Mclean Hospital

Research Initiatives

Brains Matter

Through Brains Matter, a McLean Hospital educational outreach program, our neuroscience researchers teach area students and adults about the brain. Brains Matter uses brain samples and models to demonstrate the complexity of the brain, answer questions about how the brain works, and inspire audiences to learn more about neuroscience in particular and science in general.

The program is modeled on a successful outreach effort led by McLean’s Chief Scientific Officer Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, while he was at Emory University. That effort, which focused on raising awareness around PTSD and reducing mental health stigma, was based on a realization that many individuals lacked a basic understanding of neuroscience and mental health issues.

Neuroscience outreach fair

Since its launch at McLean in 2016, Brains Matter has presented at Boston’s Museum of Science and at the 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston, as well as in many classrooms and science fairs around the region. Brains Matter presentations usually feature postmortem human brain samples provided by the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, along with samples of animal brains. Led by McLean research assistants and other staff as well as undergraduate researchers from local universities, the presentations touch on topics such as how brain tissue is used in research, how brains differ among species, and the complexity of illnesses such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Individuals and groups interested in scheduling a Brains Matter presentation should contact Stephanie A. Maddox, PhD, or the McLean Hospital Public Affairs and Communications office.

McLean Hospital-Chinese Society of Psychiatry Initiative in Psychiatry

The McLean Hospital-Chinese Society of Psychiatry Initiative in Psychiatry (MCIP) is dedicated to providing ongoing educational opportunities and fostering collaborative relationships between McLean-Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry. The goal of this initiative is to expand cross-cultural research opportunities and provide mutually beneficial information and resources, focusing on the fields of bipolar and psychotic disorders and child and adolescent psychiatry.

The concept for the MCIP was developed in 2014 by psychiatrists from McLean-HMS and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry. In February of that year, McLean hosted a training session on the Belmont campus for members of the society in which faculty and staff presented a broad overview of topics, diagnoses, treatment, and research. The training was well received and the society invited psychiatrists from McLean-HMS to address their annual meeting that September. From these interactions, the two organizations decided there would be significant mutual benefits in cultivating a long-term collaborative relationship.

Through the MCIP, both Chinese and McLean-HMS investigators gain access to cutting-edge methodologies and technologies as well as a wide range of patient populations and data from their counterparts, allowing researchers to work in a more systematic way.

McLean researcher

The program is administered through webinars, and ongoing meetings and training sessions. McLean’s Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education oversees the administrative functions of the program and facilitates the collaborative efforts among researchers.

The MCIP is led by co-directors Dost Öngür, MD, PhD—chief of the Psychotic Disorders Division at McLean Hospital—and Xin Yu, MD, PhD—professor of psychiatry at Peking University Institute of Mental Health—alongside administrative director Christopher M. Palmer, MD—director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital.

The MCIP welcomes McLean-HMS and Chinese psychiatrists and researchers who are interested in collaborative projects focused on bipolar and psychotic disorders or child and adolescent psychiatry. If you are interested in joining the initiative, please contact

Shervert H. Frazier Research Institute

The Shervert H. Frazier Research Institute supports the research, academic, and training elements of McLean Hospital’s mission. The Frazier Institute was established to honor Dr. Shervert Frazier, the former psychiatrist in chief of McLean Hospital, who also served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

The institute supports basic, clinical, and translational research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of major psychiatric disorders, especially mood, psychotic, anxiety, and neurodegenerative disorders. Through the Office of the Chief Scientific Officer, the Frazier Research Institute supports psychiatric and neuroscience research, collaborations among McLean researchers and clinicians, novel research approaches by junior investigators, opportunities for visiting scholars to work at McLean, and conferences held at McLean Hospital that address new and important areas of psychiatry and neuroscience.

McLean researchers

The program also focuses its efforts on the training of psychiatric investigators and the facilitation of collaborative research, as well as other related academic and educational activities. Through the Office of the Chief Academic Officer, the Frazier Research Institute supports a wide range of seminars and hospital-wide programs for basic, clinical, and translational junior and senior faculty investigators and post-doctoral fellows, innovative pilot research for trainees and junior faculty, and opportunities for lectures on psychiatry and neuroscience by national and international visiting scholars.

Institute Board of Directors includes Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH and Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, with oversight from Chair Scott L. Rauch, MD.