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A new treatment for obesity
Harvard Health Blog Experts
List of Experts
Irun Bhan, MD
Irun Bhan, MD, is a transplant hepatologist and physician scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and his MD degree from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program at Harvard Medical School, where he worked as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow. He subsequently completed his residency training in internal medicine at Columbia University, where he served as Chief Resident. He further trained as a clinical fellow in gastroenterology and advanced/transplant hepatology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Bhan specializes in the full spectrum of acute and chronic liver diseases with a particular interest in transplant for oncologic indications. His research interests include the development of blood-based biomarkers in chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Emily Reiff, MD
Dr. Emily Reiff is a maternal fetal medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), specializing in high-risk obstetrics, and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Reiff completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital, and a fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at Duke University. She currently sees pregnant patients in the maternal fetal medicine offices at BWH in Boston and Foxboro, and performs consultations in the Center for Fetal Medicine. Academically, she is interested in care redesign through quality improvement initiatives. She lives in Wellesley with her husband and daughter.
James Naples, MD
James Naples, MD, is a physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. He earned his medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and stayed there to complete his residency training in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. He completed a fellowship in neurotology and skull base surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has diverse clinical interests that include hearing loss and cochlear implants, skull base surgery, vestibular disorders, and medical history. In addition to his clinical practice, he has performed research in all of these areas. He hopes to integrate his research ideas to improve care and outcomes for all patients with ear-related clinical disorders.
Jennifer Lin, MD
Jennifer Lin, MD, co-directs the Melanoma Risk and Prevention Clinic, and the Multicultural Dermatology clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She also is the Dermatology Lead of the Melanoma Program at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She has authored several papers related to melanoma as well as on lasers and light-based therapies.
Dr. Lin received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency at the Harvard Residency Program, and completed her fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Balachundhar Subramaniam , MD, MPH, FASA
Dr. Subramaniam earned his medical degree from Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Pondicherry, India. He then pursued his anesthesiology residency from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, and gained expertise in cardiac anesthesiology following a degree from Harvard Medical School, Boston. He also completed a master of public health in clinical effectiveness research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston.
He was awarded the Ellison “Jeep” Pierce Chair of Anesthesia. He is the director of the Center for Anesthesia Research Excellence at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an associate professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School.
He conducts research in perioperative outcomes and has special interest in meditation as a pre-habilitation tool in cardiac surgical population. He also researches the effects of meditation on sleep quality, postoperative delirium, and physician burnout, and other topics.
Preeti Upadhyay, MBBS, MPH
Dr. Upadhyay works as a research fellow under the supervision of Dr. Subramaniam Balachundhar. She graduated from The University of Sydney, Australia, with a master’s degree in public health. She earned her medical degree from Kathmandu University, Nepal, and was practicing medicine in her native country prior to changing bases to a nonclinical workspace. She has a keen interest in meditation and its effects on physician burnout and sleep quality.
Stephanie Collier, MD, MPH
Dr. Stephanie Collier is the director of education in the division of geriatric psychiatry at McLean Hospital; consulting psychiatrist for the population health management team at Newton-Wellesley Hospital; and instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her professional interests include the interface of medicine and psychiatry, the treatment of mental illnesses in the primary care setting, and the optimization of training and supervision of non-specialist clinicians to deliver mental health interventions in resource-limited settings.
Elizabeth Liebson, MD
Elizabeth Liebson, MD, is a staff psychiatrist on the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders Unit at Mclean Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. She divides her time between clinical work and teaching residents and medical students. Dr. Liebson’s clinical focus is assessment of first psychotic episodes and exploring patients’ subjective experiences. Dr. Liebson has been on staff at McLean Hospital since 2006.
While primarily a clinician, Dr. Liebson has experience as an investigator in several disciplines relevant to clinical neuroscience research, including nosology and clinical pharmacology.
Lou Ann Bruno-Murtha, DO
Lou Ann Bruno-Murtha, DO, is Division Chief of Infectious Diseases and Medical Director of Infection Prevention at the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). She chairs the Infection Prevention Committee and co-directs the Antibiotic Stewardship Team.
She has an appointment at Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor and teaches residents and medical students.
Dr. Bruno-Murtha received her DO degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed an Internal Medicine residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in Manhattan and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Boston University Medical Center. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.
She has conducted clinical research on antibiotic cycling, the molecular epidemiology of MRSA and complicated skin infections. Quality improvement interests have included optimizing and maintaining exceptional hand hygiene compliance, assessing and improving environmental cleanliness, evaluating the utility of UV disinfection in the OR, implementing a process for total body cleansing with chlorhexidine for selected surgical patients, improving appropriateness of urine cultures and initiating a strategy to reduce hospital-onset C. difficile infections.
Dr. Bruno-Murtha served on the Massachusetts Expert Panel on Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), whose work culminated in guidelines for infection prevention programs in Massachusetts and formulated the basis for public reporting of selected HAIs. She is currently serving on the Massachusetts Healthcare Associated Infection/Antibiotic Resistance Technical Advisory Group, whose charge is to facilitate improving antibiotic use across the continuum of care. Dr. Bruno-Murtha is a member of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology task force on community-based healthcare epidemiologists.
She has published original research, reviews, case reports and abstracts and has lectured both regionally and nationally. Dr. Bruno-Murtha has received awards for excellence in teaching, collaboration, and in clinical care. She is a member of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians.
Amy Leigh Miller, MD, PhD
Amy Leigh Miller, MD, PhD, received her MD and PhD from the University of Michigan, and completed her Medicine residency, Cardiology fellowship, and Cardiovascular Electrophysiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she has been on staff since 2010. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard. In addition to seeing patients, Amy is the Associate Chief Medical Information Officer at Partners Healthcare and is the Executive Director of Clinical Informatics for the Partners Healthcare Epic implementation (“Partners eCare”).
Pritesh Topiwala, MD
Dr. Pritesh Topiwala is an Interventional Pain Management physician and Anesthesiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is the Medical Director of the Brigham and Women’s Foxboro Pain Management clinic. His clinical interests are neuromodulation and interventional oncologic pain therapies. Dr. Topiwala finished his Anesthesiology residency and Pain Medicine fellowship training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
John Sharp, MD
Dr. John Sharp is a board-certified psychiatrist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is renowned for clearly conveying evidenced-based messages regarding health and well-being. Dr. Sharp is a member of the American College of Psychiatrists and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has been voted by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America for the past 10 years. His first book, The Emotional Calendar: Understanding Seasonal Influences and Milestones to Become Happier, More Fulfilled, and in Control of your Life, was published in 2011 by Times Books and translated into five languages. His second book, The Insight Cure: Change Your Story, Transform Your Life, was published in 2018 by Hay House.
Dieter Manstein, MD, PhD
Dieter Manstein, MD, PhD, completed his PhD in Physics, in addition to his dermatology residency training at the University of Munster in Germany. He then completed a Clinical Applications of Laser fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School with Dr. R. Rox Anderson. During this time, he co-invented both fractional photothermolysis (Fraxel) and cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting) technologies. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. He is also the PI of his own research lab at the Cutaneous Biology Research Center, which contributes to the development of novel solutions for important clinical problems in dermatology.
Babar Memon, MD, MSc
Dr. Babar Memon is an infectious disease specialist with an interest in prosthetic joint infections, tick-borne illnesses, and infection control. He earned his medical degree at Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, and obtained a master’s degree in infection control from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He completed his training in internal medicine at Carney Hospital in Boston and his infectious disease fellowship at Boston University Medical Center.
He currently provides medical care at Beth Israel Lahey Health-Milton, where he is an infectious disease consultant and runs an outpatient general infectious diseases clinic, and at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital.
Robyn Thom, MD
Dr. Robyn Thom is a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. She will begin practicing at the Lurie Center for Autism as a staff psychiatrist when she completes her fellowship training in July 2020. She is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Toronto Medical School, and the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program. Her clinical and research interests include autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders, the interface between medical and psychiatric co-morbidity, and psychopharmacology.
Chris McDougle, MD
Dr. Christopher J. McDougle, director of the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital and Nancy Lurie Marks Professor in the Field of Autism at Harvard Medical School, is a neuropsychopharmacologist and internationally recognized expert in research and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders that extend into adulthood. He has 25 years of experience diagnosing and caring for children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
Before coming to Mass General, Dr. McDougle was the chairman of the department of psychiatry and executive director of the Institute of Psychiatric Research at Indiana University School of Medicine, where he was also the Albert Eugene Sterne Professor of Psychiatry.
Dr. McDougle has maintained an active clinical practice throughout his career and continues this commitment to caring for individuals with ASDs at the Lurie Center, where he has expanded services for adults. As director of the Lurie Center, Dr. McDougle is keenly interested in leveraging the vast resources that exist at Mass General and elsewhere in Boston to advance new discoveries and treatments for children, adolescents, and adults with ASDs
Dr. McDougle received a BA in chemistry from Valparaiso University in 1981 and an MD from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1986. He subsequently completed a residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine (1990) and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center (1995).
Lee H. Schwamm, MD
Dr. Lee Schwamm graduated from Harvard Medical School and practices neurocritical care and vascular neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he also serves as the director of the Center for TeleHealth. He currently leads virtual care activities across the Partners Healthcare System as vice president of virtual care in Partners Digital Health. He is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and active clinical researcher, and the author of over 400 peer-reviewed articles describing his pioneering work in telehealth/virtual care, systems of stroke care, quality improvement science, and advocacy. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, among others.
Molly Wolf, MD
Dr. Wolf is a second-year fellow in the Harvard combined pulmonary and critical care fellowship. She graduated from the University of Michigan in molecular biology, and then went to medical school at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester. She completed a combined residency in pediatrics and internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston before starting her fellowship. She has an academic interest in e-cigarette health effects, and has completed pulmonary grand rounds on this topic. She is planning to focus her research time on training in clinical trials.
Laura K. Rock, MD
Dr. Laura K. Rock is a pulmonologist and critical care physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. She is also faculty for the Center for Medical Simulation, and a VitalTalk instructor. She runs communication training programs and conducts research on debriefing as it relates to teamwork and patient safety. These include programs for effective and empathic communication between clinicians and patients or family members; work culture and how it affects teamwork, the patient experience, and clinician well-being; managing conflict at the bedside; and providing feedback that improves performance.
Debi LaPlante, PhD
Dr. Debi LaPlante is director of the Division on Addiction at the Cambridge Health Alliance, and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She joined the Division in 2001 and is involved with its diverse research, education, training, and outreach activities. With her colleagues, she developed the Syndrome Model of Addiction, and co-edited the two volume APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook. She has authored dozens of book chapters, journal articles, and reports. Dr. LaPlante authored the Harvard Health Publishing ebook Responsible Drinking for Women.
Dr. LaPlante’s current research involves assessments of public health treatment and intervention systems, studies of actual gambling and daily fantasy sports behavior, and tribal participatory research to develop a culturally grounded, mental health first-response training program, xaʔtu̓s (Salish for First Face) for Mental Health. In addition to these activities, Dr. LaPlante is a member of the editorial team for the Division’s The Brief Addiction Science Information Source. She also has been a course director for online and live continuing education courses for addiction, and for gambling-related problems specifically. She is a regular reviewer for research grants and academic journal submissions. Dr. LaPlante spearheaded the Division’s Cambridge Health Alliance Readiness for Gambling Expansion initiative, which features Gambling Disorder Screening Day on the second Tuesday of March annually.
Anna R. Wolfson, MD
Dr. Anna Wolfson is an allergist/immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is the quality director for the MGH allergy department, and her research is focused on quality improvement and drug allergy.
Angela Fitch, MD
Angela Fitch, MD, FACP, FOMA is the Associate Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and faculty at the Harvard Medical School. She is board certified in obesity medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Fitch graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and then stayed for a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Fitch was chief resident in internal medicine before moving to Minnesota to practice primary care at Fairview Health Systems and the University of Minnesota. She began the practice of obesity medicine at the University of Minnesota treating children with obesity. In 2012, Dr. Fitch became the medical director for the Metabolic Health and Weight Management Clinic at Park Nicollet and began practicing obesity medicine full time. Dr. Fitch became a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine in 2012. Dr. Fitch moved back to Cincinnati to create a multidisciplinary medical surgical weight center. There she was also appointed medical director of the Executive Health Program and Vice President of Primary Care before moving to Boston. She currently is serving as Vice President of the Obesity Medicine Association. Dr. Fitch enjoys seeing patients of all ages to help them reach their weight and wellness goals.
Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, FACP
Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, FACP, is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center, and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. He oversees the clinical care for over 25,000 patients at Joslin, as well as the education and care programs Joslin delivers nationally and internationally. His research focuses on innovative models of diabetes care to improve to enhance diabetes outcomes and improve the lives of people with diabetes. To meet these goals, he has traversed many arenas including an initial career as a basic scientist researcher to development of better patient communication tools, creating the first broad scale diabetes registry, designing and implementing a care management training program, leading Pennsylvania’s statewide implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home and defining the medical neighborhood and the role of centers of excellence in diabetes. Dr. Gabbay has received funding from the National Institute of Health Diabetes, Digestive and Kidneys Diseases (NIDDK), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for his care transformation work.
The reach of his work has been recognized through leadership roles in national and international activities to transform diabetes care. Dr. Gabbay has served as visiting professor, keynote speaker and organizing committees for global meetings of the American Diabetes Association, International Diabetes Federation, Endocrine Society, and the Diabetes Technology Society. Along with an extensive peer reviewed publication record, his views have appeared in popular press such as the New York Times, CNN, Oprah, the Washington Post and NPR.
Dr. Gabbay completed his B.Sc. Degree at McGill University and his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin where he published on mechanisms of insulin signaling. He then went on to get his medical degree from the State University of New York at Brooklyn School of Medicine with a residency in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell and fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at a joint Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess-Brigham and Women’s Hospital program at Harvard. Dr. Gabbay was a visiting scientist at MIT and a Professor of Medicine at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and founding director of the Penn State Institute of Diabetes and Obesity before coming to Joslin.
Emeric Bojarski, MD
Emeric F. Bojarski, M.D. is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He founded Equilibrium Behavioral Health, a telepsychiatry private practice, to harness the power of telemedicine in addressing the prominent shortage of psychiatrists nationwide.
Dr. Bojarski graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency in adult psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He did his fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, where he continued to teach students about child development and psychodynamic aspects of suicide in LGBTQ youth. Dr. Bojarski specializes in identity formation across the lifespan and ameliorating treatment-resistant depression.
Elise Merchant, MD
Dr. Elise Merchant is an infectious diseases fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She completed her internal medicine residency and chief residency at Tufts Medical Center, after earning her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine and an AB in anthropology and biology from Brown University. Her academic interests include medical education and HIV.