Jennifer Renee Fonda, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Jennifer Fonda


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and a Research Health Scientist at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System.

I have approximately 20 years of experience as a researcher focused on advanced biostatistics and epidemiologic methods, with a particular interest in addiction, chronic pain, and suicide. I am the principal investigator of a VA CSR&D CDA-2 grant utilizing the VA electronic medical records to build predictor profiles for opioid use disorder and overdose among post-9/11 Veterans. I also serve as a co-investigator for a NIH randomized clinical trial, and a consultant for two VA RR&D CDA-2 grants. I am the Director of Biostatistics, Informatics, and Data Science at the Translational Research Center for Traumatic Brain Injury and Stress Disorders Center (TRACTS), a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Traumatic Brain Injury National Network. I have served as the lead epidemiologist and biostatistician for over 10 years, playing a central role in the design and data management of TRACTS, a longitudinal, prospective cohort study that uses state-of-the-art information across the domains of biological function (including blood chemistry, genetics, epigenetics), clinical and psychosocial function, lifetime head trauma and blast exposure, deployment experience, neuropsychological function, and neural integrity. Additionally, I have close to 20 years of experience using large electronic medical record databases for epidemiologic research, including the VA, the Department of Defense, National Death Index. and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In addition to my research, I have served as instructor for several statistics and epidemiology courses to undergraduate and graduate students for 20 years. These courses introduced the basic principles and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics, demonstrated their applicability to public health and medicine, and provided students with fundamental skills necessary to interpret and critically evaluate the relevant literature. Additionally, I developed and currently co-direct the Basic Biostatistics and Research Design Bootcamp and Advanced Statistics and Research Methods seminar series through the Neuropsychiatry Translational Research Fellowship Program. The seminar series offer key statistical and research methods and is attended by research assistants and coordinators, post-doctoral trainees, residents, fellows, and clinicians and service chiefs at the VA, BU Chobanian & Avedisian SOM, and HMS. Finally, I teach an Introduction to Epidemiology course at Harvard Extension School each Spring semester.

Other Positions

  • VA Boston Healthcare System


  • Boston University, PhD
  • Boston University, MA
  • Boston University, BA


  • Published on 3/23/2023

    Lendvai D, Whittemore R, Womack JA, Fortier CB, Milberg WP, Fonda JR. The Impact of Blast Exposure-With or Without Traumatic Brain Injury-on Metabolic Abnormalities in Post-9/11 Veterans. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2023 Sep-Oct 01; 38(5):380-390. PMID: 36951458.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/23/2023

    Lendvai D, Whittemore R, Womack JA, Fortier CB, Milberg WP, Fonda JR. The Impact of Blast Exposure-With or Without Traumatic Brain Injury-on Metabolic Abnormalities in Post-9/11 Veterans. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2023 Mar 23. PMID: 36951458.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/22/2022

    Logue MW, Miller MW, Sherva R, Zhang R, Harrington KM, Fonda JR, Merritt VC, Panizzon MS, Hauger RL, Wolf EJ, Neale Z, Gaziano JM. Alzheimer's disease and related dementias among aging veterans: Examining gene-by-environment interactions with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Alzheimers Dement. 2023 Jun; 19(6):2549-2559. PMID: 36546606.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/22/2022

    Sherva R, Zhang R, Sahelijo N, Jun G, Anglin T, Chanfreau C, Cho K, Fonda JR, Gaziano JM, Harrington KM, Ho YL, Kremen WS, Litkowski E, Lynch J, Neale Z, Roussos P, Marra D, Mez J, Miller MW, Salat DH, Tsuang D, Wolf E, Zeng Q, Panizzon MS, Merritt VC, Farrer LA, Hauger RL, Logue MW. African ancestry GWAS of dementia in a large military cohort identifies significant risk loci. Mol Psychiatry. 2023 Mar; 28(3):1293-1302. PMID: 36543923.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/21/2022

    Kim S, Currao A, Bernstein J, Fonda JR, Fortier CB. Contributory Etiologies to Cognitive Performance in Multimorbid Post-9/11 Veterans: The Deployment Trauma Phenotype. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2022 Nov 21; 37(8):1699-1709. PMID: 35718759.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/6/2022

    Evans TC, Alonso MR, Jagger-Rickels A, Rothlein D, Zuberer A, Bernstein J, Fortier CB, Fonda JR, Villalon A, Jorge R, Milberg W, McGlinchey R, DeGutis J, Esterman M. PTSD symptomatology is selectively associated with impaired sustained attention ability and dorsal attention network synchronization. Neuroimage Clin. 2022; 36:103146. PMID: 36055063.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/5/2022

    Fonda JR, Crowe ML, Levin LK, Jagger-Rickels A, Marx BP, Milberg WP, McGlinchey RE, Fortier CB. Network analysis of mild traumatic brain injury, persistent neurobehavioral and psychiatric symptoms, and functional disability among recent-era United States veterans. J Trauma Stress. 2022 Oct; 35(5):1546-1558. PMID: 35932100.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/7/2022

    Kim S, Currao A, Fonda JR, Beck B, Kenna A, Fortier CB. Diagnostic Accuracy of the Boston Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury-Lifetime Clinical Interview Compared to Department of Defense Medical Records. Mil Med. 2022 Jun 07. PMID: 35670452.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2022

    Bernstein JPK, Fonda J, Currao A, Kim S, Milberg WP, McGlinchey RE, Fortier CB. Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are uniquely associated with disability and life dissatisfaction in post-9/11 veterans. Psychiatry Res. 2022 07; 313:114589. PMID: 35533471.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/26/2022

    Pierce ME, Hayes J, Huber BR, Jeromin A, Fortier CB, Fonda JR, Lasseter H, Chaby L, McGlinchey R, Milberg W. Plasma biomarkers associated with deployment trauma and its consequences in post-9/11 era veterans: initial findings from the TRACTS longitudinal cohort. Transl Psychiatry. 2022 02 26; 12(1):80. PMID: 35217643.

    Read at: PubMed

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