BU-CHART Graduates

Joëlla Adams, PhD, MPH

Dr. Adams graduated the BU CHART program in 2021 and is now a Research Epidemiologist at RTI International.

Joëlla Adams received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Brown University where she was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research examining the impact of mass incarceration on HIV acquisition risk for community-dwelling women using agent-based modeling. She graduated from the Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Training Program on Substance Use, HIV, and Comorbidities. Before her doctoral studies, she was the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) Data Manager for the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

During her BU CHART training, she worked with Drs. Ben Linas and Joshua Barocas to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of interventions to prevent opioid overdose deaths and reduce injection-related infections. Her long term research goal is to develop a career as an infectious disease epidemiologist with a focus on women’s health and reducing HIV disparities, particularly those related to gender, race, and experiences with the criminal justice system.

Ribka Berhanu, MD

Dr. Berhanu graduated the BU CHART program in 2020 and is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Infectious Diseases Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Berhanu also received K08 funding in 2020 for her research on ‘Transmission of drug-resistant tuberculosis in a South African city with a high prevalence of HIV infection’.

Ribka Berhanu is originally from Addis Ababa and moved to the US after finishing high-school in Ethiopia. Prior to completing her Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of North Carolina, she worked in Johannesburg, South Africa in a drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment unit for three years. During her fellowship time, she returned to Johannesburg as a Fogarty international research fellow. She remained based in South Africa full time and currently has a joint appointment with Boston University and the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office, a division of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Her BU CHART research was focused on drug-resistant tuberculosis outcomes, TB transmission and new TB diagnostics. She also practiced on the inpatient infectious disease consult service at a public hospital in Johannesburg.

Ben Bovell-Ammon, MD, MPH

Dr. Bovell-Ammon graduated the BU CHART program in 2023 and is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Ben Bovell-Ammon received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas, his hometown. During medical school, he also took a year of leave to complete a Master of Public Health degree in global health at Harvard University. His public health studies began with an interest in health system reform in low- and middle-income countries, and his masters capstone project took him to Tanzania where he studied growing burden of diabetes and the response of its public sector health system. However, his focus began to shift as he became more passionate about mass incarceration and racial health inequities in the US. He began researching post-incarceration linkage to HIV care among people living with HIV in Dallas County, which sparked his interests in health services research and in the intersections of addiction, infectious diseases, and mass incarceration.

During his BU-CHART training, he continued his work in the areas he began researching as a resident and research fellow: namely, the national impact of mass incarceration on population health, the relationship between incarceration and HIV treatment and prevention among people who inject drugs, and transitions of care for opioid use disorder and chronic infections during and after incarceration with his mentors, Dr. Marc LaRochelle and Dr. Simeon Kimmel.

Meg Curtis, MD, MS

Dr. Curtis graduated the BU CHART program in 2023 and is now a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Medical Practices Evaluation, MGH in Boston.

Megan “Meg” Rose Curtis received her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in 2016. Prior to medical school, she completed a MS in Global Health Sciences at University of California, San Francisco which took her to Zambia where she studied the effects of HIV on maternal outcomes. This experience sparked a career-long interest at the intersection of women’s health and infectious disease. Meg finished her clinical fellowship in Infectious Diseases through the combined Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) program. In 2020-2021, she was the HIV fellow at BWH during which she gained expertise in caring for patients living with HIV.

As a BU-CHART Trainee and Research Fellow within the Medical Practice Evaluation Center (MPEC) at MGH, Meg continued her research on model-based research regarding the cost-effectiveness of hepatitis C management strategies for pregnant women with opioid use disorder and their infants with mentors Dr. Andrea Ciarenello and Dr. Ben Linas.

Rachel Epstein, MD, MScE

Dr. Epstein graduated from the BU CHART program in 2019 and is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University. Dr. Epstein also received K01 funding in 2022 for her research on ‘Perinatal care as a venue to reduce opioid overdoses and hepatitis C virus incidence (PreVenT OD HCV)’.

Rachel completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology and bioinformatics at Wesleyan University and obtained her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. She completed a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency at Brown University, and is board certified in both fields. She was the first fellow to train in combined adult and pediatric infectious diseases at BMC, and stayed on to pursue additional research through BU-CHART as a post-doctoral research fellow while also attending in pediatric infectious diseases. She is also completed a Master’s of Science degree in Epidemiology through BU-CHART and CREST. Her research interest was focused on the intersections among the opioid epidemic, HIV, and HCV, with particular focus on screening and linkage to care for adolescents and young adults as well as pregnant women and infants.

Carolina Geadas, MD

Dr. Geadas graduated from the BU CHART program in 2024 and is now an Associate Medical Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences and a Clinical Faculty and Instructor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Carolina Geadas received her medical degree from the University of Lisbon School of Medicine in Portugal, where she is originally from. She first moved to Boston to pursue her research interest in tuberculosis (TB). Working with researchers at Harvard Medical School, she looked into the mechanisms of cellular destruction in TB infection. Later, at Boston University, she researched the dynamics of household transmission of TB and the biomarkers predictive of progression from latent infection to active disease.

She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Boston Medical Center, and is currently an Infectious Diseases fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Throughout her clinical training she had the opportunity to work abroad in Mozambique, Mexico and Kenya. From these experiences she developed an appreciation for the challenges faced by patients and the cultural nuances impacting the success of health policies and interventions around TB control. She is interested in population health and implementation science focusing on community-based interventions to improve the TB cascade of care in low-resource settings. As a BU-CHART fellow, she will be working with mentors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston University focusing on understanding the barriers and facilitators to TB diagnosis in Lima, Peru, and identifying patient preferences to inform the implementation of interventions.

Leah Harvey, MD, MPH

Dr. Harvey graduated the BU CHART program in 2023 and is now an Assistant Professor at Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University.

Leah Harvey completed medical school at Michigan State University and residency in internal medicine at Boston Medical Center, where she was a member of the HIV pathway. Leah finished a dual fellowship in Infectious Diseases and Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center and was a post-doctoral clinical research fellow at Boston University as member of the BU-CHART program. Clinically, she works as an infectious disease physician, HIV primary care provider, and addiction medicine specialist at Boston Medical Center. Her research is focused on the infectious sequelae associated with injection drug use, particularly HIV and invasive bacterial infections, and in optimizing harm reduction strategies and adapting clinical treatment modalities to address health disparities and reach marginalized patients. During her training, she worked with Dr. Westyn Branch-Elliman of the VA’s Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR) to design and implement a toolkit of harm reduction strategies to reduce the transmission of viral and bacterial infections in veterans who inject drugs. Leah is also a member of the Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars (RAMS) program and is working with Drs. Alex Walley and Simeon Kimmel of Boston Medical Center on additional projects related to harm reduction and infection prevention in persons who inject drugs.

Raagini Jawa, MD, MPH

Dr. Jawa graduated from the BU CHART program in 2022 and is now an Assistant Professor and Clinician Investigator in the Department of General Internal Medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a clinician investigator in the Center for Research on Health Care.

Raagini Jawa received her undergraduate and medical school degree from Boston University as part of the combined BA-MD seven year accelerated medical program. She completed her Master’s in Public health with an international health concentration at Boston University School of Public Heath, where her thesis work was on HIV prevention strategies for MSM and transgender patients in India. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine as part of the HIV pathway as well as her Chief residency at Boston Medical Center. At Boston Medical Center, she was a combined Infectious Disease and Addiction Medicine Fellow at Grayken Center of Addiction Medicine. Raagini is part of cohort 8 of Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars program and completed the Program in Clinical Effectiveness at Harvard School of Public School in Summer 2020.

As part of BU CHART research, Raagini worked with mentor Dr. Joshua Barocas in developing and studying harm reduction strategies and implementation in order to reduce bacterial and viral infectious complications of intravenous drug use. 

Youngji Jo, PhD

Dr. Jo graduated the BU CHART program in 2021 and is now an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Connecticut (UConn Health). Dr. Jo also received F32 funding in 2021 for her research on ‘Optimal Medication Dispensing for People Living with HIV with and without Other Chronic Diseases in Zambia: A Mathematical Model’.

Youngji Jo is originally from South Korea and received her undergraduate degree from Seoul National University in electrical engineering and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in international economics/relations.  She received her doctoral degree and postdoctoral training from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she developed and applied various costing and cost effectiveness analyses to evaluate public health programs. Her doctoral thesis research is on cost-effectiveness and scalability of an mHealth intervention to improve pregnancy surveillance and care seeking in rural Bangladesh. As a Gordis Teaching Fellow, she developed and taught a course on ‘Information and communication technology for health systems strengthening’ for undergraduate students at Johns Hopkins University.  During her time on BU CHART, she worked on cost effectiveness analyses of tuberculosis control and prevention programs in various settings with Dr. Brooke Nichols and Dr. Robert Horsburgh.

Simeon Kimmel, MD, MA

Dr. Kimmel graduated the BU CHART program in 2019 and is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University. Dr. Kimmel also received K23 funding in 2021 for his research on ‘Retention and Re-Engagement in Treatment for Addiction following Serious Injection Related Infections (RETAIN)’.

Simeon Kimmel received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in anthropology before attending Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency training in internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also earned a master’s degree in medical anthropology from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences after completing a thesis on race, drugs and health care in the context of mass incarceration. At Boston Medical Center, he was a combined Infectious Disease and Addiction Medicine Fellow. Broadly, he is interested in improving care for patients with and at risk for infectious complications of addiction including HIV, hepatitis C, and bacterial infections secondary to intravenous drug use. He is interested in how social inequality and marginalization mediate individual risk and hopes to use his clinical skills, novel program design and evaluation, and system-based advocacy to make a difference in the overlapping epidemics of addiction and addiction-associated infections. 

Angela McLaughlin, MD, MPH

Dr. McLaughlin graduated the BU CHART program in 2023 and is now a Primary Care Physician at Codman Square Health Center.

Angela is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and journeyed to New England for the first time for undergrad at Smith College. She then went to med school at Tulane University, where she obtained both an MD and MPH in tropical medicine. During residency at Brown University Internal Medicine, she researched barriers to HIV care in people who inject drugs in western Ukraine. She completed clinical infectious diseases fellowship at BMC in 2021. Her BU-CHART research evaluated the biologic effect of alcohol on HIV outcomes in a cohort of people living with HIV (PLWH) in St. Petersburg, Russia. She worked with mentors Drs. Kaku So-Armah and Nina Lin and the URBAN ARCH group. Angela also worked with the BMC ID clinic to set up a transitional care medicine clinic for PLWH admitted to the hospital.

R. Taylor Pickering, PhD

Dr. Pickering graduated from the BU CHART program in 2021 and is now a Research Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases at Boston University.

Taylor received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri before completing a PhD in Nutrition in Metabolism at Boston University School of Medicine where his thesis examined depot dependent mechanisms of adipose tissue fibrosis and dysfunction. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Cardiovascular Epidemiology also at BUSM focusing on dietary risk factors of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Wanting to return to basic science, Taylor decided to pursue laboratory research through BU-CHART and is major research interests are adipose tissue biology and interorgan communication in the context of HIV. Under the mentorship of Dr. Nina Lin, he examined the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on immune responses in people living with HIV using a cell-based model of exercise and probed how certain antiretroviral therapies may alter adipose tissue biology. 

Pranay Sinha, MD

Dr. Sinha graduated the BU CHART program in 2022 and is now an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at Boston University.

Pranay was born in India to two military doctors and attended eight schools in different Indian cities before coming to the USA for college. After graduating from Adelphi University in NY and spending a year participating in tumor-microenvironment research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Pranay found himself at the UVA School of Medicine where he became interested in global health. He finished residency training at Yale-New Haven Hospital where he received a distinction in Global Health and Equity. Before starting fellowship, Pranay spent a year as a Step-Down Unit and Hematology/Oncology hospitalist at Yale. During his time on BU CHART, Pranay studied the tuberculosis epidemic in India with a view to improving policy implementation and formulation with mentor Natasha Hochberg.