Brazelton Institute | Meet Our Team

Brazelton Institute staff


Kevin Nugent headshot

J. Kevin Nugent, Ph.D.

Founder and Director, Brazelton Institute; NBAS and NBO Master Trainer

Dr. Nugent is a Developmental Psychologist and has spent more than 40 years teaching and conducting research on newborn behavior and early parent-infant relations at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Working along with T. Berry Brazelton, he has also taught and conducted research in different settings around the world.  He is co-author with Dr. Brazelton of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) and first author of the Newborn Behavior Observations (NBO) system Handbook with Constance Keefer, Susan Minear, Lise Johnson, and Yvette Blanchard.  He is Professor Emeritus at University of Massachusetts Amherst and has been a Lecturer in Psychology at Harvard Medical School since 1981.


Lise Johnson headshot

Lise Johnson, MD

Associate Director, Brazelton Institute; NBO Master Trainer

Dr. Johnson is a co-author of the NBO Handbook. A general pediatrician by training, she devoted the first decade of her career to pediatric primary care. For the past 20 years she has worked as a newborn hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she was medical director of Well Newborn Care from 2001 through 2018. Dr. Johnson is principal investigator for the Health Resources and Services Administration-funded BabyAMOR study, a randomized controlled trial examining the impact of an NBO-based intervention to support mothers and their preterm newborns. She also chairs the board of directors for Healthy Learners, a non-governmental organization partnered with the Zambian government to implement a unique model of school-based healthcare. Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


Beril Bayrak headshot

Beril Bayrak Bulucu, MD

NBO Trainer

Dr. Bayrak Bulucu is a pediatrician specializing in community pediatrics and parent-infant mental health. She is founder of the former Gentle Connections Clinic at Lowell Community Health Center and is the infant mental health consultant at New Beginnings NGO, a nonprofit serving traumatized children in Istanbul, Turkey.


Yvette Blanchard headshot


Yvette Blanchard, Sc.D., PT

NBO and NBAS Master Trainer.

Dr. Blanchard is a pediatric physical therapist and a co-author of the NBO Handbook.  She has worked extensively with high-risk infants and children with disabilities in different clinical settings and has published numerous articles and book chapters relating to the field of pediatric physical therapy and early intervention with high-risk infants.  Dr. Blanchard is Professor of Physical Therapy, Sacred Heart University. 


Claudia Gold headshot

Claudia M. Gold, MD

NBO Trainer

Dr. Gold is a pediatrician and infant-family specialist® on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Program. She is the author of four books on child development, written for both general and professional audiences.


Alex Harrison headshot

Alexandra Harrison, MD

NBO Trainer

Dr. Harrison is Assistant Professor, part-time, in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Health Alliance. She is a training analyst in child, adolescent, and adult analysis at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and chief executive of the nonprofit Supporting Child Caregivers, which provides training and mentoring for parents and other child caregivers in the U.S. and in low- to middle-income countries.


Joanna Hawthorne headshot

Joanna Hawthorne Amick, PhD

NBO and NBAS Master Trainer

Dr. Hawthorne Amick is a developmental psychologist. She co-founded the U.K. Brazelton Centre, where she served as Director from 1997 to 2017. She was trained in the NBAS in 1976, in the NBO in 2009 and the Brazelton Touchpoints Model in 1998 and 2014.  She received an Infant Specialist certificate from the Erikson Institute, Chicago, in 1994. She has lived in the USA and UK using the NBAS and NBO with families. From 1995-2004, she was a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, involved in studies on maternal anxiety and ultrasound scanning.  She was a committee member of WAIMH UK and she is a Council Member of the Maternity and Newborn Forum, Royal Society of Medicine, London and a member of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital Board of Directors.   


Connie Keefer headshot

Constance H. Keefer, MD

NBAS and NBO Master Trainer

Dr. Keefer is a co-author of the NBO Handbook. Her career as a general pediatrician has included experience in both pediatric primary care and newborn hospital medicine. She is currently a consultant pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and holds the appointment of assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


Beth McManus headshot

Beth McManus, PT, MPH, ScD

NBO Master Trainer

Dr. McManus is a pediatric physical therapist with deep experience in early intervention and NICU settings. She is currently a pediatric physical therapist in the NICU at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Dr. McManus is an Associate Professor at Colorado School of Public Health. As a pediatric physical therapist with doctoral training in developmental epidemiology, Dr. McManus’s research focuses on population-based health interventions for young children with developmental delays and disabilities.


Susan Minear headshot

Susan Minear, MD

NBO Master Trainer

Dr Minear is a co-author of the NBO Handbook. She is a newborn hospitalist at Boston Medical Center and the medical director of both the newborn nursery and of Baby Steps, an outpatient clinic for high-risk infants. Dr. Minear is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University/Boston Medical Center.


Carmen Noruna headshot

Carmen Rosa Noroña, LICSW, MSW, MS. Ed., IECMH-E®

NBO Trainer

Ms. Noroña is one of the developers of the Harris Professional Development Network Diversity Informed Tenets for Work with Infants Children and Families Initiative (https://diversityinformedtenets.org) and of the Boston Medical Center Family Preparedness Plan for Immigrant Families. For more than 25 years, her work has focused on areas related to the impact of trauma on IECMH; the intersection of culture, immigration, and trauma; diversity-informed reflective supervision and consultation; and on the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practice in real world settings. She is a co-leader of the Department of Pediatrics’ Council of Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Boston Medical Center. She also serves as core faculty of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Being Anti-Racist is Central to Trauma-Informed Care Initiative and as a member of the NCTSN Steering Committee. Ms. Noroña has adapted and translated materials for Spanish-speaking families affected by trauma and has also contributed to the literature in infant and early childhood mental health, diversity, and immigration.


Jayne Singer headshot

Jayne Singer, PhD

NBO Trainer

Dr. Singer is an infant and early childhood mental health mentor-clinical. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Singer was the Founding President of the Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health (MassAIMH), and she is involved in advocacy work in infant and early childhood mental health in Massachusetts.


Aditi Aubramaniam headshot

Aditi Subramaniam, LMHC, R-DMT, CEIS, IECMH-M

NBO Trainer

Ms. Subramaniam is an infant and early childhood mental health mentor-clinical. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Early Intervention Specialist, and Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist. She is also a Newborn Behavior Specialist in the BabyAMOR Study. As the infant and early childhood mental health partnership manager for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), she leads a partnership between the MSPCC and the Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health (MassAIMH) focused on enhancing and supporting the infant mental health workforce with the goal of improving access to services for children age birth to 5 and their families.