Jennifer Fitzsimmons, M.D.

Jennifer-FitzsimmonsInvestigator, Instructor

Tel: 617-359-6942
Email: jfitzsimmons@bwh.harvard.edu

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I received my MD degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Zaragoza, Spain. I moved to Boston in 2006 to learn about research and joined the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory in 2006 as a part time postdoctoral fellow. During this time I developed the expertise in medical imaging analysis, statistics and neuroanatomy. I became interested in studying the fornix, the main output fibers of the hippocampus, which is a key structure in many psychiatric disorders. I joined the Clinical Research Training Program in 2012 in order to focus my career development in neuroimaging and neuroinflammation.

My current research focuses on studying white matter (WM) using Diffusion Tensor MRI (DTI) to measure the integrity of limbic system structures and Structural MRI to measure gray matter (GM) volume in first episode (FE) schizophrenia and subjects at high-risk for psychosis. I am interested in furthering my research by studying the relationship between DTI biomarkers and cytokines levels (markers of inflammation) and how it relates to schizophrenia.  

Currently, I am also involved in a project to investigate early detection of brain injury, which is critical to identifying those who are most at risk for developing a poor outcome. With the use of recent technical developments that include diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and combining these tools will make possible the identification of the different tissue components and different aspects of TBI pathology.