Focus Areas in the Genomic Medicine Cycle
Major leadership positions

Managing Co-Director, Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health, Mass General Hospital

Associate Member, Broad Institute

MGH Unit(s)

Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health

Department of Neurology

MGH Dept/Division/Unit(s)

Division of Neurocritical Care


The Cerebrovascular Health Research Program applies multidisciplinary tools to identify the mechanisms to preserve healthy brain blood vessels across the lifespan.

The hallmark of our work is the combination of careful clinical characterization of patients with the most rigorous approaches to genetics.  We work in partnership with patients and their families to understand the factors that contribute to maintaining vascular brain health across the lifespan. We are a leading contributor to the performance and analysis of high-throughput genome-wide association and sequencing studies in stroke and related traits. At our core, we serve as a training ground for outstanding scientists and clinician-scientists who go on to become world-class leaders in the field.  The lab has created a legacy of multidisciplinary teams that are successfully tackling some of the most pressing challenges in brain disease. Among these teams is the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, which we founded in 2007 to bring together the world’s pre-eminent stroke investigators.

Priority Projects

  1. Identifying and modifying the biological and social determinants of brain health for individuals who have recovered from a stroke. This clinical study, enrolling at centers across the country, comprehensively assesses research participants in order to determine how we can most effectively reduce their risk of losing their memory, having another stroke, or developing depression over time. In order to measure and, ultimately reduce, health inequalities, we are enrolling individuals from across all sociodemographic backgrounds.
  2. Gene discovery for hemorrhagic stroke: With members of the International Stroke Genetics Consortium we are leading the largest, most comprehensive genome-wide association and sequencing studies of hemorrhagic stroke patients in order to discover novel mechanisms, and ultimately, drug targets for this devastating disease.
  3. Restoring the health of the nervous system in long-COVID: This study, enrolling across Boston, includes immunological assessments and clinical trials for individuals with long-COVID suffering from brain fog and dysautonomia.
  4. Longitudinal stroke cohorts: a major goal of the lab is to longitudinally follow stroke survivors to better understand their recovery and the challenges that come along with their recovery.

Lab Members

Christopher Anderson, MD, MMSccdanderson@partners.orgCo-PI
Alessandro Biffi, MDabiffi@partners.orgCo-PI
Akashleena Mallick, MDamallick1@mgh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Akshata Sonni, PhDasonni@partners.orgMcCance Program Director
Brigitte Jacobybjacoby@mgh.harvard.eduClinical Research Coordinator
Carla Fortes-Monteirocfortes-monteiro@mgh.harvard.eduSr. Clinical Research Coordinator
Christina Kourkoulisckourkoulis@partners.orgDirector of Operations
Courtney Nunleycnunley@mgh.harvard.eduCommunications Associate
Danielle Hoffmandrhoffman@mgh.harvard.eduClinical Research Coordinator
Denise Driscollddriscoll7@mgh.harvard.eduStaff Assistant III
Dominque Popescu, PhDdpopescu@mgh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Edith Ackermaneeackerman@partners.orgCommunications Manager
Ernst Mayerhofer, MDemayerhofer@mgh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Jeanette Prendablejprendable@mgh.harvard.eduAdministrative Assistant
Jonathan Duskinduskin@bwh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Jordan Kartenjkarten@mgh.harvard.eduProject Manager
Leidys Gutierrez Martinezlgutierrezmartinez@mgh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Livia Parodi, PhDlparodi@mgh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Marios Georgakis, MD, PhDmgeorgakis@mgh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Natalie ZabaClinical Research Coordinator
Nirupama Yechoornyechoor@mgh.harvard.eduPost-doctoral Research Fellow
Savvina Prapiadousprapiadou@mgh.harvard.eduVisiting Research Student
Sophia Keinsskeins@mgh.harvard.eduClinical Research Coordinator II
Valdery Moura Juniorvmoura@mgh.harvard.eduDirector of Data Science Technology
Zechariah Daviszddavis@mgh.harvard.eduVisiting Research Student
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