Dr. Elizabeth Karlson is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Scientific Director of Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine, and a rheumatologist and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Karlson obtained her M.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her medical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by a clinical and research rheumatology fellowship, also at the Brigham. She joined the Brigham Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity in 1994.
Dr. Karlson has played leadership roles in numerous multi-institutional research projects. As PI of the Mass General Brigham Biobank, Dr. Karlson has helped lead all aspects of this enterprise-wide effort. She leads the eMERGE (electronic Medical Records and Genomics Consortium) Clinical Center at Mass General Brigham studying the implementation of polygenic risk scores for common diseases in clinical care. She co-leads recruitment of a diverse cohort of >26,000 New England participants as co-Principal Investigator of the All of Us Research Program. She is co-Principal Investigator of the Post-Acute Sequela of SARS-CoV2 Data Resource Core (PASC-DRC). She serves as Director of the Rheumatic Disease Epidemiology Research Program for the Section of Clinical Sciences, Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Karlson has conducted patient-oriented and translational research for 28 years with expertise in longitudinal cohort studies, disease epidemiology and genetics, biobanking, and the use of bioinformatics to define phenotypes in the EHR. She is the author or co-author of 300+ publications. She has led large scale recruitment and use of data and samples for the Mass General Brigham Biobank that collects samples, family history, lifestyle and environmental survey data linked with comprehensive health information from electronic health records from 135,000+ Mass General Brigham patients. She coordinates bioinformatics analyses for phenotype algorithms for the Biobank Portal and eMERGE network. She has served on grant review committees for the National Institutes of Health, Arthritis Foundation, and national grant agencies in Canada and Europe. She has served on the American College of Rheumatology Blue Ribbon Panel on Academic Rheumatology. As a dedicated mentor, Dr. Karlson has supervised and mentored 25 trainees, of whom 20 hold appointments at academic institutions, 6 have received NIH K awards, 14 have received career development awards, and 6 have received NIH R01 grants. She has received the Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award, the Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award from the American College of Rheumatology, and the Senior Faculty Mentoring Award from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Slaugenhaupt is a Professor of Neurology (Genetics) at Mass General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, the Scientific Director of the Mass General Research Institute and an Investigator in the Center for Genomic Medicine at Mass General. She is a human geneticist whose work focuses on two neurologic disorders, familial dysautonomia (FD) and mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV), as well as the common cardiac disorder mitral valve prolapse (MVP). Discoveries in the Slaugenhaupt Lab have led to the successful implementation of critical population screening for FD and MLIV, the identification of genes for familial MVP, and more recently to the development of therapeutics for FD and MLIV. Dr. Slaugenhaupt also spearheads several programs and educational initiatives at Mass General, including a thriving undergraduate summer internship program. Her Research Institute team works to promote science at Mass General by increasing interactions with industry, by fundraising for Research Institute initiatives, and by promoting Mass General research to both internal and external audiences. In 2013, Dr. Slaugenhaupt was named the Elizabeth G. Riley and Daniel E. Smith, Jr. MGH Research Scholar. In 2016, she was honored with a prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and in 2016 she was named one of the Top Ten Women to Watch in Science and Technology by the Boston Business Journal. She was elected to the Board of the American Society of Human Genetics in 2018 and she serves on the Board of Trustees at Eckerd College. She was recently named the Elizabeth G. Riley and Daniel E. Smith Jr. Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair.
Dr. Jordan Smoller is a psychiatrist, epidemiologist, and geneticist whose research focus has been understanding the genetic and environmental determinants of psychiatric disorders across the lifespan and using big data and genomics to advance precision mental health. Dr. Smoller is the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Trustees Endowed Chair in Psychiatric Neuroscience, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. He is Associate Chief for Research in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Center for Precision Psychiatry, and Director of the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit in the MGH Center for Genomic Medicine. Dr. Smoller is a Tepper Family MGH Research Scholar and also serves as Director of the Omics Unit of the MGH Division of Clinical Research and co-Director of the Partners HealthCare Biobank at MGH. He is Director of the Partners Healthcare Training Program in Precision and Genomic Medicine. He is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute and President of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics. He is a Principal Investigator of the New England Precision Medicine Consortium as part of the NIH All of Us Research Program and co-Chair of the All of Us Science Committee. He is an author of more than 400 scientific publications and is also the author of The Other Side of Normal (HarperCollins/William Morrow, 2012).
Natalie Boutin is Program Director at the Mass General Brigham Biobank and Director of Information Technology for Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine. In this dual capacity, Natalie is responsible for the Mass General Brigham Biobank’s operations and for its information technology infrastructure. Ms. Boutin also oversees systems that drive clinical and research genomics at Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine. Ms. Boutin has over twenty years of experience driving large and complex business and technology projects, including more than a decade in the healthcare industry. Ms. Boutin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College.
“Working at the Mass General Brigham Biobank is a dream job. We are building a resource that matters, that will make a difference in medicine.”
Ms. Carrie Zawatsky is a Senior Genetic Counselor and Project Manager at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is the Director of Research Development for the Genomes2People translational research group and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Carrie works with the Mass General Brigham Biobank and the NIH eMERGE consortium to return unanticipated actionable genetic findings to Biobank participants. Carrie also works on a number of other genomic studies including managing the MedSeq Project, a randomized control trial exploring the medical, behavioral and economic outcomes of whole genome sequencing.
Ms. Perez is a genetic counselor and project manager at Brigham and Women’s Hospital working with the Genomes2People team. Before becoming a genetic counselor, she worked as a research assistant for the Mass General Brigham Biobank for 18 months where she recruited patients, assisted with data management, and expanded clinic recruitment sites. Her current role includes returning unanticipated medically actionable results to biobank participants, coordinating with the eMERGE consortium, and managing other evolving projects within the Genomes2People translational research group.
Ms. Tchamitchian graduated from Clark University with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science in 2011 and received her Master of Arts in Biology in 2013. As a project manager, Ms. Tchamitchian helps manage operations, compliance, training, data management, recruitment activities, project development, and supports collaborating investigators and recruitment teams.
“The idea of a personalized, targeted approach to the treatment and prevention of genetic diseases is one of the most exciting things that I’ve heard. Collecting data for research studies is typically time consuming and expensive. By reducing the time needed and cost of research, the Biobank is allowing medical scientists to focus on what is really important – people, and how we can best help them, their families, and all of our futures. I am so excited to be a part of this and learn about the difference it makes in the immediate and far future.”
Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Carolina is passionate about the entrepreneurialism, intense energy, and diversity of big cities. Carolina formalized this passion by earning her MBA from Simmons University while simultaneously starting a family and launching several entrepreneurial endeavors. Several years ago, she worked at the Epidemiology Department at Boston university as a Research Associate Interviewer for a Birth Defect and Hemi-facial Microsomal study. She ran her own award-winning clothing company, Caramelo Clothing Co., amassing strong street-level experience with business strategy, finances, operations, and personnel management. Carolina has co-taught Business Strategy courses in both online and brick-and-mortar formats. She most recently managed the Latin America Customer Operations at Clarks (C. & J. Clark International Ltd) -- working with sales forecasts, operations, and customer service. She is known for her infectious energy and exceptional interpersonal skills.”
Sam Schecter graduated from Bates College in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. As a project assistant for the Biobank, they are responsible for sample and data distribution and the yearly Biobank newsletter.
“The Mass General Brigham Biobank is a wonderful source of research and discovery. We can take on so many varying types of medical research thanks to the over 130,000 participants that have consented to our biobank. I am so excited to be a part of such an amazing team!”
As a research coordinator, Ms. Rendon is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Mass General Brigham Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
“The Mass General Brigham Biobank is an amazing initiative that facilitates the study of how human health is impacted by genes, environment and lifestyle. The Biobank gives people the opportunity to better the future of medicine. That's why I’m excited to be part of this team helping to improve and personalize medicine for future generations.”
As a research coordinator, Mr. Lopez is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Mass General Brigham Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
“The Mass General Brigham Biobank provides incredible opportunities for participants from any background to help progress the future of medicine. I am genuinely proud to be a part of a team with people who are passionate about research towards personalized preventative medicine”
Maryam Tohe is an undergraduate student at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. As a research coordinator Biniam is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Mass General Brigham Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
"The Mass General Brigham Biobank provides excellent opportunities for an individual to participate in different studies and helps people realize how essential research is in our lives. Modern medical advancements have helped millions of people live longer, healthier lives. We owe these improvements to decades of investment in medical research. I am so proud of being part of the incredible team at the Biobank."
Dustin Van Fleet graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a concentration in statistics. As the lead Research Enrollment Coordinator at Mass Eye & Ear, Dustin engages in discussions with patients to educate them on the purpose of broad-based genetic research, manages clinic relationships and schedules, and performs data management and analyses.
“Along with the part of me that is drawn to math, organization, and detail-oriented tasks, there is another large part that loves the feeling of helping people and seeing them smile. When I read about the mission behind the Mass General Brigham Biobank, I couldn’t help but be drawn to it. To me, there is no greater purpose I can imagine feeling in a career than one that furthers our knowledge of many different diseases and conditions and strives for better treatments, preventions, and cures. Not only could it help me with my own diseases, but also countless others that struggle now or in the future. It truly feels special to be a part of this program, and I’m excited to contribute to the discoveries that will be made.”
Sandra Casarez graduated from Brandeis University in May 2021, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and Biology. As a research coordinator, Sandra is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Mass General Brigham Biobank, as well as engaging the participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
“The Mass General Brigham Biobank is a chance for patients to make a positive contribution to the future of healthcare. It also allows for people from the community to learn more about the research taking place and the impact they are making just by participating. I am excited to be part of this team and to see how the Biobank and research evolves!”
Janae Davis graduated from Mount Holyoke College as a double major in Physics and English with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. As a research coordinator Janae is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Mass General Brigham Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
"The Biobank offers a unique environment that seeks to understand how an individual's health is affected by their genetics, lifestyle and environment. I am honored to join in on this program's mission and commitment to help inform future research in the areas of disease prevention, personalized medicine, and pharmacogenetics. It is so fulfilling to interact with patients and to educate them on how they can contribute to research of the future, ultimately creating more tailored healthcare for future generations."