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STUDY STAFF

Principal Investigators

Madhusmita Misra, MD MPH

Dr. Misra is the Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at Mass General Hospital for Children and the Talbot Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is the Director of the Pediatric Endocrine-Sports Endocrine-Neuroendocrine Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), ex-director of the Pediatric Endocrine fellowship program, and Immediate Past President of the Pediatric Endocrine Society. Dr. Misra is the Principal Investigator of the ongoing REACT, POWER, Weight Loss Surgery, and Male Athlete studies, and the completed Female Athlete, Anorexia Nervosa and Brain Studies. She is also a co-investigator on the completed CARE study. Dr. Misra has published ~200 original research papers and over 100 chapters, reviews, letters and position statements. Dr. Misra has received the John Haddad Young Investigator Award (AIMM-ASBMR), the Janet W. McArthur Award (Women in Endocrinology), the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Award (MGH) and the Rita M. Kelley, MD, Fellowship (MGH). Although Dr. Misra is now a successful physician, she wanted to be an astrophysicist in high school.

Karen K. Miller, MD
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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
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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, MPH

Dr. Singhal is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and leads the pediatric program at the Massachusetts General hospital Weight Center. She is a board certified in Obesity Medicine and Pediatric Endocrinology. After finishing her medical school at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, she finished her pediatric residency at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota. She further did her endocrinology training at the Massachusetts General hospital where she is now a faculty. She is funded by the NIH to evaluate the insulin secretion changes after sleeve gastrectomy in adolescents. Her passion involves improving outcomes of pediatric obesity via personalized obesity management.

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Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, MBA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FAMWA, FTOS 

Dr. Stanford practices and teaches at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/ Harvard Medical School (HMS) as one of the first fellowship-trained obesity medicine physicians in the world. Dr. Stanford received her BS and MPH from Emory University as a MLK Scholar, her MD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine as a Stoney Scholar, her MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Zuckerman Fellow in the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, and her executive MBA as a merit-based scholarship recipient from the Quantic School of Business. She completed her Obesity Medicine & Nutrition Fellowship at MGH/HMS after completing her internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of South Carolina.

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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. 

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!

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Helen Burton Murray, PhD

Dr. Burton Murray is a staff psychologist in the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Gastroenterology and Member of the Faculty at Harvard Medical School. She works on studies within the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program with a specific focus on the intersection of gastrointestinal conditions with feeding/eating disorder symptoms.

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. 

Elisa Asanza, FNP
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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
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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.  

Sarah Smith received her Masters in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She is an ANCC board certified Family Nurse Practitioner.  Before joining the Neuroendocrine Research Unit, Sarah worked in a residential school for children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities. 

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Anu V. Gerweck, NP
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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.

Research Fellows

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Dr. Becetti is a pediatric endocrinology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. She graduated from medical school at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and completed her pediatric residency training at Virginia Commonwealth University. She started her pediatric endocrinology fellowship in July 2021 and joined the Neuroendocrine Unit in July 2022, currently involved in the Oxytocin and Bariatric studies. She enjoys cooking, doing jigsaw puzzles, exploring new areas of the city, and her happy place is the beach (especially in Algeria).

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Ana Paola Lopez, MD

Dr. Lopez is a pediatric endocrinologist. She completed her clinical fellowship at Instituto Nacional de Pediatría, Mexico. She loves to interact with kids and their families while caring for their health. She is excited to dive into the research world and start a path within. Dr. Lopez enjoys going outdoors in nature and loves Massachusetts sunsets and sunrises.

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Clarissa Carvalho
Pedreira, MD 

Dr. Pedreira is a double boarded pediatric and adult endocrinologist. She underwent a clinical and research fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia and is completing her postdoctoral fellowship as a Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on the effects of gender affirming hormone therapy on brain connectivity in transgender people. She is a co-investigator on the REACT study. She loves enjoying nature, rowing, biking and hiking in her free time. 

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Shubhangi Tuli, MBBS

Dr. Tuli is a postdoctoral research fellow at the lab. She is currently involved in the Weight Loss Surgery Study, Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy Study and MEN Syndrome Study. Before starting at MGH, she completed medical school in Chandigarh, India. She aspires to be a Pediatrician- Scientist. She is a Doginist and likes to cook, read books, and go for walks by the Charles River in her free time.

Study Coordinators

Study Coordinators

Meghan is the lab's lead clinical research coordinator. She works on the REACT Study, Weight Loss Surgery Study, Male Athlete Study, and several other endocrinology studies. She is concurrently enrolled in Harvard Extension School's Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program. Before MGH, Meghan attended Tufts University, where she studied Clinical Psychology and wrote an honors thesis about maternal mental health. Outside of the lab, you can find Meghan hanging out with her dog, Cooper, and watching the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

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Felicia Petterway
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Felicia is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) where she double majored in Public Health Studies and Psychology. Prior to joining the REACT study as an NIMH Post-baccalaureate Fellow, she was a Research Assistant for the Eating Disorders Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. There, she wrote her honors thesis on predictors of inpatient treatment outcomes in individuals with anorexia nervosa through the JHU Dean's Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Outside of work, she enjoys motorcycle rides with her family, and she even worked at a Harley Davidson dealership throughout college. 

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Jamie Sanislow
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Jamie Sanislow studies Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University. He is completing his Cooperative Education Program as a Study Coordinator in the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is interested in analyzing links between neuroendocrine pathophysiology and behavioral factors of eating disorders and devising safe and affordable treatment options. Jamie is also passionate about local health disparities, and outside the office and classroom he enjoys hiking and sailing. 

Geeta studied Biology and Environmental Science at Northeastern University. During college, Geeta conducted radiology research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and worked as a patient care technician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She is a coordinator for the Male Athlete Study and is involved in other studies in the Adult Neuroendocrine Unit. Geeta loves to bake and her favorite dessert is strawberry rhubarb pie! 

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