Our Team


David Borsook, MD, PhD
Founding Director
Dr. Borsook is director of the Center for Pain and the Brain, which encompasses Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and McLean Hospital. He is a Professor in Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School. As a leading researcher in the field of pain, Dr. Borsook has helped improve the understanding of healthy and unhealthy neural pain networks in both humans and animal models.
Jaymin Upadhyay, PhD
Associate Director
Dr. Upadhyay is the Associate Director of the Center for Pain and the Brain, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He trained in physics and neuroscience at West Virginia University and Boston University, respectively. Dr. Upadhyay has experience in implementing preclinical and clinical imaging across multiple disease states, including those in the rare disease space. Prior to joining the Center for Pain and the Brain, he spent 8 years in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on both drug discovery and clinical development.

Research Faculty

Dusica Bajic, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Bajic is a pediatric anesthesiologist and a neuroscientist. She conducts research in the field of ontogeny of acute and chronic opioid effects. She also provides pediatric anesthesia care in the operating room, and teaches both in the laboratory and clinical settings. Dr. Bajic received her MD from the Medical School of the University of Belgrade, Serbia and PhD from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, IL. Her postdoctoral training included: (1) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, (2) Anesthesia Residency training at Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale University, as well as (3) Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard University where she now works as board certified staff pediatric anesthesiologist since 2008. She is a recipient of NIH K08 grant (with highest score 10) entitled “Ontogeny of Opioid Effect: Animal – Human Correlation (2013-2018).”
Nadia Barakat, PhD
Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Barakat's research focus is on establishing advanced MRI techniques as neurodiagnostic tools to examine the pediatric spinal cord and the characterization of small nerve bundles. She has contributed to identifying the feasibility and reliability of DTI in the pediatric population, and showed differences in DTI values between children with myelitis and controls. Dr. Barakat is a recipient of a NIH K25 research grant to examine pain involvement in patients with spinal cord neuro-inflammatory disease. Her professional aspiration is to employ extensive knowledge of engineering principles to improve medical outcomes in the field of pediatric imaging, along with improve the health of patients with neurological disabilities with more effective technologies and imaging techniques.
Scott Holmes, PhD
Research Associate, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Holmes' interests pertain to understanding how pathways of information processing in the brain adapt to pathology, trauma, and environmental stressors. He has completed degrees in Kinesiology (McMaster University - Bachelors), Sensorimotor Neurosciences (University of Western Ontario - Masters) and Neurorehabilitation (McGill University - Doctoral) as well as post-doctoral work in concussion research and the use of functional MRI as a diagnostic tool (McGill University). Dr. Holmes' work as a Research Fellow at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital focuses on delineating pain pathways in pediatric cohorts and determining factors that predispose patients to elevated and prolonged pain responses.
Keerthana Deepti Karunakaran, PhD
Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Karunakaran is a Research Fellow at the Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering jointly awarded by the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her dissertation focused on the multimodal implementation of MRI, fMRI, and fNIRS to study brain reorganization after Spinal Cord Injury. Her current work in the P.A.I.N group involves the development and application of non-invasive neuroimaging approaches to understand the cortical mechanisms associated with the generation and chronification of pain. 

Alyssa Lebel, MD
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Lebel is the founder and director of the Pediatric Headache Program and Senior Associate in Neurology and Anesthesiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School.  Her research focuses on children and adolescents with headache and chronic pain. She is currently overseeing studies aimed at better understanding and treating new daily persistent headache in children and adolescents; evaluating the efficacy of nerve blocks in adolescents and young adults with post-concussive headache; and quantifying sympathetic and parasympathetic tone in youth with differing headache diagnoses.

Eric Moulton, OD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Moulton is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School, and is a research associate at Boston Children's Hospital. He earned his OD from the New England College of Optometry, and his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. His scientific interests are in sensory processing and its translation into perception/behavior. He has been awarded an R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award from the National Cancer Institute to determine the impact of cerebellar tumor resection on pain in pediatric patients. He has also been a recipient of a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to assess the relationship between pain and the cerebellum in healthy volunteers.
Ke Peng, PhD

Dr. Peng holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Ecole Polytechnique, University of Montreal, Canada. He received his B. Sc. degree in automation from Tsinghua University, China and his M.Sc.A. degree in computer engineering from Ecole Polytechnique, University of Montreal, Canada.  Dr. Peng was formerly a postdoc research fellow with the Center for Pain and the Brain.  He recently obtained independent funding, but has maintained Associated Personnel status with the lab.  His research interests pertain to the application of novel optical neuroimaging techniques in the study of pain and analgesia mechanism, perioperative pain assessment, and intensive care.

Christine Sieberg, PhD
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Sieberg is a Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Anesthesia at Boston Children's Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is Co-founder and Co-Director of the Biobehavioral Pediatric Pain Lab at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Sieberg’s research in the area of pediatric pain has included measure development, treatment outcome, and the exploration of biopsychosocial factors contributing to persistent and chronic pain.
Laura Simons, PhD
Associate Professor, Stanford University
Dr. Simons is an associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine (pediatric), a staff psychologist at the Pain Management Center, and the Director of the Biobehavioral Pediatric Pain Lab at the Stanford University Medical Center. She is a committed researcher and clinician with a primary focus on assessment and development of treatment interventions to improve the lives of youth with chronic pain. Laura’s program of research encompasses therapeutic program development and evaluation, coping with pain, parent responses to pain, anxiety/fear, psychophysiology, and assessment scale development with pediatric populations. She has received several grants and awards to support her research efforts, with a recently awarded Early Career Award in Pediatric Pain by the International Association for the Study of Pain. Since departing for Stanford in late 2016, Dr. Simons maintains a research associate appointment at Boston Children’s Hospital and continues to work closely with the PAIN group.

Research Assistants

Anastasia Karapanagou

Anastasia graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in 2019 with her Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering and Psychology.  Additionally, she completed a Minor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and has experience in numerous analytical techniques.  She is currently involved in our MRI study investigating the neurological impact of lower extremity injuries.

Robert Labadie

Robert graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition. He is currently involved in studies that use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure cortical brain activity associated with pain processing in patients during general anesthesia and in clinical settings.

Claire Lunde

Claire graduated from American University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is involved in an fMRI study investigating the areas of interest in the brain regarding the functional and structural changes in patients with endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain.

Chandler Mongerson

Chandler graduated from University of California, Los Angeles in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology, followed by a Masters of Science in Medical Sciences from Boston University in 2016. She is involved in a study that uses multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the effects of neonatal surgery and complex critical care on infant brain development. 

Osaruese Odeh
​Osaruese graduated from Hamilton College in 2016, as a Biology and Philosophy double major. He is currently involved in studies that use both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and PET Scan to provide the basis for non-invasive evaluation of brain changes following exposure to general anesthetic. By combining the work complied from both pre-clinical and clinical research, Osaruese aims to measure cortical brain activity in developing brain.
Diana Sibai

Diana Graduated from Mount Holyoke College in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and a minor in mathematics. She is currently a Clinical Research Assistant in the P.A.I.N group working on multiple studies, with a main focus on an MRI study concerning children, adolescents and young adults who suffer from post concussive headaches. She will be applying in this upcoming cycle to Medical School to pursue her passion for science and working with children.