Principal Investigator

Anju Vasudevan, PhD

Anju Vasudevan, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Associate Neuroscientist and Director of the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at McLean Hospital. Dr. Vasudevan received her PhD degree in Neuroscience from the University of Cologne, Germany and performed postdoctoral work in the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Vasudevan’s work on early embryogenesis of the forebrain vascular system has opened up an entirely new conceptual framework from which to view this important component of brain development. Her research focuses on defining new mechanisms governing prenatal brain development and the way it shapes postnatal and adult behaviors. This work has implications for understanding, prevention and treatment of a variety of nervous system disorders like autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and developmental delays. Dr. Vasudevan is the recipient of the NARSAD Young Investigator Award, NARSAD Independent Investigator Award and awards from the National Institute of Health.

Apart from science, Anju loves nature and enjoys creative activities.


Debkanya Datta, PhD

Debkanya Datta, PhD is an Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Neuroscientist in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at McLean Hospital, with research interests in angiogenesis and stem cell-based therapy. Dr. Datta earned her PhD in Developmental Biology from National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India. She pursued her post-doctoral research in human pluripotent stem cell epigenetics at Massachusetts General Hospital, and in stem cell based-disease modeling in McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Her current project involves harnessing the role of human forebrain endothelial cells to develop an efficient method of cell transplantation for interneuron-based therapy of brain disorders.

In her spare time, Deb likes to listen to music, try out new cooking recipes, and spend time with her family.

Yong Kee Choi, PhD

Yong Kee Choi, PhD is an Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Biochemist in the Psychiatric Neuroscience Laboratory and Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at McLean Hospital. Dr. Choi earned his PhD degree in Biochemistry from Inje University, South Korea and completed his post-doctoral training in the Psychiatric Neuroscience Laboratory, McLean Hospital. He has great interests in comprehending the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression and autism and has extensive experience in studying these neuropsychiatric disorders with the goal of creation of novel medications. In current projects, Dr. Choi is isolating new components of the vascular GABA signaling pathway and characterizing their functional significance.

Yong Kee is enthusiastic about outdoor activities such as family camping, road trips, and hiking. He also enjoys movies and advanced technology gears with his kids.

Post Doctoral Researcher

Jugajyoti Baruah, PhD

Jugajyoti Baruah, PhD is a Research Fellow in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Baruah received her PhD degree in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her doctoral training was focused on understanding the genetics of endothelial cell specific transcription factors in cardiovascular pathologies, for which she received the American Heart Association (AHA) fellowship. Her research work focuses on studying synapse specific gene expression in endothelial cells in the context of understanding its significance for brain development and origin of psychiatric illness.

When not in the lab, JJ loves to travel, or try out new cuisines. She also enjoys painting during her free time.

Lab Staff

Anass Agrud, MS

Anass Agrud, MS is a Research Assistant in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at McLean Hospital. He received his Master’s degree in Biology, majoring in Health and Environment, and a Bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from UAE, Morocco, and is planning on pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience.

Apart from science, Anass enjoys water activities and cooking cuisines from different cultures. Also he loves spending his free time doing outdoor activities with friends and family.


Alesandra Giuggio, GradCert BIA, BA

Alesandra Giuggio, GradCert BIA, BA, is the Grant Administrator of the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at McLean Hospital. She received her Master’s Certificate in Behavioral Intervention for Autism studies from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Merrimack College.  Alesandra has a strong background in financial analysis, reconciliation, reporting, and budget forecasting and has been working for Partners-affiliated institutions since 2009.

Chungkil Won, PhD
Research Associate, 2009-2011

Peeyush Kumar, PhD
Research Fellow, 2012-2013

Suyan Li, PhD
Research Assistant, 2011-2013
Research Fellow, 2013-2015

Sampada Joshee, MS
Research Assistant, 2014-2016

Vicky Wang, MS
Research Assistant, 2017

Sarah Kaye, BS
Research Assistant, 2018-2019