Expert in child psychopharmacology and child and adolescent neuropsychiatry also named to the Robert M. and Shirley S. Siff endowed chair to focus on autism

WORCESTER, Mass.—Jean A. Frazier, MD, an expert in child psychopharmacology and child and adolescent neuropsychiatry, has been appointed vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center.  Frazier will also receive support from the Robert M. and Shirley S. Siff endowed chair to focus on autism, which help further her research collaborations with an interdisciplinary cadre of basic and clinical scientists throughout the Medical School and the nationally regarded UMass Shriver Center. Dr. Frazier will arrive in October.

“Dr. Jean Frazier is not only a world-class clinical and translational researcher in child and adolescent mental illness, she is a caring clinician who puts patient care first and has demonstrated excellence in teaching and community partnerships,” said Douglas Ziedonis, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry. “She is an outstanding leader who will help the Department of Psychiatry achieve new heights in clinical and translational research, particularly in the areas of neuroimaging, genetics, and psychopharmacology.  We are very fortunate to have Jean join our team.”

Frazier joins UMMS and UMass Memorial from Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), where she was the Director of Child Psychopharmacology, Co-director of the Center for Child and Adolescent Development and Director of the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatric Research Program.

Frazier received her medical degree at Dartmouth Medical School and served her residency in adult psychiatry at New England Medical Center. She completed a clinical fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Bradley Hospital, a major teaching hospital for Brown University. She also completed a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. Frazier, who is widely published and has received numerous honors for her work, has been appointed to several national committees and editorial boards.

As part of the leadership team of the Department of Psychiatry, Frazier will help an already outstanding Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the expansion of its clinical, research, education and community engagement activities.  The Department of Psychiatry has 250 faculty and about 2,000 staff, and the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is one of the largest in the country, with approximately 40 faculty and 300 staff.  In addition, Dr. Frazier will help lead the expansion of clinical, training and research programs focused on autism and other related developmental disabilities. 

“I am honored to be joining UMass Memorial Medical Center’s Psychiatry Department,” said Dr. Frazier. “I’m impressed with everyone I have met and I’m energized by their commitment to providing excellent patient care.  I look forward to contributing towards making what is an already rich academic department into an even stronger one.”

The Siff Chair was established in 2003 within the University of Massachusetts Center for Adoption Research Center to allow a faculty member to pursue multidisciplinary research to uncover the causes of, and identify effective treatments for, neurological and developmental disorders, especially autism, in children of adoptive and birth families. 

“We are delighted that Dr. Frazier has been selected for the chair we endowed at UMass. We are confident she will conduct important research and help shape clinical therapies for patients of this and future generations,” said Robert Siff who, with his wife Dr. Shirley M. Siff, became interested in research on developmental disorders when one of their grandchildren was diagnosed with autism.  A graduate of Worcester Academy and Brown University, and a World War II veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. Siff was chair and chief operating officer of B-W Footwear Company, Ambassador Shoe and BWA International. Dr. Siff is an associate in psychiatry, currently in private practice after serving the Worcester Public Schools as a school psychologist for ten years. She is a member of the UMass Memorial Foundation Executive Committee and co-chairs its Community Partnership Committee. Members of the executive committee of the Center for Adoption Research, the couple’s interest in adoption stems from Mr. Siff’s experience as an adopted child.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research.  The Medical School attracts more than $179 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. UMMS is the academic partner of UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health care provider in Central Massachusetts. For more information visit

UMass Memorial Health Care is Central Massachusetts’ largest not-for-profit health care delivery system, covering the complete health care continuum with UMass Memorial Medical Center, its academic medical center, member and affiliated community hospitals, free-standing primary care practices, ambulatory outpatient clinics, a long-term care facility, home health agencies, hospice programs, a rehabilitation group and mental health services. UMass Memorial is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Go to for additional information.