Recent Blog Articles
Children not yet vaccinated against COVID-19? What to do
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Is blood sugar monitoring without diabetes worthwhile?
Large review study finds low risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate biopsy
Does exercise help protect against severe COVID-19?
A new Alzheimer’s drug has been approved. But should you take it?
Harvard Health Blog Experts
List of Experts
Vasanti Malik, ScD
Vasanti Malik, ScD., is a Research Scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She obtained a MSc. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto and a dual doctorate in Nutrition and Epidemiology from the Harvard Chan School. Her research focuses on evaluating risk factors for obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease with an emphasis on diet quality. Dr. Malik also studies nutritional drivers of the global obesity and diabetes epidemics in countries undergoing epidemiologic transition and currently directs the Global Nutrition and Epidemiologic Transition Initiative; a collaborative project with 13 low- and- middle income countries that aims to reduce diabetes risk by improving diet and lifestyle. She is an Associate Editor for BMC Obesity and a Review Editor for Frontiers in Public Health. The ultimate goal of Dr. Malik’s work is to inform future large-scale community-based interventions and policy strategies to reduce the risk of obesity and related chronic diseases nationally and globally.
Alessandro Villa, DDS, PhD, MPH
Alessandro Villa, DDS, PhD, MPH, obtained a DDS degree and PhD from Italy, and completed his MPH at A.T. Still University, MO. He served as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute (USA) where he studied the epidemiology of oral HPV infections. Dr. Villa obtained his Certificate in Oral Medicine from Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is board certified in Oral Medicine. His clinical interests include the treatment of oral mucosal diseases, salivary gland disorders and oral complications from cancer therapy. Dr. Villa’s research interests are focused primarily on potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity and oral toxicities from cancer treatment.
Guru P. Sonpavde, MD
Guru P. Sonpavde, MD is the director of the bladder cancer program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He completed his medical oncology fellowship at Indiana University. His primary focus is on clinical trials to develop new drugs and combinations to treat urologic cancers, particularly bladder cancer. He also has led translational projects and developed prognostic classifications and endpoints focused on bladder cancer. He is a member of the Genitourinary Committee of Southwest Oncology Group and the Bladder Cancer Task Force of the National Cancer Institute Genitourinary Steering Committee.
Jeremy Whyman, MD
Jeremy Whyman, MD, is a geriatrician, palliative medicine physician and general internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is currently board certified in Geriatrics and Internal Medicine with completion of his third board certification in Palliative Medicine, anticipated in early January 2019.
Dr. Whyman completed Internal Medicine residency training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. During dual fellowship training in both Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, he focused on preserving and improving quality of life for those with serious illness.
As an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Whyman is a preceptor in the Practice of Medicine course, and is dedicated to teaching medical students. He is the director of outpatient education in the Division of Geriatrics at BIDMC. Dr. Whyman is actively involved in the recruitment, interview and selection process, as well as the training and mentoring of both Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine fellows and Internal Medicine residents at BIDMC. He received specialized training in medical education through the Harvard Macy Institute and Stanford Clinical Teaching Program. He now serves as a faculty member annually at the Harvard Macy Future Academic Clinician Educators Course.
Maria Mavrikaki, PhD
Maria Mavrikaki, PhD, studied psychology and neuroscience at the University of Crete in Greece. After obtaining her PhD, she pursued a postdoctoral research fellow position at The Scripps Research Institute in Florida, where she utilized genetic mouse models to study mechanisms underlying motivation for food. She then pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship and an assistant neuroscientist position at McLean Hospital, where she studied neurobiological mechanisms underlying prescription opioid addiction. Dr. Mavrikaki is currently staff scientist in Dr. Frank Slack’s lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Since March 2017, she is also an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her ongoing research assesses the role of small molecules called microRNAs in opioid addiction.
Ann Partridge, MD, MPH
Dr. Ann Partridge is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is vice chair of medical oncology and director of the Adult Survivorship Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she also leads the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer. As a medical oncologist and clinical and health services researcher, she has sought to improve the care and outcomes of patients with cancer by conducting research and by developing innovative clinical programming.
Her research focuses on communications with cancer survivors; risk perceptions; decision-making and quality of life; behavioral aspects of cancer care, including adherence with anticancer therapy; age and race disparities in breast cancer outcomes; understanding and intervening to improve survivorship care; long-term effects of cancer and cancer treatment; and the unique disease and issues facing young women with breast cancer. Her main focus in recent years is younger women with breast cancer. She co-founded and directs the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer. This novel program aims to improve care and health outcomes in young women with breast cancer at Dana-Farber, throughout New England, and beyond. In light of this highly successful program, Dr. Partridge was selected to lead the Adult Survivorship Program to enhance care and programming for the growing population of cancer survivors.
Dr. Partridge is principal investigator for the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study (YWS), a multi-institutional cohort of young women with breast cancer. The study enrolled over 1,300 women age 40 and younger at diagnosis. Dr. Partridge also serves in numerous leadership roles nationally and internationally. She is co-chair of the Breast Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, chair of the scientific program committee for American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018, and co-chair of the biennial ESMO-ESO sponsored Breast Cancer in Young Women Conference. She served as chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women from 2010 to 2017. She has received numerous awards and grants, including a Champions of Change award from the White House, an ASCO Improving Cancer Care Grant, and the Edward J. Benz Jr. Award for Advancing the Careers of Women Faculty.
After graduating from Georgetown University, Dr. Partridge received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, pursued an internal medicine residency at the Hospital for the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a medical oncology and hematology fellowship at Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare. She earned a master of public health degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH
Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH is an assistant physician and clinical researcher at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She board-certified in both internal medicine and integrative medicine. She received her MD and PhD in immunology from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine and research fellowship in complementary and integrative medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. During her fellowship she received a MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Dossett is also a certified Ananda Yoga (RYT 200), restorative yoga, and meditation teacher. Dr. Dossett’s research interests include mind body medicine, the patient-clinician relationship, and clinician well-being.
Kristina Liu, MD, MHS
Kristina Liu, MD, MHS, is a dermatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she serves as the director of the vitiligo clinic and director of dermatology simulation education. She received her medical degree and masters in health science from Yale School of Medicine, and completed her residency at the Harvard Combined Dermatology Program, where she served as chief resident. Her clinical and research interests include laser and cosmetic dermatology, pigmentary disorders of the skin, and medical education.
Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, MSc
Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, MSc is an Allergist/Immunologist and drug allergy researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is also the Director of Allergy/Immunology Clinical Epidemiology Research within the Division of Rheumatology Allergy and Immunology, the Quality and Safety Officer for Allergy at the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety, and the Quality Director for Allergy/Immunology. Dr. Blumenthal performs drug allergy research that uses methods of epidemiology, informatics, economics, and decision science. Her research is funded by the NIH and foundations, including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Foundation and CRICO, the risk management foundation. Dr. Blumenthal is recognized nationally for having created innovative approaches to the evaluation of penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotic allergies in the hospital that have since been adopted by other hospitals throughout the US and internationally, broadly referenced, and incorporated into expert recommendations.
Dr. Blumenthal graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Economics. She studied medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, which she completed in 2009, before training at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Internal Medicine and Allergy and Immunology. She completed a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2017.
Molly Wanner, MD
Molly A. Wanner, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and an Instructor in Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. She practices at MGH’s Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center, one of the leading laser and cosmetic centers in the world.
Dr. Wanner received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She completed her dermatology residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital where she served as Chief Resident in her last year. Afterwards, she completed a clinical and research fellowship at the Wellman Center of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Professionally, she is a member of several associations including the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, Women’s Dermatologic Society, and American Society of Laser Surgery and Medicine. She has co-authored several medical publications; is an invited guest speaker, and is frequently used a clinical expert source for news articles on lasers and light therapy such as cellulite and removal. Her expertise includes acne treatments, general dermatology, chemical peels. dermatologic surgery, cosmetic dermatology, fillers, facial rejuvenation, laser hair removal, laser of brown spots, blood vessels (red spots), and removal of spider veins.
Neera Nathan, MD, MSHS
Neera Nathan, MD, MSHS is a dermatologist and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Lahey Hospital and Medical Center. Her clinical and research interests include dermatologic surgery, cosmetic dermatology and laser medicine. She is part of the teaching faculty at Harvard Medical School, where she contributes to resident physician education.
David A. Shaye, MD, MPH
David A. Shaye, MD, MPH, is a dual board-certified facial plastic & reconstructive surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. His practice includes rhinoplasty, aging face surgery, skin cancer reconstruction, and facial reconstruction after trauma. Dr. Shaye is active in the field of global surgery, which focuses on delivering surgical services to areas with limited resources. He is a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders, where he performs pediatric facial reconstruction.
Daniel L. Hall, PhD
Daniel L. Hall, PhD, is a licensed clinical health psychologist, Harvard Medical School integrative medicine research fellow, and a clinical fellow in psychology in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He works with clinical research teams at the MGH Behavioral Medicine program, the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, the MGH Cancer Center, and the division of general medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Hall’s research examines how medical patients experience and cope with uncertainty and stress arising from cancer and other chronic illnesses. He is currently testing a multimodal mind-body intervention to help ease fear of cancer recurrence.
James Richter, MD
James Michael Richter, MD, is a Physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and Medical and Masters Degree from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and later a clinical and research fellowship in gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Richter practices consultative and endoscopic gastroenterology. Dr. Richter has an established interest in healthcare systems development and quality management, infectious, and inflammatory enteric diseases. He served as a Trustee of the Partners Community Healthcare; the community network that is a part of the Partners HealthCare System and Trustee of the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was Medical Director of the Massachusetts General Physicians Corporation and its successor, the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization between 1992 and 2002. There he chaired the Managed Care, Medical Management, Medical Policy Committees and Clinical Performance Management Task Force. He was Chief Medical Officer of the Caritas Christi Health Care System from 2002 through 2004.
Dr. Richter served as a member of the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners and the Massachusetts Medical Society Information Technology and Quality of Care Committees. He is recently the chair of the Society for General Internal Medicine National Clinical Practice Committee which is responsible for quality of care, practice management, and applications of clinical information technology. He currently serves on the advisory committee to CMS developing the criteria for episodes of care for MIPS and MACRA.
He continues to have an active leadership role in medical management, safety and quality of care improvement at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His research interests include the effectiveness of care of the adult patient with digestive disease, screening for colorectal cancer, quality management in healthcare and healthcare systems development and improvement. He has contributed over 180 original papers and chapters to the medical literature.
Marwa A. Ahmed, MD, MS
Marwa Ahmed, MD, MS, is a sports medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. She also serves as medical director of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network’s Brighton outpatient center and sports medicine program. With a background in human genetics and training in integrative medicine, she brings a unique understanding and approach to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports injuries. Dr. Ahmed’s treatment philosophy incorporates and optimizes an individual’s nutritional status and lifestyle to cultivate and promote tissue healing, prevent injury, and enhance performance. Dr. Ahmed’s research focuses on the emerging field of sports genomics.
Mark Benson, MD, PhD
Mark D. Benson, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of Preventive Cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He is also a basic and translational researcher in the field.
Dr. Benson received his B.A. in biological sciences from Columbia University and his M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Michigan. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at the University of Michigan, his fellowship training in cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his post-doctoral training in multi-omics research at BIDMC.
Dr. Benson is a principal investigator at the CardioVascular Institute at BIDMC. His laboratory’s interests are focused on applying emerging metabolomics, proteomics, and genomics technologies to detect signatures of small molecules in blood that may be used to predict an individual’s future risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify novel biomarkers and pharmacological targets that may improve preventive cardiovascular disease therapy.
Paul Rizzoli, MD
Paul Rizzoli, MD, is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Headache Medicine. He is the Clinical Director of the Graham Headache Center at the Brigham and Women’s/ Faulkner Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Begun in 1999 and affiliated with the Harvard Medical School, it is one of the largest UCNS-accredited training programs in Headache Medicine in the United States. This academic headache center, located on the Faulkner Hospital campus, has as its mission to re-establish the Faulkner’s longstanding reputation for excellence in headache care and to carry on the legacy of Dr. John Graham, an early headache pioneer. The center is known for excellence in headache management, research and for clinical training in Headache Medicine.
Susan Abookire, BSEE, MD, MPH, FACP
Susan Abookire, BSEE, MD, MPH, FACP, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, is a senior executive with 20 years’ experience leading healthcare organizations. She has served as chief medical officer, system chief quality officer, and past chair of quality and patient safety at Mount Auburn Hospital. Dr. Abookire began her career as an electrical engineer in aviation systems. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Abookire trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and practices internal medicine. She received a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and has taught nationally and internationally on patient safety, high reliability, and systems design. Dr. Abookire also enjoys being a forest therapy guide.
David Ramsey, MD, PhD, MPH
David J. Ramsey, MD, PhD, MPH, is currently the Director of Ophthalmic Research at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health. As a specialist in retinal disease, he performs surgery and sees patients in Peabody and Burlington, MA. Dr. Ramsey received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine in 2008. He completed his residency in Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2009-2012) and afterwards a combined medical/surgical fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (2012-2014). His research focuses on the prevention and detection of retinal diseases such as diabetes, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.
Nicole J. LeBlanc, MA
Nicole J. LeBlanc is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Harvard University, where she conducts research on the association between social factors and the development and maintenance of emotional disorders. She is also a clinical fellow in the department of psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is completing clinical and research training with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program and the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders. Her clinical interests include empirically-supported treatments for anxiety and traumatic stress disorders. She is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD
Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD, is a cardiac surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Kaneko received his medical degree from Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo. He then completed three residency programs: one at Keio University, another in surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the third in cardiothoracic surgery residency at BWH. He also completed a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at BWH. He is board certified in general surgery.
He specializes in endovascular approaches in cardiac surgery, including transcatheter aortic valve replacements—a catheter-based, minimally invasive surgical procedure for high-risk patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis—and thoracic endovascular aortic aneurysm repairs for thoracic aortic aneurysms. Dr. Kaneko also specializes in open aortic surgery and minimally invasive valve surgeries utilizing smaller incisions.
His research focuses on the clinical outcomes of aortic and valvular disease.
Pinak B. Shah, MD
Pinak B. Shah, MD is the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Director of the Interventional Cardiology Training Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His clinical interests include catheter based therapies for the treatment of valvular and structural heart disease. He directs the interventional arm of the Brigham and Women’s Structural Heart Team and is a high volume operator in the areas of trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), Mitra-Clip, and a variety of other procedures. He is the site principal investigator for numerous clinical trials evaluating novel devices for the treatment of structural heart conditions and he has authored and co-authored numerous publications in this area.
Raymond Chung, MD
Raymond Chung, MD is the Director of Hepatology and Liver Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chung completed his B.A. at Harvard College and his MD from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Chung’s focus has been fundamental and translational research in HCV infection. Major focus of his research has been elucidating the basis for the observed accelerated liver disease pathogenesis in HCV-HIV coinfection. In this regard his research has made important contributions to the current understanding of hepatic pathogenesis of coinfection.
Gad Marshall, MD
Gad Marshall, MD, is board certified in Neurology. He is currently the Associate Medical Director of Clinical Trials at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Associate Neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Assistant in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Marshall has been site principal investigator for multiple clinical trials of amyloid-modifying drugs in Alzheimer’s disease and is currently the site principal investigator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) 3, DoD-ADNI, and the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s Disease (A4) trial. His research has focused on clinical correlates of activities of daily living and neuropsychiatric symptoms with multiple imaging markers and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers across the early Alzheimer’s disease spectrum, as well as developing novel, sensitive, and ecologically-valid assessments for early functional changes in Alzheimer’s disease.
Jessica Allegretti, MD, MPH
Jessica Allegretti, MD, MPH, graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca New York, and The Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. She was trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts’s General Hospital and completed her gastroenterology fellowship training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She later went on to receive a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Currently she is an attending gastroenterologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Crohn’s and Colitis Center, where she also serves as the center’s Director of Clinical Trials. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Allegretti is the director of the fecal microbiota transplant program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is currently leading several clinical trials investigating the use of fecal transplantation in several chronic diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and obesity. Additionally, Dr. Allegretti’s lab focuses on investigating the mechanisms of recurrent clostridium difficile infections.