Featured Investigators

The Connors-BRI Center for Research on Women’s Health & Gender Biology featured investigators have advanced and contributed insights to the world-wide community of scientists, physicians, policy makers, and the general public. The following profiles feature some of the leaders in Women’s Health & Gender Biology research at BWH.

Center Chair

Dr. Jill M. Goldstein is an internationally recognized expert in understanding sex differences in health and diseases associated with the central nervous system. Specifically, Dr. Goldstein’s investigations have focused on characterizing sex differences in the development of the human brain and how these differences contribute to understanding sex differences in adult psychiatric and neurologic disorders and their comorbidity with general medical disorders.

Center Co-Chair

Dr. Julie Buring‘s research focus is the epidemiology of chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer, especially among women, and primarily involving the use of large-scale randomized clinical trials. Dr. Buring has been involved in the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of a number of large-scale randomized clinical trials and their observational follow-up.

Center Working Group Members

Dr. Shalender Bhasin is the Director of the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism and the Director of the NIA-funded Boston Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center for Function Promoting Therapies at BWH.



Dr. Philip De Jager’s research focuses on understanding the role of human genetic variation in neuroimmunologic function and neurologic disease.



Dr. Paula Johnson‘s most recent work focuses on the impact of U.S. health care reform on women and developing an initiative to advance emerging leaders devoted to improving the health of women globally.



Dr. Samia Khoury‘s ongoing research is focused on investigating the immune mechanisms in the animal model of Multiple Sclerosis and the interactions between the immune system and neural stem cells.



Dr. Meryl LeBoff‘s research is directed at understanding the causes of secondary osteoporosis and how to optimize skeletal health across the lifespan from young adulthood to extreme old age.



Dr. Karin Michels’ lab focuses on epigenetic epidemiology. Of particular interest is research on imprinted genes, and how their aberrant regulation associates with various disease outcomes in population-based studies.



Dr. Page Pennell‘s primary research interests are on gender-specific issues for women with epilepsy; for example, the effects of sex steroid hormones and other neuroactive steroids on seizure provocation.



Dr. Janet Rich-Edwards is an epidemiologist focused on the intersection of a woman’s health and that of her children, investigating social and biological pathways though which health and disease processes develop.


Dr. Emily Stern‘s current research interest is in the neurobiology underlying sex differences in neuropsychiatric disease, and menstrual cycle-related neuropathophysiology.



Dr. Louise Wilkins-Haug‘s research is focused in two arenas – 1) understanding the role of placental genetics in pregnancy outcome and 2) investigating specific birth defects with a focus on prevention and/or treatment.


Dr. Tanuja Chitnis’s research focus is on the underlying biomarkers and pathogenic mechanisms heterogeneity of the MS disease course and response to treatment, including the effects of age and sex.



Dr. Francine Grodstein’sresearch focuses on healthy aging, particularly in women. During the past 15 years, she established a study of cognitive function among older participants of the Nurses’ Health Study.



Dr. Ursula Kaiser is a physician-scientist focused on basic and translational investigation of neuroendocrine regulation of reproduction.  She has also established an interdisciplinary program in neuroendocrinology as her clinical area of expertise.



Dr. Stella Kourembanas‘ research program investigates the molecular and cellular basis of lung inflammation, hypoxic signaling, and developmental lung injury.



Dr. JoAnn E. Manson is an endocrinologist, epidemiologist, and expert in women’s health and preventive medicine. She leads several major research studies addressing prevention of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, including the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL



Dr. Cynthia Morton‘s overall research theme theme is to apply evolving techniques in molecular cytogenetics to address problems in human cytogenetics, with interests including chromosomal rearrangements in constitutional and acquired cytogenetic disorders.



Dr. Kathryn Rexrode‘s research focus is the study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women, with a particular interest in obesity and hormonal factors.



Dr. Ellen W. Seely‘s research focuses on unique cardiovascular risk factors in women with a focus on the pregnancy complications, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes and menopause.



Dr. Linda Van Marter‘s current work current work is focused on translational studies of genomic and biochemical markers of BPD and another important condition of premature infants, necrotizing enterocolitis.