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. Bry is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, a co-Investigator of the Partners Biobank, a Director for the Center for Clinical and Translational Metagenomics for the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center, and an Associate Medical Director in the Department of Pathology at BWH. She also directs the Crimson Project that has developed IT tools and infrastructure to support high-throughput sample collection that occurs in a cost-effective and IRB-compliant manner. Dr. Bry is a Board-certified pathologist and specializes in clinical laboratory testing in molecular diagnostics, microbiology and immunology. She routinely works with research groups to develop novel markers into diagnostic assays that can be run on platforms used in clinical laboratories. She also maintains an NIH-funded research laboratory, studying host-pathogen-commensal interactions in the gut.
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
Ms. Allen graduated from Yale University School of Epidemiology and Public Health in 2010 where she subsequently became a Project Manager with the Partners Biobank. In this capacity Ms. Allen helps engage new collaborating investigators, manages IRB communication, supports recruitment activities, supports data management, and assists in managing requests from investigators.
“To me, the Partners Biobank is a resource that empowers researchers, physicians, and patients to contribute to research discovery and medical innovation. The patients who participate in the Partners Biobank do so with the goal of improving medicine for future generations. I am excited about how the Partners Biobank may transform medical practice to focus on preventing, rather than reacting to, disease.” — Nicole Allen
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. Mici graduated from Fairfield University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. As the Project Manager with the BWH site of the Partners Biobank, Ms. Mici works to engage patients, clinicians, and investigators in the effort to build this important resource. She works closely with the management team to maintain ethics and regulatory aspects of the project, manages recruitment activities, supervises the recruitment team at BWH, supports data management, and assists with requests from investigators for samples.
“To me, the Partners Biobank represents the future of medical research and healthcare. Every participant contributes a unique sample which helps create a diverse database that researchers can use to understand the causes of common diseases. This collaborative effort between doctors and patients will enable more personalized medicine and preventative healthcare for future generations.” — Ashley Mici
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.
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. 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
Mr. Rijal graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 2016. Prior to working with the Partners Biobank, Mr. Rijal worked in the Kellogg Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, performing mass spectrometric based assays. As a research coordinator for the Partners Biobank, he is responsible for clinic expansion, patient recruitment, data management, and phlebotomy. He is also trained in blood specimen accessioning and processing.
“The Partners Biobank is a wonderful resource for researchers with its potential to revolutionize the perspective on personalized medicine. I am excited to be a part of this project that will help future generations in the medical field.” – Chuda Rijal
Mr. Lowenthal received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, with highest honors, from Boston University in 2013. Prior to the Biobank, he worked as a programmer and quantitative analyst in the healthcare analytics and medical device manufacturing industries, and as a Mental Health Specialist at McLean Hospital. As a Research Coordinator at the MGH Biobank, Mr. Lowenthal is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and phlebotomy.
“The Biobank unites patients, researchers, and administrators in working toward a common goal: improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare. Innovation is a team effort, and the Biobank is positioned at the center of that effort.” – Daniel Lowenthal
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. Capone graduated from Boston University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Minor in Psychology. As a research coordinator for the Biobank, she is responsible for parient recruitment, data managment, and blood collection.
"I believe the Partners Healthcare Biobank has the potential to improve personalized and preventitive medicine. By following three simple steps, patients are able to help researchers better understand how genetics and lifestyle affect health. I enjoy interacting with the patients at MGH and knowing my efforts will benefit the healthcare of future generations." -Melissa Capone
Mr. Ryan graduated from Providence College in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology. As a Partners Biobank research coordinator, Mr. Ryan is involved in patient recruitment, data management and collection of blood samples.
“To me, the Partners Biobank allows patients to take part in potentially ground breaking genetic research through relatively simple means. It enables patients to go beyond their traditional role in medicine and now become active participants in advancing medical knowledge. It is through continued patient participation that medical science will advance and I take great pride in doing my part to assist in this advancement each day at Massachusetts General Hospital.” – Michael Ryan
Ms. Ortega recently graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a focus in Spanish. As a Research Coordinator with the Partners Biobank, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
“The Partners Biobank represents what medicine can be and will be in future years. With the rise of new diseases, it’s extremely important for us to take action and personalize treatment in order to help people effectively. Partners aim to do just that. Through recruiting, I have the opportunity to touch base with these patients and spread awareness of how everyone can contribute to shaping the future of medicine. I’m excited to see the cooperative efforts of patients and researchers shine in the years to come.” — Janelle Ortega
Mr. Paquin recently graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy & Management and a minor in business studies. As a Research Coordinator with the Partners Biobank, he is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
“The Partners Biobank is a groundbreaking initiative, helping healthcare professionals prevent rather than react to disease. Preventative research projects such as the Biobank are helping improve quality, expand access, and reduce cost within our healthcare system. I have spoken with a wide array of patients who have are passionate about this project and are excited to contribute to improving healthcare for future generations. I am excited to see the how the Biobank shapes our future and helps inspire a more personalized approach to medicine.” — Michael Paquin
Ms. Mok graduated from Brandeis University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Health: Science, Society and Policy. As a Research Coordinator with the Partners Biobank, Ms. Mok is responsible for patient recruitment and data management.
“The Partners Biobank is an exciting project that allows patients to contribute to the future of personalized medicine. I’m thrilled to be a part of this collaborative effort between researchers and patients that will have important implications for the ways in which we treat diseases in the future.” — Yennie Mok
Ms. Strode recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and minor in Psychology. As a research coordinator for the Partners Biobank, Ms. Strode is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood samples.
“Through assessing the correlation between genetic diversity and varying environmental determinants, the Partners Biobank fosters an initiative to surpass our current understanding behind disease causality. With each patient's unique sample, researchers can cost efficiently expedite large-scale studies to advance preventative and personalized medicine for future generations. I am privileged to be involved in a project striving to produce treatments as unique as our patients and the diseases that afflict them.” —Samantha Strode
Ms. Suhanovsky graduated from Union College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. As the Partners Biobank research coordinator dedicated to the Neurology Department at MGH, Ms. Suhanovsky is involved in patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood samples.
“The greatest aspect of the Partners Biobank initiative for me is that it allows patients to contribute to the effort of understanding the connection between genetic and environmental interactions and various diseases. Through contributing a blood sample, patients help researchers better understand illness to create more personalized treatments and preventative measures that will greatly improve health care for current patients and future generations. I look forward to seeing how the Biobank shapes the future of medicine." — Lily Suhanovsky
Ms. Ziad graduated from Wellesley College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies, with a focus on health and bioethics. As a research coordinator with the Partners Biobank, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
"The Partners Biobank is an innovative collaboration between researchers, healthcare professionals, and patients. Together, we work towards advancing personalized healthcare, and discovering new ways to treat and prevent genetic diseases. I’m excited to be a part of this research team and contribute to furthering medical knowledge." –Amina Ziad
Ms. Chen graduated from Brandeis University in 2018 with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology. As a Research Coordinator with the Partners Biobank, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
"The Partners Biobank represents the collaborative nature of science and medicine. With the research that is being done utilizing the Biobank, not only can we better understand diseases to develop new methods to prevent and treat these conditions, but we also can apply what we have learned to make medicine more personalized and effective for the individual. I am excited to be a part of this initiative to further advance the field of medicine!" - Sherry Chen
Maahum Mehdi graduated from Wellesley College in 2018 with a Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank, Ms. Mehdi is responsible for patient recruitment and data management.
"The Partners Biobank initiative seeks to combine the genetic history and environmental profile of an individual for current research endeavors combating modern medical problems. Through the work at the Biobank, personalized medicine provides greater insight about the human condition and is the foundation of progressive medicine. For this reason, I am extremely excited to be a part of a team of people working towards making the Biobank possible." - Maahum Mehdi
As the MGH Partners Biobank transporter, Mr. Bengston manages the collection and transportation of blood specimens to the Personalized Medicine laboratory and is involved in data management and project administrative operations.
“The Partners Biobank is an innovative initiative to advance our understanding of personalized medicine and how genes, lifestyle, and environmental factors collectively impact the way disease develops. With this research, we are working to improve the care patients receive. I am excited to be a member of this research team and look forward to contributing to the field of medicine.” —Kirdzon Bengtson
Joy Binder graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience & Behavior. Prior to joining the Biobank, she worked as a Personal Care Attendant. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at MGH, Joy is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
“The Partners Biobank provides incredible opportunities to study the interplay of genes, lifestyle, and disease. I am excited to be a member of such an inspiring initiative. It is a privilege to interact with patients with a wide range of conditions, and to educate them about our project. I believe the Partners Biobank will play an important role in the development of targeted medicine and therapies.” —Joy Binder
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
Mr. Hevert graduated from The University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at MGH, Danny is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
“The Partners HealthCare Biobank provides a unique opportunity for patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers alike to expedite the advancement of clinical care. Understanding the connections between genetics, environmental factors and disease will lead to more personalized medicine and overall better patient care. I am excited to be a part of the Partners Biobank research team to help this process that will lead to improved healthcare for future generations.” —Danny Hevert
Mr. Eck graduated from Tufts University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Health. As a Research Coordinator with the Partners Biobank, he is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.
“The Partners Biobank is helping to tackle numerous elusive areas of research. Leading us into the future of medicine, the Biobank is an important step towards medical care that is centered on the whole person, right down to the last nucleotide. It is an exciting opportunity for patients to contribute to a project that could help preempt disease in their families and others for decades to come. I’m proud to be part of such a forward-thinking endeavor!”
Ms. Mohamed received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Master of Science in Business Management from Merrimack College in 2017. Prior to joining the Biobank team, she worked as an inpatient Unit Coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at MGH, Ms. Mohamed is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
“The Partners Biobank provides the opportunity for patients to contribute to the future of healthcare. With just a small donation of blood each person can help us get closer to creating targeted, personalized medicine. I enjoy interacting with patients and hearing their stories, as they are glad to be part of this initiative. I am proud to be part of this amazing project and excited to find out how the Biobank will help shape the future of medicine.”
Mr. Pisano graduated from Boston College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and minor in Economics. As a Research Coordinator for the Partners Biobank at MGH, Mr. Pisano is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and the collection of blood specimens.
“The Biobank symbolizes the commitment Partners Healthcare has placed on advancing the discovery and development of personalized medicine. It offers patients the opportunity to contribute to innovation by putting their consented samples in the hands of brilliant researchers. I am proud to be a part of the Biobank team as we explain to patients the difference they can make in improving the health of future generations.”—Will Pisano
Samantha graduated with her B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. She is currently enrolled in Post-baccalaureate Pre Medical courses at Harvard University. As a Biobank Coordinator, Samantha is responsible for data management, blood sample collection, and recruitment of study participants.
“The future possibilities of personalized medicine are endlessly exciting to me and I am proud to be part of this initiative that has such incredible potential to make such an important influence on the future of healthcare. Both the current research efforts and the participants’ contributions will continue to benefit others for long ahead and it is outstandingly rewarding to be a part of that.” – Samantha van de Ven