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Research Team


James R Rodrigue, PhD


Professor & Vice Chair (Clinical Research), Department of Surgery

Division of Transplantation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Professor, Departments of Surgery & Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Rodrigue is Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Research in the Department of Surgery and a faculty member in the Division of Transplantation at BIDMC. In addition to leading the FIRST Program (www.bidmcFIRST.com), he directs the Department of Surgery’s Clinical Scholarship Program – a novel clinical research program for 1st year surgical residents. He is also Professor of Surgery and Psychiatry in the Harvard Medical School. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Memphis in 1989 and then served on the faculty at the University of Florida from 1989 to 2005. He joined the Transplant Institute at BIDMC in 2005 and served as its Director of the Center for Transplant Outcomes and Quality Improvement. He has been Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on over 30 research grants, continues to have an active NIH-funded research program in organ transplantation and donation, and has published over 200 peer-review articles, 4 books, and numerous book chapters. He lectures nationally and internationally on the behavioral health aspects of transplantation, living and deceased donation, and disparities in transplantation and donation, and he has served on various policy and professional organization committees throughout his career. He is currently a standing member of the Behavioral Medicine Interventions and Outcomes (BMIO) NIH study section and a member of the United Network for Organ Sharing Living Donor and Vascularized Composite Allograft committees.




Aaron Fleishman, MPHaaron-fleishman

Clinical Research Administrator, FIRST Program
Biostatistician, Department of General Medicine

Aaron received his BA from University of Massachusetts – Boston in Psychology and his Master of Public Health in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Boston University. He has worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center since 2011, coordinating Dr. Rodrigue’s research program. He has co-authored several peer-reviewed articles on organ transplantation and donation. Additionally, Aaron works per diem in the Department of General Medicine as a biostatistician for Dr. Christina Wee.






Michaela S. Carroll, BA
Clinical Research Assistant, FIRST Program


Michaela graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in physics, and was greatly involved in social justice organizations. She has always been passionate about research, and has been a member of the BIDMC team since May. She volunteers with the Palliative Care team at BIDMC and is interested in ethics in healthcare. While taking advantage of research leadership positions and unique learning opportunities, Michaela is pursing a Masters in Public Health at Brown University, where she hopes to use her passion for helping others, combined with her interest in academic research, to pursue a career in health policy research.






Mario Feranil, BS
Clinical Research Assistant, FIRST Programmario

Mario graduated with a degree a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Human Physiology at Boston University. Since April of 2016, he has worked as a research assistant of Dr. Rodrigue helping conduct research projects related to reducing disparities in living kidney donation and improving rates of living donation. His research interests lie in the social aspects of medicine and health disparities. He hopes to pursue a career in medicine in the future.






Stephanie Ward, BA


Clinical Research Assistant, FIRST Program

Stephanie graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a double minor in Sociology and Gender Studies. During her time in South Carolina Stephanie served as an advocate for victims of sexual assault, which fueled her interest in clinical research and behavioral neuroscience. She is devoted to learning the intricacies of the research process here at BIDMC and will join the Clinical Psy.D. program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine at the commencement of the Fall 2019 term.






Jasmine Austrie, BAJasmine Headshot

Clinical Research Assistant, FIRST Program

Jasmine graduated from Bowdoin College with a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies and a minor in Biology. Her well rounded academic experience and extracurricular activities prompted her passion for population health and racial disparities in healthcare. At BIDMC she is developing her research skills and learning about different aspects of the medical field. Jasmine intends to pursue a career in which she can research population health further.






Sarah Duncan, ALBSarah Duncan

Clinical Research Assistant, FIRST Program

Sarah completed her Bachelor’s in psychology at Harvard Extension School. Sarah is strongly interested in behavioral medicine and addressing disparities in health and healthcare. She is particularly interested in neurology, immunology, and autoimmunity. Sarah is currently facilitating clinical research at BIDMC to improve interventions, methodologies, and practices in patient care.






Amanda Calvo, BA

Clinical Research Assistant, FIRST Program

Amanda graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health and a minor in Psychology. She has always had a strong passion for medicine and population health. While at BIDMC, she is eager to expand on her clinical research skills and gain experience in various aspects of the medical field. Amanda is committed to attend graduate school with hopes of pursuing a career in medicine.





Jess photo

Jessica Shenkel, MA

Clinical Research Assistant II, FIRST Program

Jessica graduated from Brandeis University with a joint Master’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. She graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies. During her time at Brandeis, she studied the Sociology of Reproduction, focusing specifically on research in women’s reproductive health. Her Master’s thesis looked at female undergraduate students’ perceptions of emergency contraception. She remains extremely passionate about research and hopes to build upon her clinical research experience here at BIDMC.

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