Who We Are

TRANSCEND is a network of like-minded researchers and clinicians devoted to pooling and integrating brain and body knowledge and research to help people with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Partnering in all research and treatment efforts will speed our progress toward understanding how best to help and support each person with ASD and everyone in their lives. Pictured below are some of our team members!

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
TRANSCEND TEAM
VOLUNTEERS
COLLABORATORS

Principal Investigators

Martha Herbert, MD, PhD
(Program Director)
Dr. Martha Herbert is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Pediatric Neurologist with subspecialty certification in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a Principal Investigator, and an affiliate of the HST-MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. Her background in pediatric neurology, evolutionary biology and history of science has influenced her orientation towards systems biology, brain connectivity and dynamism, and brain-body interrelationships. In 2004, she received the first Cure Autism Now Innovator Award, and she is presently on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Autism Speaks. Her research interests include studying what makes some autistic brains unusually large, how we can develop measures sensitive to environmental vulnerability and changes in brain and body function that could result from treatment interventions, how brain and body are related in the development of autism in infants, and how to study the systems biology of improvement and recovery.

Tal Kenet, PhD
(Scientific Director)
Dr. Tal Kenet is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and a Principal Investigator in the Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Neurology and is affiliated with the HST-MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. She has extensive training and knowledge in systems neuroscience, with particular expertise in sensory processing. Dr. Kenet's doctoral research centered on the first stages of visual processing in the brain, while her post-doctoral work focused on abnormal development of auditory perception in animals with normal hearing. Subsequently, she became interested in autism, and was granted a Young Investigator Award from the Cure Autism Now foundation and from the MIND Institute at UC Davis to use MEG to study abnormal sensory processing in autism. She is currently using MEG successfully with both visual and auditory stimulation on children and adults, with and without autism.

Katherine Martien, MD
(Clinical Research Director)
Dr. Katherine Martien is a Principal Investigator,
Instructor at Harvard Medical School and a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician with subspecialty certification in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities with the Lurie Family Autism Center/LADDERS Clinic, an outpatient clinic of the Massachusetts General Hospital located in Lexington, MA. After training in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital, Boston, she served as an attending pediatrician at Children's Hospital, the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the M.I.T. Health Service for 10 years before pursuing further training in Developmental Pediatrics, Neurology and Epilepsy at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where she began clinical research in autism. Her current research focuses on uncovering biological markers of Autism as revealed by resting and stimulated brain wave activity (EEG and ERP) using high density array EEG seeking diagnostic markers present from infancy that can also be used to determine prognosis and assess response to interventions. She is currently co-investigator on a Department of Defense funded prospective study on early biologic markers for autism in high-risk infant siblings.

TRANSCEND TEAM
 
 
Santosh Ganesan, MS

Santosh Ganesan is an engineer in our group. He works on analyzing brain connectivity, functional mapping, and MEG data analysis/processing. He has done his MS in signal processing from Boston University and has undergraduate degrees in neuroscience and biology from Brandeis University.

 
  

 

Keri Garel, SB

 

Keri is a research coordinator in our group. Before joining TRANSCEND, she did research in the Gabrieli lab at MIT, where she received a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She is interested in the intersection of neuroscience and education, and finds brains to be especially awesome. Keri provides support for our study participants and administers behavioral testing. When she's not with us, she's usually looking for another sandwich to eat

 

 
Sara Bersche Golas, MA

Sara is a research coordinator who supports our participants for the Whole Baby Infant Siblings Study. She also helps with autonomic data collection and database creation and management for the study. Before joining TRANSCEND, she was a research assistant at MIT Media Lab helping to prepare a pilot study using the autonomic sensor now being used by TRANSCEND.

 

 
 
Shantanu Ghosh, PhD

Shantanu is a Research Fellow in our group. Currently he is working on multimodal modelling of neural systems to discover structure-function relationships. At the cellular level, his research focuses on understanding the role of calcium in brain energetics and metabolic-immune interactions among astrocytes and neurons in both healthy individuals and in persons with neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly autism. Before joining Transcend, he was an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi.

 

 
Sheraz Khan, PhD

Sheraz Khan is a PostDoc in our group. He works on MEG methods, brain connectivity and MEG data analysis/processing. He has done his MS in signal processing and currently finishing PhD in applied mathematics. Before joining at MGH, he was a graduate student at Froedtert Hospital-Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA and Pitie Salpetriere Hospital, Paris, France.

 

 
Manfred Kitzbichler, PhD

Manfred is a post doc in our group. He works on general MEG methods, brain connectivity, and graph theoretical analysis of brain networks. Before joining at MGH he was a post doc in Ed Bullmore's group in Cambridge, UK where he analyzed fMRI and MEG recordings to study criticality in brain dynamics, as well as the reorganization of brain networks with cognitive demand. He received his MS in Physics from the University of Innsbruck, Austria and his PhD from the Max-Planck Institute of Astrophysics in Munich, Germany.

 

 
Kanwaljit Singh, MD, MPH

Dr. Singh is a physician working with our group. After completing his medical school education in India, he pursued his Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Harvard University. Dr Singh helps with our Biomarkers studies where he assists with collection, processing and storage of biosamples. He is also proficient in statistics and helps in statistical analysis of the imaging data. He also helps with the database creation and management for our various studies.

 

 
Manuel Zetino, MA

Coming all the way from California, Manuel is a research coordinator in our group.  Before joining the TRANSCEND Team, he received his MA in clinical psychology at Cal State Dominguez Hills and his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of California, Irvine.  Manuel administers psychological and behavioral testing as well as provides support for our participants during the MEG, MRI, and PING studies. 

 

Volunteers

 

Allie Surchin

Allie is an intern and a senior at Tufts University. She is pursuing her double majors in Clinical Psychology and Child Development, and a minor in Dance. Allie is training with the Tufts Marathon Team and hopes to run her first marathon this spring. After graduating from Tufts, she hopes to gain more clinical research experience before applying to graduate school for clinical psychology.

 

 

PAST STUDY STAFF MEMBERS

Lia Harrington, Volunteer

Caroline Callahan, Volunteer

Sarah Campbell, BA, Volunteer

Louisa Harrison, Volunteer

Meg Lardy, Volunteer

Jade Ong, BA, Intern

Sara Makaretz, Intern

Nitzah Gebhard, BA, Research Coordinator

Lauren Brodsky, BA, Research Coordinator

Nandita Shetty, MS, Neuroimaging Engineer

SOME OF OUR COLLaborators

Matthew Belmonte, PhD, Cornell University

Matthew Goodwin, PhD, Northeastern University

Philip Grieve, PhD, Columbia University

David Holtzman, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

Joseph Isler, PhD, Columbia University
Rosalind Picard, ScD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Eva-Maria Ratai, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jung Suh, PhD, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute

Lorin Wilde, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology