Primavera Spagnolo, MD, PhD

Clinical Research Junior Faculty Representative, ROC

Scientific Director,, Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology

Mary Ann Tynan Research Scientist, Psychiatry


Dr. Spagnolo, MD, PhD, is the Scientific Director of the Connors Center First.In.Women Precision Medicine Platform. She is a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, and the Program Director of the First.In.Women Fellowship in sex- and gender-informed research. She holds an MD in Medicine and Surgery and a PhD in Pharmacology from Sapienza University in Rome, Italy and is specialized in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Spagnolo comes to us from the NIH, where since 2012 she has served first as a Research Fellow and then as a Research Scientist, with a joint appointment at the National Institute of Alcohol Use and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke.Over the last ten years, she has has been a principal investigator or co-investigator of numerous studies investigating the neurobiological underpinnings, inter-relationships among, and treatment of addictive disorders and stress-related disorders, with a focus on the role of the endocannabinoid system. She is also studying functional neurological/conversion disorders, a female-prevalent, stress-related neuropsychiatric disorder. Her research uses endophenotype-based approaches that span across these diagnostic categories and combines different techniques and interventions, including neuromodulation and neuroimaging, behavioral pharmacology and genetics. She has been the recipient of several awards, including from the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the NIH, the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Her work is supported by the BWH/Connors IGNITE Program, the NIH, the SCORE ROSA Center, and the BWH Women’s Brain Initiative.