Principal Investigators

Study Staff

Madhusmita Misra, MD MPH

Dr. Misra is the Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and the Talbot Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is the Director of the Pediatric Endocrine-Neuroendocrine-Sports Endocrine Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and ex-director of the Pediatric Endocrine training program. Dr. Misra is the Principal Investigator of the REACT Study, Female Athlete Study, Brain Study, and Weight Loss Surgery Study and a co-investigator on the Anorexia Nervosa and CARE studies. Although Dr. Misra is now a successful physician, she wanted to be an astrophysicist in high school.

Karen K. Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is the Chief of the Neuroendocrine Unit, Professor of Medicine at HMS, the Laurie and Mason Tenaglia MGH Research Scholar, Co-Director of the MGH Clinical Research Education Center for the Division of Clinical Research, Principal Investigator of the MGH Endocrine Division Training Grant, Director of the Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center, and Director of Mentoring Initiatives for the Department of Medicine at MGH. She has a sustained record of independent NIH funding on the effects of neuroendocrine dysregulation throughout the weight spectrum and has published more than 200 original peer-reviewed manuscripts. She received the A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring by HMS in 2015.

Elizabeth Lawson, MD

Dr. Lawson is a neuroendocrinologist and Director of the Interdisciplinary Oxytocin Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests include the neurobiology of food motivation pathways in eating disorders, and the metabolic and central effects of the neurohormone, oxytocin. She is a Principal Investigator of multiple studies in the Neuroendocrine Unit, including the Brain and CARE Studies.

Kamryn Eddy, PhD

Dr. Eddy is the co-director of the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program (EDCRP), a staff psychologist at MGH, and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Eddy specializes in assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with eating disorders. She is a Principal Investigator for the REACT Study, the Brain Study and several other studies in the EDCRP, as well as a co-investigator for the CARE study.

Jenny Thomas, PhD

Dr. Thomas is the co-director of the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program (EDCRP), a staff psychologist at MGH, and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Thomas specializes in forms of disordered eating that are not fully captured by current psychiatric definitions. She is a Prinicipal Investigator of the CARE study and several other EDCRP projects, including her recent DSM-5 field trial, as well as a co-investigator for the Brain Study. Growing up, Dr. Thomas enjoyed ballet and her favorite roles was the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker.

Miriam Bredella, MD

Dr. Bredella is Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and an interventional musculoskeletal radiologist in the Department of Radiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Radiology, where she also serves as Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs. Dr. Bredella is the principal investigator of multiple NIH grants examining body composition and bone outcomes across the weight spectrum, and she is the co-Principal Investigator on the Weight Loss Surgery Study. Dr. Bredella also serves the co-director of the Harvard-wide NIH-funded KL2/Catalyst Medical Research Investigator Training Program.

Doctors & Nurses at Visits

Kathryn Ackerman, MD MPH

Dr. Ackerman is a sports endocrinologist at Boston Children's Hospital where she is co-Director of the Female Athlete Program. She is a former national rower and is a physician for the Boston ballet, US Rowing, and the Boston Marathon. Dr. Ackerman is a co-investigator for both studies, and she sees patients for the Female Athlete Study. She is the Associate Director of the Sports Endocrine Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Vibha Singhal, MD

Dr. Singhal is a pediatric endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Singhal completed her Pediatric Residency at Mayo Clinic and worked as an Emergency Department physician before joining our group at MGH. Dr. Singhal sees patients for the Bone Health Studies.

Fatima Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA

Dr. Stanford is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. At MGH, she is an Associate at the Disparities Solution Center, Affiliated Faculty at the Mongan Institute of Health Policy, and obesity medicine physician for children, adolescents, and adults in the MGH Weight Center. She is a co-investigator on the Weight Loss Surgery Study. She is a fitness enthusiast! You might catch her in a dance class, high intensity interval class, or a cross training class at a gym near you. 

Charu Baskaran, MD

Dr. Baskaran is a pediatric endocrinologist at Boston Children's Hospital and Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Baskaran completed her residency at St. John Medical Center before entering her fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at MGH. Dr. Baskaran sees patients for the Brain Study. 

Franziska Plessow, PhD

Dr. Plessow is an experimental psychologist in the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research, which she started in Germany and is now continuing in Boston, focuses on the cognitive mechanisms that regulate impulses, habits, intentional behavior, and personal autonomy. She is a co-investigator on the REACT Study and on the Brain Study, where she is leading a substudy investigating cognitive processes underlying disordered eating behavior. Dr. Plessow always wanted to become a researcher and was therefore very happy when she received her first science award at the age of eight.

Kendra Becker, PhD

Kendra R. Becker is completing her postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology as a Clinical and Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. She received a B.A. in behavioral neuroscience from Purdue University and an M.S. in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on applying a dimensional model of emotional experience to understanding negative and positive reinforcement schedules of disordered eating behaviors. She works on studies within the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program. Also, Kendra used to do aerial dancing!

Lauren Breithaupt, PhD

Dr. Breithaupt is a clinical psychologist and NIMH-sponsored T32 post-doctoral fellow in the Translational Neuroscience Training for Clinicians at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Breithaupt's research and clinical work focuses on restrictive eating behaviors across adolescents and young adults with anorexia nervosa, atypical anorexia nervosa, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections. Her program of research focuses on immune and endocrine systems impact on brain networks underlying restrictive eating and weight changes and how these systems interact to influence the development, course, and treatment of restrictive eating patterns. 

Murray_Headshot 2.jpg
Helen Burton Murray, PhD

Dr. Burton Murray is a clinical and research fellow in the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Gastroenterology.  She works on studies within the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program and she specializes in the intersection of gastrointestinal conditions with feeding/eating disorder symptoms. 

Elisa Asanza, FNP
Click here to email me

Elisa Asanza received a Bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Virginia, a Master in Public Health from Boston University, and a Master in Nursing from Simmons College. She is an ANCC board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Before joining the Neuroendocrine Unit, Elisa worked as an outpatient Family NP and also worked in clinical drug development in the biotech industry. Elisa sees patients for both Brain studies and studies for adults with pituitary dysfunction.

Meghan Slattery, FNP
Click here to email me

Meghan Slattery received both her Bachelor and Masters in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is an ANCC board certified Family Nurse Practitioner.  Before joining the Neuroendocrine Research Unit, Meghan worked as an outpatient Nurse Practitioner in New York City.  Meghan is a co-investigator and sees patients for the the REACT Study, Anorexia Nervosa and Brain Studies. Meghan has frequently celebrated her birthday by going whitewater rafting.  

Kristine Hauser, FNP
Click here to email me

Kristine Hauser received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and her Master’s in Nursing from Southern Connecticut State University. She is an AANP board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Before joining the Neuroendocrine Unit, she facilitated cardiac follow-ups for pediatric cancer survivors who received high doses of cardiotoxic chemotherapy. Her research experience expands over a decade and includes both PI and sponsor-initiated studies as well as intramural and extramural NIH studies. Fun fact, Kristine was a varsity swimmer in college and is hoping her kids will do the same.

Anu V. Gerweck, N.P.
Click here to email me

Anu received her Masters in Nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.  She is an AANP board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner.  Before joining the Neuroendocrine Research Unit in 2008, Anu worked in a neurology private practice in Wellesley, MA.  Anu is a co-investigator and primarily sees subjects for obesity and healthy volunteer studies. In her free time, Anu likes to spend time camping, playing ping pong and playing the piano.

Study Coordinators

Abisayo Animashaun 
Click here to email me

Abisayo studied Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College. During undergrad, Abisayo interned in an Alzheimer’s and Down’s Syndrome lab at Mass Gen and explored various courses targeted at understanding the biological aspects of psychology. Outside of her work and studies Abisayo spent much of her time at Wellesley singing with her college a capella group, the Wellesley College Tupelos.

Amita studied Biology and Psychology at Amherst College. During college, Amita worked in a biomedical research lab and interned with a non-profit healthcare group. She is the coordinator for the Anorexia Nervosa Study and the Weight Loss Surgery Study.

Bryan Bollinger
Click here to email me

Bryan studied neuroscience at Dartmouth College. While there, he was a Research Assistant in the Contextual Dynamics Laboratory and the President of the STAR Chronic Illness Peer Mentoring Program. He also volunteered in the Dartmouth Hitchcock Patient Support Corps and Mental Health Student Union. He is a coordinator for the Male Athlete Study, and he is involved in other studies in the Adult Neuroendocrine Unit.

Danielle Kahn 
Click here to email me

Danielle is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) where she double majored in Psychology & Brain Sciences and Educational Studies. Prior to becoming the Clinical Coordinator of the Brain Study, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Weight Management and Eating Disorders Program in the WUSTL School of Medicine; the Brain Dynamics Center at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Sydney, Australia; and the Positive Psychology Department at WUSTL.

Megan Kuhnle 
Click here to email me

Megan is the clinical research coordinator for the Neuroendocrine Unit CARE Study. She studied Community Health and Spanish at Tufts University and previously interned on the Oxytocin for Weight Loss study also in the Neuroendocrine Unit. During her time at Tufts Megan ran four marathons, including completing the Boston Marathon twice.

Meghan studied Clinical Psychology at Tufts University. During undergrad, she worked in a pediatric cognitive neuroscience lab at Boston Children's Hospital and wrote an honors thesis about maternal mental health. She is the coordinator for the REACT Study. Having spent most of her life in Massachusetts, Meghan is a wicked big Sox fan.