Meet Our Team
The Partners HealthCare Biobank team includes researchers, physicians, research coordinators, software engineers, and laboratory technicians at Brigham, Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. Please click on a team member’s name to view a short biography.
Scott T. Weiss, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is the Scientific Director of Partners HealthCare Personalized Medicine, the Director of the Center for Genomic Medicine, the Director of Bioinformatics of the Biomedical Research Institute of the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), and the Associate Director of BWH's Channing Division of Network Medicine (CDNM). At CDNM, Dr. Weiss currently co-leads the Systems Genetics and Genomics research group of over 25 investigators and 110 support staff. At Partners HealthCare Personalized Medicine, Dr. Weiss leads a team of over 100 faculty and staff focused on bringing genomics into clinical use. His own research is in the field of asthma genomics, asthma pharmacogenomics, and predictive medicine, with over $50 million in NIH grant funding. He is the author or co-author of over 600 publications and the editor or co-author of four books.
Dr. Karlson is a rheumatologist and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is Director of the Rheumatic Disease Epidemiology Research Program for the Section of Clinical Sciences, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She serves as co-Director for the Joint Biology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Karlson’s research interests are in rheumatic disease epidemiology and outcomes, genetics, gene-environment interactions, and bioinformatics analysis of electronic health records for clinical and translational research. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health has published over 180 original articles. Dr. Karlson serves as Co-Investigator, Phenotyping Center Director, and member of the Executive Committee for the Partners HealthCare Biobank. She serves on the Advisory Council on Biology and Medicine, Alpert Medical School, Brown University. 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. She has received the Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology, and the Senior Faculty Mentoring Award from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Slaugenhaupt is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Human Genetic Research (CHGR), Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Geneticist in the Department of Neurology/Molecular Neurogenetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. The overall goal of the Slaugenhaupt lab is to bring the study of genetic disease full circle: from the initial collection of family data, to the cloning and characterization of the culprit gene, and back to the patient via development of improved diagnostics and effective therapies. Dr. Slaugenhaupt’s work focuses on familial dysautonomia (FD), mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV), and mitral valve prolapse. With her leadership, the Slaugenhaupt lab has made tremendous advances in understanding the genetic basis of these disorders and translating these discoveries into potential therapies. Most recently, Dr. Slaugenhaupt was named the inaugural Scientific Director of the MGH Research Institute.
Dr. Jordan W. Smoller is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, Associate Vice Chair of the MGH Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit in the MGH Center for Human Genetics Research. Dr. Smoller also serves as co-director of the Genetics and Genomics Unit of the MGH Clinical Research Program. The focus of Dr. Smoller's research interests has been the identification of genetic determinants of childhood and adult psychiatric disorders. He is an author of more than 200 scientific articles, book chapters and reviews; the recipient of numerous research awards; and a principal investigator on NIH-funded studies of the genetics of anxiety, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia and genetic influences on brain structure and function.
Natalie Boutin is Program Director at the Partners HealthCare Biobank and Director of Information Technology for Partners Personalized Medicine. In this dual capacity, Natalie is responsible for the Partners Biobank’s operations and for its information technology infrastructure. Ms. Boutin also oversees systems that drive clinical and research genomics at Partners Personalized Medicine. Ms. Boutin has over twenty years of experience driving large and complex business and technology projects, including seven years in the healthcare industry. Ms. Boutin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies from Harvard College.
“Working at the Partners Biobank is a dream job. We are building a resource that matters, that will make a difference in medicine.” — Natalie Boutin
Mr. Coletti holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and comes to the Biobank with over 25 years of executive level management experience in the hospitality and printing industries. He also has extensive experience as a volunteer and board member with several non-profit health and wellness organizations. As a Project Manager at MGH and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Mr. Coletti helps manage operations, compliance, training, data management, recruitment activities, project development, and supports collaborating investigators and recruitment teams.
“I approached an older gentleman before his appointment to tell him about the Biobank. He listened, but didn’t say much. When he came out of his appointment he walked up to me and said “Tell me in ten words or less why I should do this today?” I paused, thought for a few moments and responded “to accelerate the pace of research on a multitude of conditions by giving us three tablespoons of your blood.” He responded with a big smile “well, son, we both know that was more ten words, but they were the right ones. Let’s go.” Research is complicated, but the reason for the Biobank is really that simple.” — Joe Coletti
Ms. Carrie Blout 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 Partners HealthCare 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 Partners 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.
Mr. Howie graduated from Eckerd College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in French. As a Research Coordinator, he is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
“With only a small donation of time and blood, the Biobank allows patients at partners to go beyond their traditional role in medicine, becoming themselves contributors and facilitators of research in preventative medicine. Every donation broadens the potential of this research study, and as a coordinator it is my joy to help patient and researcher alike in having a positive impact on the future of medicine through the Biobank.” — Hunter Howie
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 research assistant II, Ms. Tchamitchian will be responsible for patient and data support, educational content management, and assistance in other operations functions.
“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.” –Natasha Tchamitchian
Ms. Cramer is a graduate of Union College who also holds a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management from Rutgers University. Ms. Cramer serves as the Senior Administrative Manager in the office of the Chief Scientific Officer in the Depression and Anxiety Division at McLean Hospital. In her role on the Partners Biobank, Ms. Cramer is involved in patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood samples.
“I feel so proud to be a part of the Partners Biobank team. Since its inception over a year ago at McLean Hospital, the Biobank continues to thrive with hospital unit expansion and therefore, more opportunities to approach a larger patient population. I love the patient interaction -seeing the excitement and hope in patients’ faces because they can potentially help future generations with improved, personalized medicine. This opportunity within the Partners Biobank provides me with a sense of professional and personal fulfillment.” — Kim Cramer
Ms. Zaremski graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, and from George Washington University in 2018 with a Master of Public Health. As a research coordinator for the Biobank, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
“When recruiting patients, there is nothing more encouraging than thinking of how the patient you are speaking with could provide a sample to the Biobank that is the key to some of the greatest advancements in personalized medicine.”—Krista Zaremski
Ms. Fried graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Health and the Environment and with a minor in Biology. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at BWH, Arielle is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
“The Partners HealthCare Biobank is an amazing initiative that facilitates the efficient study of how human health is impacted by genes, environment, and lifestyle. I am passionate about this work because it not only allows me to engage directly with people from all walks of life, but also to help further the field of personized medicine. I value the opportunity to be a part of this research team and discuss with people how they can contribute to the advancement of science with just a small contribution!” — Arielle Fried
Ms. Caldwell graduated from Brandeis University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Health: Science, Society, and Policy. As a research coordinator for the Partners Biobank, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
"The Partners Biobank is an exciting initiative which allows patients to contribute to the future of their own healthcare. Not only does it allow scientists to research the relationship between genetics, lifestyle, and disease, it also emphasizes the notion that each patient is unique and their treatments should be unique to them. Over the years the Partners Biobank has expanded and improved tremendously, and I am excited to see the major impact that it will bring to the future of medicine." - Karen Caldwell
Abigail Knowles graduated from Elon University in 2019 with a degree in Public Health studies. As a research coordinator. Abigail is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Partners Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
“The work that Partners Biobank is doing in recruiting participants, from all walks of life, across the partners hospital system, is enabling collaborating researchers to look holistically at the environmental, genetic, and lifestyle determinants of disease. At its heart, the biobank is doing fundamental public health work by making strides in the field of personalized and preventative medicine. I am excited to be a member of a passionate team of researchers who are coming together to advance patient-centric care and I am excited to see the strides the biobank makes in advancing medicine.” - Abigail Knowles
Biniam Tesfayesus graduated from the Eritrean Institute of Technology with a degree in Biology. As a research coordinator Biniam is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Partners Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
“My interest in research drew me to Partners Biobank and MGH. The Biobank’s ability to collect and store blood for over 100,000 participants has given researchers a tremendous resource to work towards treatments for many diseases. It amazes me how much we can learn about a disease based off one’s genetic profile, lifestyle, and environment. The Biobank is advancing the way we think about and address health.”- Biniam Tesfayesus
Claudlyne Bernaus recently graduated from The University of Massachusetts at Amherst with the class of 2019 obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Science on a pre-medical track and with a strong focus on reproductive health. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at MGH, Claudlyne is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
"Partners Biobank’s mission to provide better medical treatments for different diseases and improving the lives of everyday people though genetic research not only allows the community to get involved, but it allows for the growth and expansion of knowledge that had not previously been available in healthcare. Partners Biobank inspires the future of medicine and healthcare with the help of modern technology and human interaction. This is a team that I am super excited to be a part of." - Claudlyne Bernaus
Kennedy Countess graduated from Amherst College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and as a pre-medical student. In her role as a research coordinator, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and patient education around the Biobank’s goals.
“Partners Biobank facilitates exciting research that will impact the future of medicine in unpredictable ways. I’m looking forward to joining a team that furthers innovative research in an environment where both patients and researchers are committed to improving the quality of health and health care for future generations.” _ Kennedy Countess
Ms. O’Leary graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Science in 2018 and received her Master of Science in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University in 2019. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at BWH, Theodora is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
"The Partners Biobank is an initiative working to create an accessible, cost-effective, and comprehensive repository of data for medical researchers. Through this resource, investigators can uncover the role of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors in the development of a diseases. I am proud to be part of a research team working to help improve preventative and personalized healthcare for future generations." - Theodora O'Leary
Mr. Sturtevant graduated from Providence College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Sociology. As a Research Coordinator, Mr. Sturtevant is responsible for patient recruiting, data management, as well as discussing the benefits of broad based research.
“To me, the Partners Biobank represents the direction all branches of medicine should be heading in. Being a part of a research initiative that not only investigates an individual’s genes, but lifestyle factors and environment, are key to getting a full picture for treating disease. Working with patients, they come to understand that they are not just a number, but a unique individual that is helping the future of personalized medicine.” - Shane Sturtevant
Efthim Butka graduated from Saint Anselm College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Science. As a research coordinator, Efthim is responsible for recruiting and consenting patients, as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
I have always wanted to participate in things bigger than myself and that is exactly what I did when I joined the Partners Biobank program. Personalized preventative medicine is the future of healthcare, and to be part of a team that focuses on that is a humbling experience. The holistic approach that the Biobank takes accounts for an individual’s genetics, family history, and environment to contribute a better understanding of disease and how different people respond to those diseases. The Partners Biobank repository of samples is continuously growing, and will be at the heart of innovation for many years to come! – Efthim Butka
Melissa Shaughnessey recently graduated from Eckerd College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. As a research coordinator, Melissa is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Partners Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
"The Partners Biobank provides an incredible opportunity for patients to participate in the future of healthcare. With the help of many different individuals, we will be able to improve the lives of the community around us. I am proud to be part of such a unique initiative that is thriving and accelerating in personalized medicine." - Melissa Shaughnessey
As a research coordinator, Ms. Rendon is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Partners Biobank as well as engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
“The Partners 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.” – Gina Rendon
Mr. Lopez is the transporter for Partners HealthCare Biobank at MGH. As the transporter Johnathan is responsible for collecting blood samples from Biobank recruitment locations and preparing samples and documentation for courier transport to our central lab.
“The Partners 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” – Johnathan Lopez
Lizbeth Gomez graduated from UMass Lowell in 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health with a focus on Community Health. As a Research Coordinator, Lizbeth is responsible for recruiting and consenting participants to the Partners Biobank as well as engaging the participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
“I believe that the future of healthcare is greatly determined by the collaboration between patients and healthcare providers. The Partners Biobank focuses on recruiting patients to facilitate the study of how genes, lifestyle and the environment affect human health. This is an incredible approach to the development of personalized and preventative medicine and I am excited to be a part of this initiative!” -Lizbeth Gomez
Mr. Gilbride is a current student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, with a major of Public Health. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at MGH, David is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and engaging participants in discussions on the purpose of broad-based genetic research.
"The Partners Biobank is a tremendous asset for the research of health conditions and diseases. The information collected and stored by the Biobank can be revolutionary in improving patient care and achieving better health outcomes, which is something that I am excited and proud to be a part of." - David Gilbride
Carolyn Wilson graduated from Duke University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology and a minor in Chemistry. She then received her Master of Science in Contemporary Human Anatomy from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2019. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at MGH, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
“The Biobank is an incredible opportunity for patients to contribute to the advancement of science and medicine. Each person who enrolls in the Biobank is helping researchers develop better disease prevention, detection, and treatment, which will impact the lives of individuals for generations to come. I am proud to be a part of this research initiative that is shaping personalized medicine and healthcare of the future.” – Carolyn Wilson
Marina graduated with a BA in Philosophy from Colorado College, and an MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver. Marina is responsible for Biobank patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
"The Partners Biobank is such an inspiring project, and I'm so proud to be a part of the team. By harnessing the power of genetic and medical data, the Biobank empowers medical researchers - and anyone who has ever sought medical care at Partners hospitals - to work toward a future where healthcare is increasingly precise and optimized for all people." - Marina Long
Lucie Duffy graduated from Grinnell College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. As a Clinical Research Assistant for the Partners Biobank at McLean, she is responsible for participant recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
"The Biobank not only helps advance research across every medical discipline, but it creates an amazing opportunity to increase public engagement with clinical and translational research. The future of personalized medicine relies on research that examines the effects of genes, lifestyle, and environment on human health. The Partners Biobank empowers patients to become active contributors to this research with a small donation of blood and time. As a Clinical Research Assistant I am excited to help facilitate this crucial collaboration between patients and researchers." -- Lucie Duffy