The Brain Health Initiative is a collaborative effort with the Brain Health Initiative and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital.
Stephanie Peabody, PSYD, HSPP, Neuropsychologist | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD, Clinical Psychologist | DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY INTERVENTION DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION
Dr. Ana-Maria Vranceanu is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Trained as a clinical health psychologist, she has expertise in designing novel skills-based interventions to optimize brain health and prevent brain disease. She founded and directs the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program within the Department of Psychiatry at MGH. Dr. Vranceanu teaches workshops on the development and rigorous testing of skills interventions nationally and internationally. She has published over 130 articles and book chapters and has been principal investigator on 14 foundation and federally funded grants. Dr. Vranceanu is responsible for the design and conduct of rigorous clinical trials focused on preserving and optimizing brain health.
Uma Naidoo, MD | CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER and DIRECTOR OF NEURONUTRITION
Dr. Uma Naidoo is a Harvard nutritional psychiatrist and serves as the director of nutritional and metabolic psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.Dr. Naidoo trained at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, and completed a consultation liaison fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Naidoo studied nutrition, and she also graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts as a professional chef. She was awarded her culinary school’s most coveted award, the MFK Fisher Award for Innovation. The nexus of training as a psychiatrist, professional chef and nutritional biologist have culminated in Dr. Naidoo being regarded nationally and internationally as a pioneer in the field of nutritional psychiatry. She founded the first US hospital-based clinical service in Nutritional Psychiatry and is a national and international best selling author of This is Your Brain on Food.
Shelley Carson, PhD, Psychologist | DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Dr. Shelley Carson received her PhD in psychology from Harvard University in 2001, where she conducts research, teaches, and advises students. Her research on creativity, psychopathology, and resilience has been widely published in both national and international scientific journals, and her findings have been featured on the Discovery Channel, CNN, NPR, the BBC, and Radio Free Europe. In addition, Dr. Carson’s work has been noted in magazines such as Newsweek, Scientific American, and Psychology Today. Dr. Carson has served as a senior consultant and subject matter expert for a U.S. Department of Defense project, which provides innovative online mental health assistance to service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Carson also writes a popular psychology blog and has published an award-winning book on creativity. Dr. Carson is responsible for overseeing BHI’s education and training program and for designing and facilitating access to online survey instruments that will deliver evidence-based measures of scientific interest in all phases of this study.
Leslie Williamson | PROJECT MANAGER
Leslie Williamson, BHI President and Co-Founder and President of the Academy for Brain Health and Performance. Ms. Williamson was the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for School Success (CSS) for 17 years whose mission was to help students who struggle with learning, achieve measurable success in school and in life. She and her colleagues at CSS also developed a holistic assessment tool for school-aged children that measures the interrelated risk and protective factors that can impact a child’s learning and health. In addition, Ms. Williamson has spearheaded community-based projects aimed at fostering commitment to the healthy development of youth using an asset approach. She brings to the Brain Health Initiative her experience as a project coordinator and contributor to a National Institutes of Health study on improving the conceptualization and measurement of children’s health, well-being, and learning outcomes. She is responsible for managing the successful initiation, planning, and execution of project activities.
Amy Patel, MS| BRAIN HEALTH SCHOLAR PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Amy Patel, MS serves as the Program Coordinator for the Brain Health Scholars Program, is a 2022-2024 Brain Health Scholar and a Research Assistant to BHI faculty. She is a second-year medical student at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in New York. Prior to attending medical school, Amy completed her Masters in Medical Science (MMS) at LECOM-Bradenton in Lakewood Ranch, and her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Amy has previously conducted research on the effects of brain injury on resting state function, caregiving in Assisted Living Facilities, and brain tumors and has her own global wellness podcast on neuroscience and psychology. At BHI, she is involved in designing the program curriculum, developing community surveys, and creating brain health lifestyle medicine handbooks.