Tanuja Chitnis, M.D.
Dr. Chitnis is the Director of the Partners Pediatric MS Center at the MGH for Children and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. She also sees adult patients with MS at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (see the site for the Adult MS Center). She completed her medical training at the University of Toronto Medical School, her Neurology residency at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, and a fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chitnis has had a longstanding interest in Pediatric MS. She is also the past Chair of of the International Pediatric MS Study Group (2010-2018). She has authored over 250 publications and reviews related to multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and MOG-antibody associated diseases. She is actively involved in several research projects to help to better understand and treat MS in children including leading the first clinical trial for pediatric MS.
Ellen O’Donnell, Ph.D.
Ellen O’Donnell, Ph.D. is a Staff Psychologist in the MGH Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She specializes in neuropsychological and academic assessment with children and adolescents with medical illness and has been the Pediatric Neuropsychologist for the Partners Pediatric MS Center since 2009. She is actively involved in research to better understand cognitive and school outcomes in children with Pediatric MS. She is also interested in developing interventions for children affected by both medical illness and learning disabilities. Dr. O’Donnell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Clark University and completedher pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at MGH. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and health care provider in the State of Massachusetts.
Katia Canenguez, Ph.D., Ed.M.
Katia is a post-doctoral psychology fellow in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is a bi-cultural/bi-lingual (Spanish speaking) clinician/researcher interested in health/mental health disparities and providing integrative pediatric health care. Dr. Canenguez received her B.A. from Boston College, Ed.M. from Harvard University, Ph.D. form University of Massachusetts, Boston and completed her pre-doctoral internship at MGH. Her role at the Partners Pediatric MS Center is to provide clinical assessment, psychoeducational and psychotherapeutic services to pediatric MS patients and their families. In addition, Dr. Canenguez coordinates school consultation to ensure the appropriate academic programs are implemented for each c
Tracy Popkin, R.N., CPN Pediatric Nurse
Tracy Popkin is a pediatric nurse at the Partners Pediatric MS Center at the MGH for Children. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of New Hampshire, Durham. Her role in the Partners Pediatric MS Center is to provide ongoing support to the center’s patients and their families, including education on medications.
Paola Castro-Mendoza Clinical Research Coordinator
Paola Castro is a research coordinator in Pediatric Neurology at the Partners Pediatric MS Center at MGH. Paola received her B.A. in Neuroscience and Psychology, with a minor in Spanish from Boston University. In her role as a research coordinator, she assists in recruiting patients for clinical trials, as well as in ongoing study procedures.
MARIA THEODORAKAKIS, PH.D. PSYCHOLOGIST
Maria is a psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She specializes in psychological intervention and neuropsychological assessment for children and adolescents with medical illness. Her role in the Partners Pediatric MS Center is to conduct neuropsychological evaluations in order to determine patients’ unique areas of strength and need. She then collaborates with each patient’s family, school, and healthcare team to ensure appropriate supports and accommodations are put in place. She is interested in developing interventions for children affected by medical illness, learning challenges, and psychosocial stressors, and she is committed to increasing access to physical and mental healthcare for all youth. Dr. Theodorakakis received her M.A. and Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Boston College and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Massachusetts General Hospital.