Explore This Treatment Program

The Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical and Research Program is dedicated to three primary missions:

  • Enhancing the clinical care for intellectually intact children and adults with Autism Spectrum and associated psychiatric conditions.
  • Expanding the scientific understanding of Autism Spectrum and associated psychiatric disorders.
  • Advancing the education of patients, families, and service providers on Autism Spectrum and comorbid psychopathologies.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by challenges in social interactions, communication, and engaging in patterns of restrictive repetitive behaviors. Our program offers a thorough psychiatric evaluation and recommendations, along with ongoing follow-up psychopharmacological care for inellectually intact individuals of all ages who suffer from ASD and associated psychiatric conditions.

What to Expect at the Bressler Program

The Bressler Program provides comprehensive psychiatric assessments with a specialized clinician for intellectually intact individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Before Your Appointment

When you contact our program, you will be prompted to provide information by completing an online triage form. Following the review of the completed triage information, you will be notified based on the determination whether our program can meet your needs. Upon acceptance, a set of online assessments will be sent to the patient and their family to complete. These assessments are designed to gather information on the clinical presentation of autism, ADHD, other psychopathologies, and executive functioning. Once the assessments are completed, the patient will be scheduled for an initial appointment with a clinician. 

At Your Initial Appointment

In your initial appointment, you will undergo a comprehensive hour-long consultation with a specialized clinician. The evaluation process includes a thorough review of your medical and neuropsychiatric histories, review of the online battery of assessments, and, if needed, a clinical examination. Your clinician may also request additional collateral information from parents, significant others, schools, and other relevant providers.

Following the evaluation, the clinician will provide a diagnostic impression and engage in a discussion regarding the management plan. This will involve psycho-education, addressing patient’s and their family members’ concerns, and collaboratively developing a follow-up treatment plan. Depending on individual needs, the clinician may recommend consultations with other specialists as deemed necessary.

At Follow-up Care Appointments

Ongoing follow-up care will be offered for the psychopharmacological management of autism and commonly associated psychiatric conditions, as well as for ADHD.

About Autism Spectrum

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by varying degrees of deficits in social–emotional functioning along with restricted, repetitive patters of behaviors and interests. Most recent estimates suggest that Autism Spectrum Disorder may affect up to one in 36 children.

How can I recognize a person with ASD?

In intellectually intact populations some children show signs and symptoms of autism early in life, but many are not diagnosed until they enter school.

Characteristic ASD behaviors include:

  • Difficulty with peer relationships
  • Poor eye contact
  • Inability to use or understand gestures or tone of voice
  • Difficulty understanding sarcasm, jokes, or puns
  • Difficulty in sharing conversations, feelings, and activities
  • Social naivety
  • Extreme preoccupation with preferred activities
  • Inability to engage in non-preferred activities
  • Resistance to change
  • Difficulties with transitions
  • Lack of spontaneity
  • Sensory dysregulation

What can parents and teachers do if they suspect a child has an autism spectrum disorder?

Parents and teachers are often the first to notice signs and symptoms of these disorders. It is important to seek evaluation as early as possible, because early intervention can have a beneficial effect in reducing symptoms and improving the child’s ability to learn and function.

About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that impacts the ability of individuals to get to, stick with, and finish tasks, or be in control of their physical activity.  Research suggests that ADHD impact several percent of children and persists into adulthood, where a few percent of the population meet full criteria. While attention and behavior control challenges are common in the general population, in ADHD they limit the ability of a person to fulfil two or more major life roles and function in life settings. While the pattern varies from person to person they can include problems with learning, self-care, socializing, or working effectively.

What can be done if ADHD is suspected?

When a child or adult is not thriving in a major area of life functioning, it is important to explore whether ADHD or another neuropsychiatric difference is the reason.  A comprehensive evaluation for ADHD should include ruling out other potential causes of the attentional or behavioral challenges.  Medical treatment can reduce the burden of ADHD symptoms.  Specialized behavioral therapies can also reduce the burden of ADHD for individuals with the condition. In the case of children this can includes parent training in how to accommodate ADHD.  Seeking accommodations other settings such as school may also help individuals participate and thrive.

Our Research Studies

Our team


Gagan Joshi, MD

Director of the Bressler Program
Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School

Dr. Joshi trained in general Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently completed his Fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the combined program of the Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He received training in cognitive-behavioral therapy at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute & Society.

Read more about Dr. Joshi

Janet Wozniak, MD

Associate Director of the Bressler Program
Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School

Dr. Wozniak is an associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. After receiving her BA from Harvard College, Dr. Wozniak completed medical school at Cornell Medical University. She completed residencies in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Wozniak has been honored with a Massachusetts General Hospital Women's Careers Faculty Development Award.

Read more about Dr. Wozniak

Atilla Ceranoglu, MD

Medical Director of the Bressler Program
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School

Dr. Ceranoglu (“jay-RUN-oolu”) is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, serving as medical director at the MGH Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical Research Program for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Ceranoglu also serves as director of the Psychiatry Department at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston. Dr. Ceranoglu received his medical degree at Marmara University School of Medicine in Istanbul, Turkey. He completed his psychiatry training at Brockton VAMC and child psychiatry training at Mass General.

Read more about Dr. Ceranoglu

Dr. Joseph Biederman (1947-2023)

Dr Biederman was an internationally renowned researcher who is regarded as the father of pediatric psychopharmacology was the founding director of the Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical and Research Program for Autism Spectrum Disorder at Mass General. His research revolutionized the field of Child Psychiatry. By 2007, he was the most cited psychiatrist in all of medicine and one of the most productive researchers at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Biederman mentored countless clinical researchers at Mass General and internationally. We, his colleagues, are immensely grateful to have been taught by and practiced with him; we will strive to continue his legacy of innovation, scholarship, and fierce advocacy for patients and their families.

Clinical Staff

Craig Surman, MD

Director of the Clinical and Research Program in Adult ADHD at Mass General
Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Surman completed a residency in Psychiatry at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Boston, as well as a fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at the Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He currently serves as co-chair of the Professional Advisory Board of Children and Adults with ADHD.

Read more about Dr. Surman

Mai Uchida, MD

Dr. Uchida is a dedicated pediatric psychiatrist, a committed neuroscience researcher and an internationally acclaimed advocate for mental health, scientific literacy, and gender equality.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Uchida made a significant impact as a scientific communicator addressing the strong vaccine hesitancy in Japan. She was awarded the 2022 Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Award for the health impact that she was able to make through her advocacy as part of CoV-Navi, a non-profit aimed to disseminate scientifically accurate information about COVID vaccines to the public. Discussing her own experience of receiving the mRNA vaccine during pregnancy, she led the efforts in increasing vaccine acceptance among pregnant and lactating people and was integrally involved in the federal vaccine rollout as well as media communication. Her community outreach was a large part of how Japan achieved one of the highest vaccination rates among the international society.

Read more about Dr. Uchida

Brittney Jurgen, PMHNP-BC

Brittney is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) with an MSN from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions and MS in psychology from Tulane University. She comes to Mass General following two years of experience as a psychiatric registered nurse. Her interests include working with children and young adults with ADHD, anxiety disorders and mood disorders. At the Bressler Program, she is looking forward to expanding her experience working with young adults struggling with ADHD and hopes to become involved in future research projects within the program.

Carly Ramos, RN, MSN, PMHNP

Carly is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner clinically educated in treating patients with mental health diagnoses across the lifespan. Carly earned her Bachelor of Nursing degree at Hartwick College and a master’s degree in advanced psychiatric nursing at Northeastern University. Carly started her nursing career at an inpatient adult psychiatry unit at Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, Maine. She has served as the Director of Nursing at the Ivy Street School in Brookline, a residential school focused on providing trauma informed psychiatric care to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, behavioral health diagnoses, brain injury and other major mental illnesses. It was her love of working with students on the autism spectrum at the Ivy Street School that prompted Carly to go back to nursing school to obtain her advanced psychiatric nursing degree. In 2018, Carly was an Autism Fellow at Boston Medical Center where she received specialized training, education, and clinical experience working specifically with transition aged youth with autism, intellectual disability and co-morbid mental health diagnoses. In addition to her position at Mass General, Carly also runs a small private practice clinic in the greater Newburyport area.

Chris Clancy, MD

Dr. Clancy graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College, where he played Division One Men’s Ice Hockey.  He obtained his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.  He completed his Residency in Adult Psychiatry at the Harvard Longwood Program in 2003.  He completed his Residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the combined Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital Training Program in 2005.   

Dr. Clancy has a particular interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and co-morbid conditions.  He is committed to providing clinical care and enjoys working with the staff and clientele at the Bressler Clinic.

Read more about Dr. Clancy

Usman Ghumman, MD

Dr. Ghumman holds the position of staff psychiatrist at the Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical and Research Program for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Additionally, he serves as a Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  

Dr. Ghumman's journey in psychiatry began with his General Psychiatry training at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center at El Paso, followed by a Fellowship specializing in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.  

A true advocate for those affected by ASD, Dr. Ghumman's clinical and research interests revolve around this complex neurodevelopmental condition, with a specific focus on associated depression. He has contributed to the academic landscape with numerous peer-reviewed articles and is also a recipient of the prestigious Beatrix A. Hamburg award and the Data Blitz Award Featuring Early Career Investigators, both through the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Ghumman has presented at both national and international conferences.  

Beyond academia, Dr. Ghumman extends his expertise to the community and families of individuals with ASD by offering lectures and creating educational videos to increase awareness and offer support and guidance. Dr. Ghumman also dedicates his time and efforts to the community, organizing mental health educational programs for teenagers.

Read more about Dr. Ghumman

Maura DiSalvo, MPH

Sr. BiostatisticianClinical research allows her to use her passion for statistics in a way that can help advance the way we practice medicine and help clinicians gain better insight into the patients they are treating. Maura earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Villanova University in 2013 and her Master of Public Health with concentrations in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from Boston University in 2015.

Atilla Gonenc, PhD


Dr. Gonenc is an imaging expert with a robust background in nuclear medicine imaging (PET), conventional anatomical imaging (MRI), and endogenous molecular imaging (MRS). He earned his BS in Physics, followed by his PhD in the Experimental Nuclear Physics from Florida International University in 2009. Following post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Gonenc established a notable career at the intersection of imaging and clinical research, bringing a unique combination of technical and analytical expertise in both established and novel methods to assess inflammation, oxidative stress, bioenergetics, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Chloe Hutt Vater

Clinical Research Coordinator

Chloe graduated summa cum laude from Connecticut College in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human development. She joined the Bressler Program in June 2021. Chloe became interested in the Bressler Program through her experiences working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Administrative Staff

Maribel Galdo, LICSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Administrative Manager

Maribel has worked in the field for over 20 years. This position allows her to combine her business knowledge and clinical skills to help the team provide better quality care. She received her Bachelor of Art in psychology at Boston College and her master’s in social work from Simmons College.

Yvonne Woodworth

Staff Assistant

Yvonne provides administrative support to Dr. Joshi. Born and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania, Yvonne moved to Massachusetts to attend Boston University and received her BA in Psychology. Upon graduation, she stayed in Boston and began her career as the assistant to Dr. Joseph Biederman, the founding chief of these programs. For over 15 years, she has been helping support staff, patients, and families at Mass General.

Tiffany Rodriguez

Patient Services Coordinator

Tiffany handles all front desk duties. She does this job because she loves helping and wants to make a difference even if it is a small difference. She has four years of experience as a patient service coordinator at Mass General and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in business management.

About the Program

Alan and Lorraine Bressler were passionate about giving back to the Boston-area community where they lived for more than half a century and raised three daughters. Lorraine is a long-time overseer of the Museum of Fine Arts, where the couple created a named gallery. Alan, who passed away in September 2012, was a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In addition to art and music, the couple supported education through the Boston Latin School Association and other Boston education projects. Over the last decade, the Bresslers became aware of another pressing community need.

The Bresslers knew that Joseph Biederman, MD, and his colleagues in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Program at Mass General were studying how treatment of co-occurring psychiatric conditions can enable individuals with intellectually capable autism to reach their potential and lead fulfilling lives.

“Dr. Biederman and his team were developing a system of coordinated care to provide practical solutions for families dealing with these challenges,” said Alan Bressler in a 2010 interview. “That approach made sense to us, so we began a discussion of how we could support his efforts.” The couple’s overture soon led to the creation of the Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical and Research Program for Autism Spectrum Disorder at Mass General. The program was established in October 2007. It is a unique program in the country that specializes in providing comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and care across the lifespan to intellectually intact children and adults with autism. The Bressler Program focuses on identifying and treating psychiatric conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, in individuals with autism and also focuses on recognizing autism in individuals suffering from emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Patients come from all over the country to seek evaluation and treatment. “Before the Bressler Program existed, many parents of children with high-functioning autism were at their wits’ end, diagnostically confused and unable to find programs that offered effective treatment,” says Gagan Joshi, MD, director of the Bressler Program. “The Bressler Program offers them a ‘home,’ where their child is fully understood and can receive treatment and support well into adulthood.”

Patients come from all over the country to seek evaluation and treatment. “Before the Bressler Program existed, many parents of children with high-functioning autism were at their wits’ end, diagnostically confused and unable to find programs that offered effective treatment,” says Gagan Joshi, MD, scientific director of the Bressler Program. “The Bressler Program offers them a ‘home,’ where their child is fully understood and can receive treatment and support well into adulthood.”

“We knew that supporting this renowned group of psychiatrists and psychologists would yield benefits far beyond what anyone could have imagined, and this has already begun to happen,” said Alan Bressler in the 2010 interview. “We hope that the program will become a national model.” Since the number of referrals exceeds current clinical capacity, the family also hopes that others will step forward to support the program so that the team can help more families and conduct further research.

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