China Connection Core Faculty

Douglas M. Ziedonis, MD, MPH

Ziedonis China Dr. Douglas M. Ziedonis, MD, MPH, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care. Dr. Ziedonis’ program of research focuses on better understanding and treating co-occurring addiction and mental illness. His research group has found that mental illness and addiction commonly co-occur and the combination results in worse prognosis, treatment compliance, and outcomes compared to either disorder alone. A major area of his own research expertise has been schizophrenia and tobacco addiction, where he has been a national leader on the topic. Read more.

 Xiaoduo Fan, MD, MPH 

Fan Dr. Xiaoduo Fan is a board-certified psychiatrist, and an associate professor of psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, UMass Memorial Health Care. He is also the director of the Psychotic Disorders Clinical and Research Program at UMMS. Before joining UMMS, Dr. Fan directed the Asian Mental Health Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital and for seven years was a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fan’s clinical expertise and research interests include intervention strategies for first episode psychosis, refractory symptoms of schizophrenia, and medical co-morbidity and real life functioning recovery. In addition, Fan is interested in cultural aspects of mental disorders. Read more.

Nanyin Zhang, PhD

Zhang Dr. Nanyin Zhang is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the Center for Comparative NeuroImaging (CCNI). Dr. Zhang’s research interest encompasses multiple aspects of neuroimaging by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) including using fMRI to understand neural responses and brain circuitry at normal conditions and in various mental disorders both in human and animal models. Read more.

 Jean A. Frazier, MD

JFrazier Dr. Jean A. Frazier is the Robert M. and Shirley S. Siff Chair in Autism and Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As Co-Director of the Child and Adolescent Neurodevelopment Initiative (CANDI), Dr. Frazier directs a broad research program that addresses a variety of scientific problems relevant to advancing the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders such as early onset bipolar disorder (BPD), schizophrenia and autism. The CANDI team studies all three diagnostic groups since there is often overlap in the clinical symptoms, genetics, and the neuroimaging findings of these disorders and in the clinical interventions used to treat them. The overarching goal is for Dr. Frazier's research efforts to lead to improved care of children and families affected by these disorders. Dr. Frazier's team hopes to characterize normal development and advance the understanding of issues surrounding mental illness and atypical development and their interventions. The CANDI team was fortunate to have hosted Dr. Fu Yixiao, from Chongqing Medical University, as a Visiting Scholar for 6 months in 2011 and the lab looks forward to ongoing collaborations with colleagues in China to advance our scientific knowledge of neurodevelopmental disorders.

 Sun Kim, PhD, RN

Sun Kim Dr. Kim is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her research interests include tobacco dependence treatment for Asian Americans and people in Asia, including China, Korea and Vietnam. She is also interested in alcohol abuse and dependence, multicultural research and the process of organizational change in addressing tobacco. Dr. Kim is a recipient of the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH and is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial of tobacco dependence treatment with Korean Americans. She also serves as co-investigator for the ATTOC-China Project and is the lead author of the first review of the literature on smoking cessation studies in China.

 Jean King, PhD

King Dr. King is Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair of Research and the Director of the Center for Comparative NeuroImaging in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has distinguished herself as a research scientist and scholar, as well as administrator and community activist. Dr. King has received research grant support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Center for Disease Control, and the American Association of University Women, among others. With this research support she has made seminal contributions to the body of scientific knowledge, including the discovery that early stress can have profound consequences in adulthood and that non-invasively imaging can help us potentially identify biomarkers of certain disorders and consequently proper treatment strategies. Since Dr King is interested in epigenetic and genetic influences on imparting risk and resilience to specific disorders the value of cross collaborative research involving subjects from diverse backgrounds is paramount. The primary objective of the CCNI collaboration with researchers in China is to foster co-discoveries that will positively impact the brain health of our patients.

 Meina Quan, MD, PhD

MeinaQuan Dr. Meina Quan is a Post-doctoral Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), supervised by Dr. Xiaoduo Fan. She is also the project coordinator for the Department’s China Initiatives, including the ATTOC China project directed by Dr. Douglas Ziedonis.
Dr. Quan received her MD in 2008 and her PhD in 2011 from Nankai University School of Medicine, Tianjin, China. From August 2010 to September 2012, she completed postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Neuroscience of VA Boston Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School, directed by Dr. Robert McCarley, and in the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, directed by Dr. Martha Shenton. From October 2012 to July 2013, she worked at the Center for Comparative NeuroImaging (CCNI), Department of Psychiatry at UMMS as a Post-doctoral Associate supervised by Dr. Nanyin Zhang.
Dr. Quan’s research interests include neuroimaging studies of schizophrenia, cultural aspects of mental disorders, intervention strategies for first episode psychosis, and real life functioning recovery.

 Stephanie Rodrigues, PhD

Rodrigues S Dr. Stephanie Rodrigues is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a current recipient of the Faculty Diversity Scholars Program award, administered by the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Rodrigues received her doctorate from the Combined Clinical/School Psychology Program at Hofstra University and completed a Department of Veterans Affairs Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in health services research at the Center for Health Quality Outcomes and Economic Research at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital prior to joining UMass. Dr. Rodrigues has extensive research and clinical experience in the treatment of severe mental illness and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders among general, veteran, and homeless populations. Dr. Rodrigues is particularly interested in studying the role of stigma in the treatment engagement of these and other stigmatized populations, as well as the implementation and evaluation of treatment programs that target stigma reduction in order to promote recovery. Expanding the knowledge of cross-cultural considerations in order to minimize barriers to care related to stigma is of great importance and heavily underlies Dr. Rodrigues’ research interests.

Amy B. Wachholtz, PhD, MDiv 


Dr. Amy Wachholtz is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Director of Health Psychology at UMass Memorial Medical Center. She is also a clinical supervisor in the UMass Medical School/WSH Psychology Internship program. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in North Carolina and Massachusetts. Dr. Wachholtz graduated Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University where she specialized in Bioethics. She then continued her education to earn a Masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University where she had a dual specialty in Behavioral Medicine and Psychology of Religion. She completed her internship and fellowship at Duke University Medical Center where she focused on psycho-social treatment of medical illness. She has become a nationally recognized expert in the area of pain and spirituality. Her clinical and research interests focus on the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of chronic pain disorders, treating co-morbid pain and opioid addiction. She has developed a number of international collaborations including Renmin University in Beijing, China where she is an occasional visiting professor. She lectures and collaborates with faculty and students at Renmin University on the topics of spirituality and health, health psychology, and co-morbid opioid abuse with chronic pain.