Jennifer R. Gatchel, MD, PhD

: I am a research-oriented geriatric psychiatrist who is focused on studying the pathophysiology of psychiatric symptoms in aging and in AD, with the goal of developing more effective treatments to alleviate patient suffering. I have utilized molecular biology, mouse models, genetics, neuropharmacology, and now clinical research and neuroimaging modalities to study how degenerative processes may impact neural circuitry to give rise to disease, and how to best identify and treat those at risk. I trained in the Medical Scientist Program at Baylor College of Medicine, earning an MD and a PhD in neuroscience while working with Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi to studying mechanisms of neurodegeneration in mouse models of two neurodegenerative diseases. During this time, I obtained NIH research funding (T32 and individual F30), published my work in leading journals (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Reviews Genetics, and Nature Genetics), and gained local and national recognition for my expertise. I went on to pursue residency in adult psychiatry in the top-ranked Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/McLean Hospital Residency Program, where I was selected to participate in the residency’s Research Concentration Program. During my final year of residency, I served as a Chief Resident and received the Thomas P. Hackett award in recognition of the resident who has contributed the most to the academic spirit of the Department of Psychiatry.

Following residency I completed additional specialized clinical training in geriatric psychiatry in the Partners Healthcare Geriatric Psychiatry Clinical Fellowship Program (2014-2015). During that fellowship, I continued to investigate mood and cognitive symptoms in late life and in AD under the mentorship of Drs. Reisa A. Sperling, Gad A. Marshall, Keith A. Johnson, Brent P. Forester, and Diego A. Pizzagalli.

My training experiences investigating mechanisms of brain-behavior relationships have led to several peer-reviewed publications, chapters in leading textbooks, and presentations at the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry annual meetings. I am a former American College of Psychiatry P.R.I.T.E. fellow, and was recognized as an Honors Scholar (American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry) and Webb Fellow (Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine). In addition, I am the recipient of the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry Dupont Warren Research Fellowship and Livingston Award, the 2016 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry Member in Training Research Award, and the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Neurodegenerative Disease New Investigator Award. When not carrying out research or clinical work in the care of geriatric patients with mood, anxiety, and cognitive symptoms, I serve in leadership roles in medical student, resident, and fellow geriatric psychiatry education.