularity in individuals at risk for developing bipolar disorder. Additionally, Dr. Sylvia is dedicated to patient care. She is a trained Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist and maintains an active caseload of individuals with bipolar disorder.
Noreen Reilly-Harrington Ph.D.
Noreen Reilly-Harrington, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist at the MGH Bipolar Clinic and Research Program and is an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She earned her doctoral degree at Temple University and trained in cognitive therapy under the direction of Dr. Aaron T. Beck at the Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania and at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. She specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, with a particular emphasis on cognitive-behavioral therapy for bipolar disorder.
Gary S Sachs MD
Gary S. Sachs was the founder and director of the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School until 2010. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland Medical School, he completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Lori Eisner Ph.D.
Lori Eisner, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in psychology in the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. She completed her internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Cognitive Behavioral Scientist Track. She specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and has also received training in dialectical behavior therapy. In her research, Dr. Eisner is piloting a group treatment for bipolar disorder that focuses on emotion regulation skills.
Kristen K. Ellard, Ph.D.
Kristen K. Ellard, PhD is a Clinical Fellow in Psychology at the BCRP. She completed her doctoral training at Boston University, and her Clinical Internship in Psychology at MGH. Her clinical work focuses on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. Dr. Ellard’s primary research interests are in the investigation of new CBT approaches to the treatment of bipolar disorder with co-occurring anxiety disorders, characterizing neural mechanisms of change in cognitive behavioral therapy, and exploring neural correlates of transdiagnostic versus disorder-specific cognitive and affective processing in the emotional disorders.
Clinical Research Coordinators
Emily graduated from Yale University in May 2012 with a B.S. with honors in psychology and as a member of Psi Chi honor society. As an undergraduate, she gained research experience working in Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema’s Depression and Cognition Program where she conducted research on emotion regulation and emotional clarity. As a senior, she conducted an independent thesis project in which she developed an emotion differentiation manipulation to evaluate the causal relationship between differentiation and specific patterns of emotion regulation. She was also an intern at the Yale Center for Anxiety and Mood Disorders. Emily is interested in adult mood and anxiety disorders. After her time at the Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program, Emily plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Elizabeth graduated from Williams College in 2012 with a B.A. in psychology and history. As an undergraduate, she gained research experience in Dr. Stroud’s Youth Emotion Center, where she conducted a senior independent project examining how stress, mood, and emotion regulation are associated in adolescents. During the summer of 2011, Elizabeth worked in Dr. Yonas’ Visual Perception Lab and Dr. Jiang’s Attention, Memory, and Cognition Lab at the University of Minnesota. She also gained clinical experience by interning at the Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth’s Adventure-Based Counseling after-school program. Elizabeth is interested in adult and pediatric mood disorders, and plans to eventually attend medical school.
Stephanie graduated with honors in psychology from Harvard University in May 2012. During her time there, she worked in Dr. Matthew Nock’s clinical psychology lab, conducting research on physiological stress responses to social threat in participants with social anxiety and on the relationship between suicidal behavior and impulsiveness. In summer 2011, she worked in Dr. Sheri Johnson’s clinical psychology lab, where she conducted research on mental health disparities in patients with bipolar disorder. During her senior year, in Dr. Dan Gilbert’s social psychology lab, she conducted thesis research on the relationship between altruism and delay of gratification. Stephanie is interested in psychosocial factors of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as minority mental health disparities. Stephanie eventually wants to attend clinical psychology graduate school to pursue a Ph.D.
Leah W. Shesler
Leah graduated from Wesleyan University in May 2011 with a B.A. in neuroscience and psychology with honors. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi honor societies. As an undergraduate, she gained research experience by working in the Eye Movement and Reading Lab for two years, investigating the effects of psycholinguistic variables on linguistic ambiguity resolution. She also worked in the Schizophrenia Neurocognition Assessment and Treatment Lab, examining how word processing in patients differs from healthy controls, and the relationship between cognitive skills and functional outcome in schizophrenia. For her senior honors thesis, she conducted a review of the literature on the age-of-acquisition (AoA) effect in patient populations with language impairments, aiming to both gain an understanding of AoA and the exact mechanism by way it facilitates language processing, and how cognitive tasks using AoA can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with language impairments, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. After her time at Massachusetts General Hospital, Leah hopes to pursue a doctorate in clinical neuropsychology.
Avi Friedlich MD
Avi Friedlich was a staff psychiatrist in the BCRP and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He graduated from UCLA (Magna Cum Laude) and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Prior to completing residency in Adult Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, he served as a National Research Service Award Fellow at Cornell Medical College and Massachusetts General Hospital. His research focuses on the biology of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, in addition to translational drug discovery.
Roy Perlis MD, MSc
Roy Perlis, MD, MSc is the Medical Director of the BCRP, Director of Pharmacogenomics Research in the Department of Psychiatry, and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency, chief residency, and clinical/research fellowship at MGH before joining the faculty. Dr. Perlis' clinical work and research is focused on difficult-to-treat or treatment resistant mood disorders, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Current research efforts include identifying genetic variations which might predict treatment response and identifying and studying novel treatments for bipolar disorder. His research has been supported by awards from NARSAD, NIMH, the American Philosophical Society, and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, among others. He also serves as consultant to the American Psychiatric Association's bipolar treatment guidelines workgroup, and edited the Expert Consensus Series bipolar guidelines.
Stephanie McMurrich Ph.D.
Stephanie McMurrich, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist at the MGH Bipolar Clinic and Research Program and is an Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She received her doctorate from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Boston Veterans Affairs Hospital and her post-doctoral residency at the Miami Veterans Affairs Hospital. Clinically, she specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, with a particular interest in cognitive-behavioral therapy for bipolar disorder. Currently, Dr. McMurrich’s major research interests are family functioning of individuals with bipolar disorder and individual and family psychosocial interventions for individuals with a first-episode of bipolar disorder.
Kenneth Park Ph.D.
Kenneth Park, Ph.D. completed his undergraduate study at the University of Toronto, and earned his Ph.D. from New School University in NYC. He has completed his Internship (2001) and Postdoctoral work (2002) at MGH and Harvard Medical School. He currently works as a Clinical Specialist for the STEP-BD study. His clinical and research interests include psychotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders with an emphasis on bipolar disorder and the interaction between major mental illness and personality disorders.
Jamie M Dupuy MD
Jamie Dupuy, MD, is a staff psychiatrist at the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program, and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She graduated with honors from The Johns Hopkins University, with a degree in Natural Sciences, and earned her medical degree from Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She completed her residency at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, and served as Chief Resident on the inpatient psychiatry unit. Following residency, she joined the faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as an Attending Psychiatrist. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Her clinical work and research focus on the treatment of patients with Bipolar Disorder.
Dan Iosifescu MD
Dan Iosifescu was a staff psychiatrist at the program and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. After receiving his M.D. from the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania, he completed an internal medicine internship and a residency in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, serving as Chief Resident in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. He then completed a fellowship in psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital. His interests include the neuroimaging, neuroendocrine and cognitive abnormalities in mood disorders, and their impact on clinical treatment.
Michael J Ostacher MD, MPH
Michael J. Ostacher, MD, MPH trained in Adult Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School at The Cambridge Hospital, and completed fellowships in Public Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. He graduated with Honors in the Department of Letters from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed a Masters in Public Health in Health Care Management at the Harvard University School of Public Health. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry. His major research interest is bipolar disorder and comorbid substance abuse. He is currently studying the role of antidepressants in rapid cycling and is an investigator in a study of the burden on caregivers of people with bipolar disorder. He is the principal U.S. investigator for BALANCE, a multinational study of maintenance treatments for bipolar disorder run by Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Aviva H. Ariel
Aviva graduated with high honors from Skidmore College in May 2010 with a B.A. in psychology. She is a proud member of Psi Chi, the Periclean Society, and the Skidmore College Honors Forum. Before focusing her academic interests on the mind-brain connection, Aviva utilized her minor in English literature as an editorial intern at O, The Oprah Magazine. As an undergraduate, she gained research experience in and out of the classroom. Aviva developed and implemented a behavioral intervention for a pre-kindergartener on the autism spectrum, explored physiological psychology through a semester of experiments with Long-Evans rats, and worked as a research coordinator on a cognitive aging study. Aviva was also a local coordinator for the National Eating Disorders Association, a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a peer tutor for psychology students with academic difficulties. During her senior year, she volunteered as an addiction recovery counselor at a halfway house in Ballston Spa, NY, and wrote her senior honors thesis on the neuropsychological effects of adult obesity on reward processing. After her time at Massachusetts General Hospital, Aviva plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical neuropsychology.
Aleena C. Hay
Aleena Hay graduated from Skidmore College in May 2008 with a B.A. in psychology with honors. As an undergraduate, Aleena gained research experience working for two years in a behavioral neuroscience lab. During her junior year, she helped conduct a study on the effects of stress and anxiolytics on female rat sexual motivation. Aleena also spent her junior year at Skidmore as a teaching assistant for an introductory neuroscience course. In her senior year, she conducted an honors thesis study. Aleena researched, designed, and conducted a study on women’s rapid endocrine responses to physically and behaviorally attractive men. After her time at the Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program, Aleena plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology.
Andrew D. Peckham
Andrew graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in psychology in 2009. As an undergraduate Andrew gained research experience volunteering at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, where he co-authored a study of attentional retraining combined with d-Cycloserine in individuals with trait anxiety. In his junior year, Andrew gained clinical experience as an intern with a community mental health clinic in London, England. Under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Otto, Andrew completed a meta-analysis of attentional bias in major depressive disorder as a senior research project, which was selected to be included in the annual conference of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. In 2009, Andrew received the Boston University Alumni Association’s Award for Writing Excellence as a result of his essay on mood disorders in adult women. After his time at Massachusetts General Hospital, Andrew plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Colleen Cowperthwait, BA
Colleen graduated from Connecticut College in May of 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She gained both research and clinical experience during her time at Conn College. She completed two research studies, and one independent study on the identity development in transracially adopted children while studying abroad in South Africa. During her senior year, Colleen interned at a partial hospitalization program for adolescent and adult alcohol and substance abusers. She is interested in adult mood and anxiety disorders and the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in treating these disorders. Colleen plans to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology after her time at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Hannah G. Lund, BA
Hannah Lund graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in May of 2006 with a B.A. in psychology. During her undergraduate education, she participated in several clinical and research-focused volunteer programs and spent two summers working at Child and Family Psychological Services, a psychology practice in Norwood, MA. For the duration of her senior year at Bates, Hannah led a collaborative research study exploring the relationship between sleep quality, stress, and mood in college women, the results of which she presented at a pair of sleep research conferences. After completing her two years at Mass General Hospital, Hannah plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Jonathan P. Stange, BA
Jonathan Stange graduated from Bates College in May of 2008 with a B.A. with honors in psychology. As an undergraduate, Jonathan gained clinical and research experience working as a group counselor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Summer Treatment Program, a behavior modification program for children with ADHD. Jonathan also gained research experience while working on a study of medication adherence in bipolar disorder during a summer fellowship at Case Western Reserve University. In 2007, Jonathan completed graduate courses in psychology and served as a teaching assistant for a cognitive psychology class at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. While at Bates, Jonathan spent three years as a research assistant conducting work in social cognition and stereotyping. He also completed an independent research fellowship funded by competitively-awarded Ruggles and Hoffman grants, during which he developed and evaluated the psychometric properties of a new measure of perceived career options. The results of this project were used to inform his senior honors thesis on the role of cognitive style and heuristic processing in people’s perceptions of their past and their future. After completing his time at Massachusetts General Hospital, Jonathan plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Rebecca M. Ametrano, BA
Rebecca M. Ametrano graduated from the University of Michigan in April of 2007 with a B.A. in psychology with honors. As an undergraduate, Rebecca gained research and clinical experience working in an autism center and an outpatient pediatric psychology clinic. During her junior and senior years, she took part in a state-funded study of incarcerated adolescents in order to investigate the link between violence history, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and physical health outcomes in high-risk youth. She used the results of this project for her senior honors thesis, which she presented at two national research conferences. In her last year at Michigan, she also served as the project coordinator for a study assessing a treatment program for women and children exposed to violence. Rebecca is currently pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Christine I. Kansky, BA
Christine Kansky graduated from Princeton University with high honors in June 2008 with a B.A. in psychology. As an undergraduate she gained research experience working on various projects in the cognitive psychology lab that explored the types of implicit inferences people make about different facial expressions. Christine also previously volunteered as a summer intern for the Methods to Improve Diagnostic Assessment and Services (MIDAS) project under the supervision of Mark Zimmerman, M.D. at Rhode Island Hospital Psychiatry Department. During this time, she compiled and organized data for current and retrospective MIDAS studies, including her senior thesis project, which investigated the relationship between Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder at the symptom level. For this independent work, Christine was indicted into Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society and also received the 2008 Sigma Xi Book award from the Princeton University Psychology Department. After her time at Massachusetts General Hospital, Christine plans to attend medical school.
Amy Peters graduated from Boston College in May 2010 with a B.A. with honors in psychology. As an undergraduate she gained research experience working for two years in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab. During her junior year in the lab, Amy helped to run a study using a false memory list-learning paradigm (the Deese-Roediger-McDermott Paradigm), investigating whether or not individuals bias their memory in accord with emotional regulation goals. As a senior, she conducted a thesis project investigating how individual differences in anxiety and depression influence participants’ abilities to direct themselves to forget negative as compared to neutral information. In 2007, Amy also volunteered as a research assistant at the University of Connecticut in the Lab for Early Detection of Autism. In 2009, Amy gained clinical experience at McLean Hospital in the Institute for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. There, she worked as a behavioral coach, overseeing OCD patients in exposure exercises as part of their Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Amy is interested in both adult and pediatric mood and anxiety disorders. After her time at the Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program, Amy plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Jules graduated from Skidmore College in May 2010 with a B.A. with honors in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Jules gained research experience spending a year working on two psychophysiology studies focused on examining human physiological and self-reported response to the pairing of various emotive faces. In the summer of 2008, Jules interned at the Harvard Health and Psychophysiology Laboratory and helped coordinate several studies aimed at learning about participants’ physiological response to stereotype threat. After assisting several professors with data collection for various studies during his junior year, Jules worked as a direct care residential counselor for a group of 14 year-old boys with serious emotional disturbance (SED) at Wediko Children’s Services Summer Program and greatly expanded his knowledge and experience interacting with a clinical population. As a senior, Jules conducted his honors thesis on the effects of social rejection on the us-them divide when mediated by a lexical decision task. After his time at Massachusetts General Hospital, Jules plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Anna Urdahl graduated from Yale University in May 2011 with a B.S. with honors in psychology. As an undergraduate she gained research experience working in Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema’s Depression and Cognition Program where she conducted research on emotional regulation and cognitive biases in patients with major depression. As a senior, she worked for the Yale School of Medicine and Child Study Center helping to implement a parenting intervention for fathers with comorbid substance abuse and domestic violence. She also spent her senior year conducting a thesis project, which looked at the effects of labeling children with pervasive developmental disorders in the classroom. Anna is interested in both adult and pediatric mood and anxiety disorders. After her time at the Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program, Anna plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.