Karestan C. Koenen, PhD aims to reduce the population burden of mental disorders through research, training, and advocacy. She is passionate about using science to overcome violence and trauma, which are major preventable causes of health problems globally.
Dr. Koenen directs the Biology of Trauma Initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where she is an Institute Member. Her research focus is three-fold. First, she studies why some people develop PTSD and related mental and physical health problems and why some people are resilient when exposed to similar traumatic events. Second, she investigates how violence, trauma, and PTSD alter long-term physical health and accelerate aging. Third, she aims to expand access to evidence-based mental health treatment for survivors of violence and trauma. To this end, she co-wrote the book, Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse and Interpersonal Trauma: STAIR Narrative Therapy with Drs. Marylene Cloitre, Lisa Cohen, Kile M. Ortigo, and Christie Jackson.