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.

Leadership

Scott T. Weiss, MD, MSPrincipal Investigator

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.

Elizabeth W. Karlson, MDCo-Investigator

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.

Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhDCo-Investigator

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.

Jordan W. Smoller, MD, ScDCo-Investigator

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.

Recruitment Team

Natalie Boutin, BAProgram Director

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

Joseph Coletti, BAProject Manager

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

 

Ashley Mici, BSProject Manager for BWH

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

Carrie Blout, MS, CGCGenetic Counselor

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.

Emma Perez, MGCGenetic Counselor

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.

Hunter Howie, BSResearch Coordinator

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

Natasha Tchamitchian, MAResearch Assistant II

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

Kim Cramer, BA Research Coordinator

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
 

Chuda Rijal, BSResearch Coordinator

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

Yennie Mok, BAResearch Coordinator

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

Sherry Chen, BSResearch Coordinator

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

 

Krista Zaremski, BS, MPHResearch Coordinator

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

 

Jasmin Riotto, BSResearch Coordinator

Jasmin Riotto graduated from UMass Amherst in 2018 with a Bachelor's of science in nutrition and biology. As a research coordinator, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection. 

"Partners Biobank initiative gives people the opportunity to better the future of medicine by examining genetics and lifestyle factors so we can understand the link between health and disease. I am proud to be a part of this initiative and excited to educate people about how their small contribution is a big step towards the future of healthcare and for generations to come." - Jasmin Riotto

Arielle Fried, BAResearch Coordinator

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

Daniel Hevert, BSResearch Coordinator

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

 

Regina Namatovu, MAResearch Coordinator

Ms. Namatovu graduated from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management with a Master’s in Sustainable International Development (MA/SID) in 2010. As a research coordinator for the Partners Biobank, she is responsible for patient recruitment, data management, and blood sample collection.

 

“The Partners Healthcare Biobank offers both patients and clinical researchers a unique collaborative opportunity to understand the complex relationships between genes, lifestyle and the environment. This collaborative partnership continues to open up new ways of treating and preventing diseases today, and holds the hope for the future. It’s a privilege to work with such a dedicated team and I’m greatly honored to be a part of it! - Regina Namatovu

Karen Caldwell, BAResearch Coordinator

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, BSResearch Coordinator

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 TesfayesusResearch Coordinator

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, BSResearch Coordinator

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, BAResearch Coordinator

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

Joy Binder, BAResearch Coordinator

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

 

Theodora O'Leary, BS, MSResearch Coordinator

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 

 

Shane Sturtevant, BSResearch Coordinator

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

 

Melanie Bertolino, BSResearch Coordinator

Melanie Bertolino graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biomedical Science: Medical and Veterinary Science. As a research coordinator, Melanie 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 collaboration of researchers, doctors, and patients is something that really excites me about the Partners Biobank. Furthering medical discovery and treatment takes the effort of many, and including the patients in the process is an exciting initiative. Patients have the unique opportunity to contribute to the acceleration of research and the advancement of medicine that is tailored more specifically to the individual. I look forward to seeing the great impact Partners Biobank has on the future of personalized and preventative medicine.” - Melanie Bertolino

 

Efthim Butka, BAResearch Coordinator

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