About Joshua Roffman, MD

Dr. Joshua Roffman is a board certified psychiatrist and neuroscientist who directs the Early Brain Development Initiative at Mass General.  He is co-director of Mass General Neuroscience the MGH Division of Psychiatric Neuroimaging, and also serves as Director of Research for the MGH Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program.  Dr. Roffman is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

A graduate of Amherst College, Dr. Roffman completed his medical training at the University of Maryland, National Institutes of Health, and MGH-McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program.  The goals of his research program are to discover, develop, and implement early-life interventions that protect against risk of neuropsychiatric illness in young people.  His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, MQ: Transforming Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association, and others.

Dr. Roffman serves as Editor in Chief of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry and founding co-director of the Translational Neuroscience Training for Clinicians (TNTC) postdoctoral T32 fellowship.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:



Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-2000

Medical Education

  • MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


Dr. Roffman's research is focused on prevention of psychiatric illness, and builds on clinical and research training in brain imaging, genetics, and clinical trials.  He and his team have conducted pioneering work demonstrating neuroprotective effects of folic acid, both in patients with schizophrenia and in early brain development.  The Mass General Early Brain Development Initiative, founded by Dr. Roffman and colleagues in Psychiatry, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and Medicine in 2019, seeks to broaden this work by identifying other early-life interventions that promote brain health in children and adolescents, especially those who are at increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders due to family history or adverse environmental exposures. 

These efforts are built around several longitudinal cohort studies, including the MGH Brain health Begins Before Birth (B4) study, a "learning" birth cohort that enrolls women early their pregnancy and follows their children's brain development through childhood.  As promising interventions are identified through B4, they will be introduced in clinical trials enrolling women undergoing primary and routine obstetric care at MGH.  Our research program also studies longer-term effects of prenatal exposures on adolescent brain development, as participants approach the age of highest risk for onset of psychiatric conditions. 

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