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Research & Innovation | Overview

Our team members’ research

The Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is recognized worldwide for its advances in child and adolescent mental health research. Researchers on our Psychiatry Consultation Service team are engaged in several significant projects in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Learn more about our team members and their latest research projects:

Patricia Ibeziako, MD

Dr. Ibeziako, director of the Psychiatry Consultation Service, initially came to Boston Children’s Hospital to study child psychiatry — a rare specialty in her native country, Nigeria. Since completing her education and becoming director of Boston Children’s Psychiatry Consultation Service, Dr. Ibeziako continues to help train child mental health specialists in Nigeria.

David DeMaso, MD

Dr. DeMaso, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science's psychiatrist-in-chief, and members of his team have created the Experience Journal, an online collection of thoughts, reflections, and advice from kids and caregivers dealing with the physical, emotional, and social repercussions of serious illness. The journal is divided into sections by topic, and includes contributions from children who are living with ADHD, depression, and grief, as well as many medical conditions.

Simona Bujoreanu, PhD

Dr. Bujoreanu has been involved in several collaborative research projects focused on:

  • psychosocial characteristics, treatment, and healthcare resource utilization of medically admitted patients with cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, somatic symptom and related disorders, eating disorders, and patients who are awaiting psychiatric placements
  • impact of medical and psychiatric comorbidities on the hospitalization experience for medically admitted patients
  • effect of parental coping on clinical and behavioral outcomes in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease

Serena Fernandes, MD

Dr. Fernandes’ research focuses on psychosomatic illnesses with a focus on psychoneuroimmunology and catatonia.

John Glazer, MD

As a physician trained in both pediatrics and child and adolescent psychiatry, both my clinical and scholarly interests focus on the interface between them, particularly in addressing the common misperception that the mind and body are inherently separate and operate by different mechanisms. This dilemma of western medicine dates at least to the 16th century French philosopher Descartes’ concept of “mind/body dualism,” which has been profoundly influential in how doctors think about and treat patients and which modern neuroscience has proven to be invalid. As a clinician, I see many children and youth with chronic pain and other “somatic” symptoms, which are unexplained or not fully explained by “medical” illnesses. Such children typically require clinicians with expertise in pediatric medicine and pediatric psychology and psychiatry to fully understand them and to provide relief of symptoms. My scholarship reflects this focus on elucidating the complex ways in which the “mind” and “body” interact, at theoretical and clinical levels. For example, I have written textbook chapters on the psychological aspects of childhood cancer.

Kristine McKenna, PhD

Dr. McKenna’s research focuses on quality of life, adherence issues, and pain management (including biofeedback-assisted relaxation training) for children, adolescents, and young adults.

Monique Ribeiro, MD

Dr. Ribeiro’s research focuses on medically ill children, pain management and its multidisciplinary approach, and somatic symptom disorders in children and adolescents.

Chase Samsel, MD

Dr. Samsel’s research focuses on overlapping and under-recognized physical and psychiatric diagnoses, problems, and interventions to improve the quality of life of patients with serious illness. He also has special interests in communication, neuropsychiatric illness, integrated behavioral health, and palliative care.

Katharine Thomson, PhD

Dr. Thomson’s research focuses on trauma, including complex, developmental, and medical. She has special interest in LGBTQ youth health care, advocacy, and education.

Kevin Tsang, PsyD

Dr. Tsang’s research focuses on quality improvement and standardizing empirically informed approaches to care to psychiatric concerns within the medical setting, including patients presenting with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and somatic symptom and related disorders.