Inventor, Principal Investigator
After a career developing and producing the first fMRI systems at Advanced NMR Systems Inc., Dr. Michael Rohan came to McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School in order to translate this experience to research in the field of psychiatry. The LFMS treatment is based on a discovery made in an MRI study of bipolar depression in 2001. Dr. Rohan developed this treatment from a hypothesis (following the original observation) into a medical device that is now being evaluated by the NIH as part of its RAPID program for fast acting antidepressants. His background includes degrees in Physics and Mathematics from M.I.T. as well as a Ph.D. in Physics from Tufts University.
LFMS combines technical development in the two fields that Dr. Rohan has been involved with during his career, imaging systems and brain stimulation. He started his career in the company that developed the first fMRI systems. There he designed the electromagnetic coils used for imaging (gradient coils), starting from an equation and finishing with work on manufacturability on the factory floor. During this time Dr. Rohan became interested in nerve stimulation and safety. He also supported efforts for FDA approval of the fMRI medical device, as well as management of the Intellectual Property. During his subsequent years at McLean Hospital he has developed close collaborations with researchers in psychiatric disorders, and work with a team of psychologists and clinicians who advise on the clinical studies with LFMS.
Rinah Yamamoto, Ph.D. Psychologist
Dr. Yamamoto is an experimental psychologist with experience in both pre-clinical and clinical methods. For more than 8 years she has been studying the effects of Low Field Magnetic Stimulation (LFMS) treatment on mood disorders. Recently her focus has been on bipolar and unipolar depression. However, studies have branched out to include the effects of LFMS on hypomania and mixed mood state as well as anxiety disorders. In addition to studying the effects of LFMS in people suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, her current work involves using non-invasive techniques such functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to understand how LFMS affects the brain in healthy volunteers.
Dr. Ruzicka serves as the medical doctor within the LFMS group, assisting with issues of study design and providing clinical oversight of the groups activities. Additionally, Dr. Ruzicka’s own research program investigates the role of epigenetics in psychiatric disease, focusing on the role of DNA and histone methylation in disrupted GABAergic neurotransmission in the human hippocampus in psychotic disorders. His work has received funding from the American Psychiatric Association and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation as well as local sources. Dr. Ruzicka also performs clinical duties at McLean Hospital, where he is Associate Medical Director of McLean’s Appleton Residence and a covering psychiatrist on the hospital’s inpatient units.
Sierra Fuller, B.S.
Sierra Fuller is Senior Clinical Research Assistant in the LFMS group at McLean Hospital. She leads recruitment efforts for all studies and facilitates study organization, documentation, and policy adherence. Currently a graduate student in the Masters of Social Work program at Simmons College, Sierra is particularly interested in how mental illness can affect unity within a family. She hopes to become a family therapist after graduate school, focusing on mental illness education, support and communication to help promote understanding and trust within families. Sierra graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Union College. Her thesis explored what cognitive processes are utilized in language acquisition.
Clara Wellons, B.A.
Clara Wellons is a Clinical Research Assistant II in the LFMS group at McLean Hospital. Her work with Dr. Rohan includes study and device design and implementation. Clara conducts biomarker studies of the effects of LFMS, oversees device fabrication and design, and is the media manager for the group. She was graduated from Bard College with a degree in History and research thesis in Dance and Psychoanalysis. While at Bard she worked in Expressive Arts Therapy with children. Also a performing artist, Clara’s interests are in neuroplasticity and creativity.
Kenroy Cayetano, M.S.E.E. (Engineer) Mr. Cayetano’s primary role as the Director of the NIC’s Biomedical Engineering Lab is to facilitate the center’s research goals through continued engineering support. Mr. Cayetano designed the control hardware and interface for the current version of the LFMS and fabricates the device.
Steven Lowen, Ph.D. (Engineer) Dr. Lowen is an expert in fMRI experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation. He has conducted fMRI research in the effects of odor cues on cigarette smokers, and worked on related projects involving cocaine-paired odor cues in rats. Dr. Lowen contributes to the design of the next generation controller for the LFMS Device.
Marc Copersino, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychologist) Associate Psychologist, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program, and McLean Neuroimaging Center. Dr. Copersino collaborates with the LFMS group on study design and interpretation.
Alexis Whitton, Ph.D. (Neuroscientist) Dr. Whitton is a psychologist and neuroscientist, and her research interests focus on developing a mechanistic understanding of differences in reward processing in individuals with mood disorders. Dr. Whitton collaborates on the analysis of EEG data.