LAB DAY 2021
You’re invited to the Mass General Research Institute’s fourth annual
LAB DAY. This year’s event will take guests on virtual tours of two research laboratories at the forefront of innovation, followed by a panel, “Research in the Age of COVID,” featuring scientists who are leading research projects across diverse areas of medicine and science.
Pre-registration for this event is required. Please RSVP by Monday, September 13 to receive a small LAB DAY package a few days in advance of the event.
Lab Tour Hosts
Eric Liao, MD, PhD
Laurie and Mason Tenaglia MGH Research Scholar 2018-2023
Department of Surgery, Center for Regenerative Medicine
Eric Liao, MD, PhD is a surgeon-scientist focused on advancing orofacial cleft care. Dr. Liao is the Director of Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Mass General Hospital for Children, Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Center, and the Chief Research Officer for the Department of Surgery. Dr. Liao was also recently named the Chief of Staff leading Boston Shriners Hospital for Children. In these roles, Dr. Liao has combined expertise in pediatric and adult plastic surgery, providing longitudinal care to his patients. Dr. Liao’s pediatric surgical practice is focused on craniofacial reconstruction with an adult surgical practice focused on oncologic reconstruction.
Dr. Liao’s laboratory at the Mass General Center for Regenerative Medicine investigates fundamental questions in neural crest biology, gene regulatory networks, the molecular basis of morphogenesis, and how craniofacial malformations occur when these basic processes go awry. The Liao laboratory utilizes human iPSC, zebrafish and mouse models to investigate human gene variants implicated in cleft and craniofacial malformations. They hope to translate fundamental advances to clinical impact, through prenatal genetic predictions and small molecule therapies.
Dr. Liao is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Dr. Liao received his B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University, M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School and was trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Harvard Plastic Surgery program. Dr. Liao’s research has garnered support from the March of Dimes, American Surgical Association, Plastic Surgery Foundation, Shriners Hospital for Children, National Institutes of Health, and in 2018 Dr. Liao was named a Laurie and Mason Tenaglia MGH Research Scholar.
Dara Manoach, PhD
Paul B. and Sandra M. Edgerley MGH Research Scholar 2019-2024
Department of Psychiatry, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
Dr. Manoach is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is a neuropsychologist who received her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University. She completed a clinical psychology internship at McLean Hospital and a fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Behavioral Neurology Unit of Beth Israel Hospital. She is based at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for biomedical imaging and in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Manoach’s research program uses multimodal neuroimaging techniques to illuminate the neural basis and nature of fundamental cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia and autism, so that they can be effectively treated. Her primary research focus is on understanding the contribution of abnormal sleep to memory consolidation deficits. Her lab has demonstrated that patients with schizophrenia have impaired sleep-dependent memory and linked this deficit to reduced sleep spindles, which are brain waves that enhance memory during sleep. Her team is also evaluating and developing treatments for spindle deficits and other sleep abnormalities in both schizophrenia and autism. Dr. Manoach’s understanding of the contribution of abnormal sleep to cognitive deficits opens promising novel avenues for treatment.
“Research in the Age of COVID” Panel
Mason Tenaglia, Moderator
Mass General Research Institute Advisory Council Member
Mason Tenaglia is a member of the Mass General Research Institute Advisory Council, where he provides strategic advice to leaders of the hospital, the research community and the development office. Additionally, Mr. Tenaglia and his wife are philanthropic supporters of Mass General, including the MGH Research Scholars program.
Mr. Tenaglia has been an advisor to senior management in the biopharmaceutical business for 40 years. He is currently Managing Partner of The BioReinsurance Group, LLC, an advisory firm providing risk management and analytic services to biopharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers and insurers to ensure broad access and insurance coverage for innovative pharmaceutical therapies.
Prior to its acquisition by IMS Health, Mr. Tenaglia’s most recent consulting firm, the Amundsen Group, was the leading authority on the impact of managed care and pharmacy benefit management on the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Tenaglia began his consulting career at McKinsey & Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Economics from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and a Master’s in Business Administration in Finance and International Business from the University of Chicago. Mr. Tenaglia is a Trustee of his alma mater, Malden Catholic High School, and is a member of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation Advisory Board.
Travis Baggett, MD, MPH
MGH Research Scholar 2021-2026
Department of Medicine, Mongan Institute
Travis P. Baggett, MD, MPH is a physician-investigator in the MGH Division of General Internal Medicine, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of Research at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, where he also practices primary care.
Dr. Baggett’s research focuses on the health of the approximately 580,000 people who are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. Working in close partnership with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, he has conducted numerous innovative studies describing the burden, consequences, and management of conditions seen commonly in homeless health care settings. He is the principal investigator of two large intervention trials for homeless individuals: one examining financial incentives for smoking cessation and one examining patient navigation to promote lung cancer screening. In parallel, his epidemiologic studies have highlighted the impact of the opioid epidemic among people experiencing homelessness, who die of drug overdose at rates 16-30 times higher than non-homeless individuals.
Prior to being named an MGH Research Scholar, Dr. Baggett was an inaugural member of the MGH Department of Medicine’s Transformative Scholars Program and the recipient of the 2019 Stephen M. Krane, MD, Lectureship Award.
Ingrid Bassett, MD, MPH
Weissman Family MGH Research Scholar 2018-2023
Department of Medicine, Mongan Institute
Dr. Ingrid Bassett is a physician in the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She serves as the Co-Director of the Medical Practice Evaluation Center (MPEC) in the Mongan Institute.
One third of people living with HIV worldwide are not accessing treatment and even fewer HIV-uninfected people have access to HIV prevention and contraceptive methods. Dr. Bassett’s community-based implementation science research seeks innovative solutions for expanding access to HIV testing, treatment and prevention outside of the “brick and mortar” healthcare setting and in community venues in South Africa, the epicenter of the HIV epidemic. Dr. Bassett has built a strong collaboration in the largest township in Durban, where she has worked for over a decade, to expand the scope of her research portfolio to include HIV prevention and reproductive health, and create new opportunities for Mass General trainees interested in mentored global health research experiences.
In response to COVID-19, Dr. Bassett led a team effort to launch observational data collection for COVID-19 cases across all Mass General Brigham hospitals. Building on expertise from multiple specialties and utilizing a combination of manual chart review and Epic data extraction, Dr. Bassett and her team created a research-ready database that has been used by over research groups at MGH. The team also worked with hospitals throughout Boston to harmonize data and apply to the NIH for funding a Boston-wide observational cohort study.
Daphne Holt, MD, PhD
MGH Research Scholar 2018-2023
Department of Psychiatry, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
Dr. Daphne J. Holt is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Co-Director of the Psychosis Clinical and Research Program, and Director of the Resilience and Prevention (RAP) Program and the Emotion and Social Neuroscience Laboratory, at MGH.
Dr. Holt attended medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where she also received a PhD in neurobiology. She received her training in adult psychiatry in the Massachusetts General/McLean Hospital Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, becoming a faculty member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Department in 2004.
Dr. Holt’s research focuses on understanding the neural basis of emotional function and social behavior, and changes in these domains, in people who are affected by, or at risk for, serious mental illnesses. In addition, the RAP program she oversees is developing and testing interventions that may reduce risk for neuropsychiatric illness.
She has published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as JAMA Psychiatry, Molecular Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin, the Journal of Neuroscience, and NeuroImage, among others. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the MGH Executive Committee on Research (as a recipient of the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Award and the MGH Research Scholar award), the McCance Center for Brain Health and Mass General Neuroscience.
Olivia Okereke, MD, MS
Terry and Jean de Gunzburg MGH Research Scholar 2021-2026
Department of Psychiatry, Gerontology Research Unit
Dr. Olivia Okereke is an American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology-certified geriatric psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor in epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). A graduate of Harvard College and Yale University School of Medicine, she completed a general psychiatry residency at the MGH/ McLean program and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at McLean Hospital. She also completed a Master of Science in Epidemiology degree at HSPH as a Kirschstein-National Research Service Award recipient. Currently, she is Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at MGH. She conducts clinical practice at the MGH Department of Psychiatry and is a long-time co-investigator and clinical evaluator in the MGH Gerontology Research Unit and Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She was named a “Top Doctor” in the most recently published listing by Boston Magazine.
Her programmatic goals are: (1) to employ epidemiologic research methods to identify modifiable risk factors (e.g., diet, lifestyle), as well as related biomarkers, involved in healthy mental aging and (2) to translate and apply knowledge gained into novel, effective strategies for prevention of major adverse mental aging outcomes, such as anxiety, depression and cognitive decline. Her program has been funded by numerous awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard Medical School and research foundations. Currently, she is PI of a first-of-its-kind large-scale NIH-funded study of nutritional supplements for universal prevention of depression in over 20,000 US older adults. She also conducts multiple studies addressing mood and the biology of healthy aging. Her work has appeared in such publications as JAMA/JAMA journals, Annals of Neurology and the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
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