Past Fellows Talk
At the Center for Addiction medicine, post-doctoral fellows work on a range of independent, patient-oriented clinical or translational addiction research with dedicated mentors. Fellows work with senior faculty to drive the innovative work at the Center. Their intellectual contributions are are critical to the mission of the Center. This kind of environment has helped former fellows develop into recognized professional members of the field, with many of them going on to produce influential scholarly work, to obtain prestigious grant funding, and to accept academic positions within Harvard or elsewhere after they complete the fellowship.
Some former fellows reflect on their experience.
Zev Schulman-Olivier, MD
CAM clinical fellow: 2009-2012
Current Position: Director for the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion,
Investigator at the NIDA-funded P30 Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth College
I did a 3-year half-time post-doctoral fellowship at the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine while I was also a half-time clinical fellow in the Harvard Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship.
During this time I learned how to conduct high-quality research, to organize and administer a research laboratory, to run my own analyses through collaboration with a top notch statistician, and to write grants. The weekly manuscript meetings led by Eden Evins and John Kelly allowed me to workshop multiple papers and grants applications, helping me with these hard-to-teach skills. The Center is very collaborative, and I had the opportunity to co-author papers with some of the faculty, such as John Kelly and Bettina Hoeppner. In the five years since starting the fellowship at MGH CAM, I have received nine grants to support my research—four from the NIH—including the recent inclusion in the NIH Common Fund Science of Behavior Change Initiative.
When I was applying for this CAM fellowship, the idea that mindfulness might play a role in addiction treatment was not widely accepted by leaders in addiction treatment, but Eden was open-minded and dedicated to apply the tools of empirical science to the areas of study. With her support, I received a NIDA grant during my fellowship to conduct a randomized controlled trial of mindfulness training versus cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Johanna Burke, MD
CAM Research Fellowship: 2008-2010
Current position: Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester-Psychiatry Department; Attending Psychiatrist UMASS Ambulatory Psychiatry Clinic.
The Addiction Research Fellowship at the Center for Addiction Medicine gave me the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Eden Evins as well as many other renowned scientists such as John Kelly. During my 2 years as a research fellow at the Center for Addiction Medicine, I learned and participated in every stage of the research process, including grant writing, IRB coordination, study design, data collection, data management, supervision of regulatory matters at different clinical sites, treatment delivery, and was able to co-author papers.
I worked on multisite clinical trials in smoking cessation to test new pharmacological and non pharmacological therapies in people with mental illness and otherwise healthy smokers. In addition, being at the CAM gave me the opportunity to attend the weekly Psychiatry Department Grand rounds and the CAM Addiction Grand rounds, where I interacted with nationally and internationally recognized researchers. As an International M.D., this Fellowship helped me obtain a position in residency training in Psychiatry.
Tsafrir Loebl, MD
INVEST-CAM Clinical Fellow: 2005-2007
CAM Research Physician: 2007-2009.
Current Position: Chief, partial hospitalization unit, Jerusalem Mental Health Center,
Kfar Shaul Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel
With the help of the Center for Addiction Medicine and the MGH addiction psychiatry program, I was able to get a NIDA INVEST fellowship. After my fellowship, I stayed at CAM for a few more years working as a study physician. I gained experience in all aspects of clinical research and addiction, as well as meeting some great people and having fun. After returning to Israel, I coordinated the inpatient dual diagnosis program of the Jerusalem Mental Health Center, where I am currently chief of the partial hospitalization unit at Kfar-Shaul psychiatric hospital.
Gustavo Angarita, MD
CAM research fellow
Current position: Assistant Inpatient Chief of the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU) of the Connecticut Mental Heath Center (CMHC)/Yale University School of Medicine
I completed 2 years of combined clinical and research training with my Partners Healthcare Addictions Psychiatry Fellowship. The research component was based at the MGH Center for Addictions Medicine.
As a fellow, I worked on multisite clinical trials, imaging studies on medication development and industry sponsored studies. This broad exposure gave me the opportunity of learning the intricacies of clinical research. The experience was paired with staff and manuscript meetings and the CAM grand rounds, complementing my academic development as I acquired and improved my statistical and writing skills, and my knowledge about research methods and the biology of substance use disorders.
The fellowship helped me obtain a position at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit of the Connecticut Mental Health Center/Yale University School of Medicine, where I am an Instructor. My research has led to NIH grant applications, Scholar awards, and manuscripts contributing to our understanding and the treatment of cocaine use disorder.