Fellows & Trainees

The Mongan Institute Fellows and Trainees work under the mentorship of one of our Mongan Institute Faculty members to conduct research and provide support. 

Esteban Barreto, PhD

Primary Mentor: N/A

Esteban Barreto, PhD, is a Research Fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Evaluation of Equity and Inclusion at Massachusetts General Hospital. For more than a decade at Mass General, Esteban has been involved in a variety of research areas such as health policy, program evaluation, patient experience and work culture. Esteban received a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Nicole Benson, MD

Primary Mentor: John Hsu, MD

Nicole M. Benson, MD, is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital and a Clinical Informatics Fellow at Partners Healthcare. She received her BS from Haverford College and her MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She completed a residency in psychiatry and subsequently completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry, both at Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital. Her interests include research involving the integration of insurance claims datasets with data from the electronic health record to study the way children and young adults access and receive mental health care.

Yu-Han Chiu, MD, ScD

Primary Mentor: John Hsu, MD

Yu-Han Chiu, MD, Sc.D., is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Mongan Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital. She received her MD from the National Taiwan University and her ScD from the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the applications of causal inference methods to investigate the effect of exposure/treatment during pregnancy on maternal and child outcomes.

Brett Goshe, PhD

Primary Mentor: Elyse Park, PhD, MPH

Dr. Brett Goshe is a postdoctoral clinical research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, specializing in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Dr. Goshe’s research and clinical practice focuses broadly on the mental health and treatment intervention development for vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. The LGBT community, in contrast to the general population, experiences disproportionate rates of psychosocial problems, including poverty, substance abuse, cancer diagnosis, and most mental health conditions. These syndemic (i.e., overlapping epidemics) concerns present as increased potential for health-risk behaviors, such as sexual risk-taking, smoking, and substance abuse. Dr. Goshe seeks to develop a research program that evaluates these intersecting biopsychosocial processes and provides a scientific basis for addressing them clinically (e.g., adapting empirically-supported interventions).

Jana Jarolimova, MD, MPH

Primary Mentor: Ingrid Bassett, MD, MPH

Dr. Jarolimova is an Infectious Disease fellow at MGH and previously completed her internal medicine training in the MGH Global Medicine residency program. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and MPH in Clinical Effectiveness from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is interested in care delivery for sexually transmitted infections and HIV in resource-limited settings. Her previous work focused on rural primary care delivery, HIV, and disparities in reproductive health, primarily in western Uganda. She is working with Dr. Bassett to study implementation of STI care and HIV prevention in South Africa.

Jenny Jia, MD

Primary Mentor: Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH

Jenny Jia is a General Internal Medicine Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research interests include interventions in the food environment and food supply to promote healthy diets and prevent chronic diseases, food insecurity, and health disparities, both domestically and globally. She earned her B.S. at Emory University and her M.D. at the Medical College of Georgia. She recently completed her residency training in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine at Boston Medical Center where she worked on research in food policy and disparities in diabetes outcomes.

Patrick Connor Johnson, MD

Primary Mentor: Areej El-Jawahri, MD

Dr. Johnson is currently completing a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Mass General Brigham Program and serves as one of the chief fellows in hematology/oncology.  His research interests include analyzing patient-reported outcomes and designing interventions to improve the quality of life and care delivery of lymphoma and other hematologic malignancy patients and to mitigate the toxicity and burden of therapies.

Sohee Kwon, MD, MPH

Primary Mentor: Andrew Chan, MD, MPH

Sohee Kwon is a Research Fellow of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on investigating the risk factors of gastrointestinal cancer including colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Kwon earned her MD from Pusan National University in South Korea and her MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Daniel Lage, MD, MSc

Primary Mentor: Jennifer Temel, MD

Daniel Lage is a fellow in hematology/oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He completed undergraduate studies at Harvard College, graduate study in policy and management at the University of Oxford, and received his MD from Harvard Medical School. He is interested in using patient-centered outcomes and health services research methods to improve the quality of care received by older patients with advanced cancer, and is particularly focused on improving transitions of care post-hospital discharge and studying post-acute care and hospice use.

Boram Lee, PhD, MA

Primary Mentor: Doug Levy, PhD

Boram Lee is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Health Policy Research Center and the Tobacco Research & Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her primary research interests include health disparities, evaluation of tobacco control policies, co-occurring substance use, and tobacco use among vulnerable populations including individuals with low socioeconomic status and those with mental illness. She earned her PhD in Health Behavior from the School of Public Health at Indiana University. She received her BPH and MA in Health Education and Management, and BA in Social Welfare from Ewha Womans University in South Korea.

Chun-Han Lo, MD, MPH

Primary Mentor: Andrew Chan, MD, MPH

Chun-Han Lo, MD, MPH, joined the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2020. He received his Doctor of Medicine at Chung Shan Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan and Master of Public Health in Quantitative Methods at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA. His research focuses on nutritional epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology related to digestive diseases, specifically colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

Wenjie Ma, MBBS, ScD

Primary Mentor: Andrew Chan, MD, MPH

Wenjie Ma joined the CTEU in 2017 with training and research experience in nutritional, genetic, and molecular epidemiology. Her research interests include understanding the etiology and developing intervention strategies for colorectal cancer, diverticulitis, and cardiovascular diseases and examining the role of gut microbiome in inflammation and diseases. Wenjie earned her ScD in Epidemiology from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Before coming to the US, she graduated from Peking University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine.

Felippe Ottoni Marcondes, MD

Primary Mentor: Jennifer Haas, MD, MSc

Felippe Marcondes, MD, is a General Internal Medicine Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research interests include health disparities among vulnerable populations, health policy, and cancer preventive screening. He earned his B.S. at Southern Adventist University and his M.D. at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He recently completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he worked on research in health policy involving transitions of care.

Natalie McCormick, PhD

Primary Mentor: Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH

Natalie McCormick is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology's Clinical Epidemiology Program and in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, supervised by Dr. Hyon Choi. Natalie started at MGH in September 2018, shortly after completing her Ph.D. at The University of British Columbia (UBC) and Arthritis Research Canada. Her thesis examined the incremental direct medical costs of population-based cohorts of individuals with newly-diagnosed systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (i.e. systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, systemic vasculitides) and lost productivity costs, using provincial administrative health databases and survey data she collected from these individuals directly. Supported by a Fellowship Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natalie is undertaking further research on the economic impact of rheumatic diseases while also developing new skills in causal inference analyses and related epidemiologic methods.

Jessica McCurley, PhD, MPH

Primary Mentor: Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH

Jessica McCurley, PhD, MPH, is a clinical psychologist with specialization in behavioral medicine. Her research focuses on health behavior change to reduce socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in chronic cardiometabolic diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity). As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the mentorship of Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH, Dr. McCurley is assisting with evaluation of a randomized controlled trial (R01 HL125486; PI: Thorndike) of a worksite intervention to improve employee’s dietary intake and health outcomes (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, hemoglobin A1c) and examining psychological, cognitive and socioeconomic factors that influence the effectiveness of this intervention. Dr. McCurley is also appointed as a Clinical Fellow in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, where she provides evidence-based psychological treatment to patients with a variety of medical and psychiatric conditions. Her past research has involved (1) development and evaluation of interventions for prevention of cardiometabolic conditions in low-income community settings, including culturally-tailored interventions for U.S. Hispanic/Latinos, and (2) epidemiological exploration of psychosocial, behavioral, and socioeconomic contributors to cardiometabolic health disparities.

Alex McDowell, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN

Primary Mentor: Vicki Fung, PhD

Dr. McDowell is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Health Policy Research Center. She studies the impact of health care policy and delivery system changes on health outcomes for populations with reduced access to care. Her recent work aims to improve methods for identifying transgender and gender diverse populations in existing data and to understand the effects of federal and state level anti-discrimination policies on health outcomes. Dr. McDowell earned a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University with a concentration in evaluative science and statistics. She also has an MPH, MS in Nursing, and BS in Nursing from Johns Hopkins, as well as a BA in Gender Studies from Georgetown University.

Raaj Mehta, MD

Primary Mentor: Andrew Chan, MD, MPH

Dr. Mehta is a Clinical and Research Fellow in Gastroenterology at the MGH.  His research interests lie at the intersection of epidemiology, microbiology, and immunology. He received an AB from Princeton University and an MD from Harvard University. He was a Fulbright scholar to Ecuador from 2010 to 2011 and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellow from 2014 to 2015. He completely his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He plans to be an academic gastroenterologist.

Arundati (Arun) Nagendra, PhD

Primary Mentors: Margarita Alegría, PhD, and Corinne Cather, PhD

Arun Nagendra is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Disparities Research Unit and the Center of Excellence in Psychosocial and Systemic Research. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and her master's and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Along the way, she completed her predoctoral clinical internship at the Yale School of Medicine. She studies how various forms of racism, including assessment bias, contribute to disparities in Black Americans diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her long-term goal is to collaborate with community members to develop interventions that promote recovery and empowerment in Black Americans who experience psychosis. 

Jordan Neil, PhD

Primary Mentor: Elyse Park, PhD, MPH

Dr. Neil is a research fellow at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and in the Mongan Institute’s Health Policy Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He received his PhD at the University of Florida, with a specialization in translational cancer communication. His program of research centers on reducing cancer disparities in two primary areas: increasing patient adherence to preventive cancer screening and improving rates of participation in cancer clinical trials. To achieve these goals, his research employs novel methods and modalities to test message design theories and frameworks, and utilizes persuasive message appeals to target meaningful and lasting behavior change within these two contexts. At their core, these interventions tailor materials to meet the informational, cultural, and decision-making needs of the patient and/or caregiver, while harnessing digital dissemination strategies to increase the degree of tailoring, track engagement, and enhance the scope of the intervention.

Ashley Nelson, PhD

Primary Mentors: Joseph Greer, PhD, and Areej El-Jawahri, MD

Dr. Nelson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Oncology Population Sciences at the Harvard Cancer Center. Her research focuses on understanding quality of life impairments stemming from cancer diagnosis and treatment and adapting psychosocial interventions to alleviate physical and emotional side effects and improve quality of life. She is also interested in innovative methods for symptom assessment and intervention. Dr. Nelson’s clinical work focuses on providing evidence-based psychosocial care for cancer patients from diagnosis to survivorship. She provides CBT for symptom management for a variety of concerns, including emotional distress, fatigue, insomnia, and pain.

Kathryn Post, PhD

Primary Mentors: Jennifer Temel, MD, and Joseph Greer, PhD

Dr. Post is a postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has also worked as a Nurse Practitioner in breast oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital since 2007. In her tenure there she has worked both as a Clinical Research Nurse Practitioner and a Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner. Recently, she completed her doctorate in philosophy from the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College where her research focused on breast cancer survivorship. During her doctoral studies, she was awarded a pre-doctoral research fellowship at Boston College from 2015-2018. Dr. Post was also awarded the Doctoral Scholarship in Cancer Nursing from the American Cancer Society for 2017-2019. Dr. Post’s research interests center on improving the lives of cancer survivors and their families through developing person-centered survivorship interventions and programs. Dr. Post has presented her research findings on cancer survivorship at regional, national, and international scientific meetings. Dr. Post has published peer-reviewed articles and co-authored an online book chapter. She serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for peer-reviewed journals such as the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, the Journal of Women’s Health, and the International Journal of Nursing Knowledge.

Yuvaram Reddy, MD

Primary Mentors: Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, and Krishna Reddy, MD, MS

Dr. Reddy is a nephrology fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. His research interests are focused on understanding barriers that lead to the slow uptake of peritoneal dialysis and home dialysis modalities. He hopes to achieve this through understanding, improving, and affecting health care policy with the use of simulation modeling and cost-effectiveness analyses. He will be working closely with Dr. Walensky and Dr. Krishna Reddy. He earned his MD from Sri Ramachandra University in India and completed his residency in internal medicine at Boston Medical Center. 

Lacey B. Robinson, MD

Primary Mentor: Carlos A Camargo, MD, DrPH

Lacey B. Robinson, MD, is an Allergist/Immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and clinical research fellow. Her research focuses on early life risk-factors for the development of allergic disease with a special interest in the potential role of acid suppressant medications.

Ronita Samuels, PhD, MPH

Primary Mentor: Stephen Bartels, MD, MS

Ronita Samuels is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Mongan Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Her research interests include health equity, racial and ethnic health, health disparities among vulnerable populations, and infectious disease epidemiology in the context of global health. Dr. Samuels earned her Ph.D. in comparative and experimental medicine as well as a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Tennessee. She also holds an MPH from Tennessee State University and a B.S. in biology from the University of Kentucky. 

Magdalena Sevilla, PhD

Primary Mentor: Alisa Manning, PhD

Magdalena Sevilla is a postdoctoral researcher at Manning Lab. She is passionate about solving population health problems related to metabolic diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes and its interaction with obesity and environmental factors. She worked with “The Slim Initiative in Genomic Medicine for the Americas (SIGMA) T2D Consortium,” which aims to identify the genetic risk factors that contribute to the metabolic rate disparity between Mexicans and Caucasians. Her work has focused on providing important evidence to demonstrate the influence of Mexican-specific variants on treatment and physiological responses in high risk T2D subjects. She received training at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in complex approaches to analyzing metabolomic patterns associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Moving forward, Magda’s broader research interest is in using mathematical models and complex biostatistics methods for the integration of genetic, metabolomic, and environmental characteristics, and in tailored nutritional interventions to prevent or treat type 2 diabetes in vulnerable populations.

Joanna Streck, PhD

Primary Mentor: Nancy Rigotti, MD
Co-Mentor: Elyse Park, PhD, MPH

Joanna Streck completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at the University of Vermont with a clinical and research focus in addiction. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at MGH/HMS in the NIDA K12 Substance Use and Addiction Medicine career development program and a clinical fellow providing psychological services through the Behavioral Medicine Program. Her research focuses on investigating smoking cessation and novel harm reduction strategies for populations particularly vulnerable to tobacco addiction, such as those with co-occurring substance use disorders (SUDs), non-SUD psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression), and chronic health conditions (e.g., cancer, COPD). She is particularly interested in better understanding and treating the devastating burden of tobacco use in individuals with opioid use disorder.

Alejandro Szmulewicz, MD, MPH

Primary Mentor: John Hsu, MD

Alejandro Szmulewicz, MD, MPH, graduated from Buenos Aires University in 2011 as a medical doctor, after which he served as a psychiatric resident for 4 years and chief resident for 1 year. He graduated from the Master Program in Quantitative Methods from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in May 2017 and is now a PhD candidate at the same school. His interests include the application of causal inference methods to detect optimal treatment strategies for adults with mental health conditions.

Kathrene "KD" Valentine, PhD

Primary Mentor: Karen Sepucha, PhD

Dr. Valentine is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Health Decision Sciences Center in the General Medicine Division at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is joining Dr. Sepucha and team to support several research projects, including the PCORI-funded comparative effectiveness study of physician interventions to assist when making the decision about colorectal cancer screening for older adults. She is interested in shared decision making, risk communication, the validity of measurements of decision quality and patient preferences, and patient’s reactions to recommendations and guidelines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Missouri State University, a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology from Missouri State University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Missouri.

Yiqing Wang, PhD

Primary Mentor: Andrew Chan, MD, MPH

Yiqing Wang is a research fellow in the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit (CTEU). She received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Nutrition Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research interests include the roles of diet, genetics, metabolomics, and gut microbiome in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and cardiovascular diseases.

Kenny Westerman, PhD

Primary Mentor: Alisa Manning, PhD

Kenny Westerman is a research fellow in the CTEU, interested in developing improved approaches to personalized nutrition using genomic and bioinformatic methods. He received his PhD in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition from Tufts University, and is now a part of the Manning Laboratory, where his work involves the development of software for large-scale gene-environment interaction analysis and its application in uncovering novel gene-diet interactions. When not in the lab, he can often be found salsa dancing, playing the piano, or bargain hunting at Whole Foods.

Chio Yokose, MD

Primary Mentor: Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH

Chio Yokose, MD, is a third-year rheumatology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her primary research mentor is Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH, also from the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology. Her research focuses on crystal arthropathies such as gout and pseudogout, with a particular focus on investigating the comorbidity patterns and burden associated with gout and the application of novel imaging techniques to better understand the association between gout and cardiovascular disease. 

Liao Zhang, MD

Primary Mentor: Margarita Alegria, PhD

Liao Zhang’s work at the Disparities Research Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital mainly focuses on the significance of cultural context of mental illnesses and the challenges of addressing ethnic diversity in mental health services. He aims to reach out to minority population that has known health disparities in the incidence of major mood disorders. To achieve this goal, he works closely with local Asian communities in Greater Boston areas. He goes out to the field and meets with racial/ethnic minorities at their communities and listens to their voices regarding mental health. Through in-person interviews, his research seeks to understand the social and cultural determinants of mental health.