Nancy Donovan, M.D.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Founding Director of Division of Geriatric Psychiatry

Nancy Donovan, MD is the founding Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Associate Researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She obtained her MD from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed clinical, fellowship, and research training at Stanford University Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. As a longstanding co-investigator in the Harvard Aging Brain Study, led by Drs. Reisa Sperling and Keith Johnson, Dr. Donovan’s own NIH-funded research has investigated the relationship of social behavioral changes and neuropsychiatric symptoms to cognitive decline and biomarkers of early Alzheimer’s disease. Her work on loneliness, social engagement and widowhood has addressed the importance of social connection to cognitive, physical and mental health for older adults. Dr. Donovan was a committee member and contributing author of the 2020 National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine report on the Health and Medical Dimensions of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults. More recently, she was author and senior editor for Loneliness Science and Practice, a textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association Press which translates knowledge about loneliness and other forms of social disconnection to mental health practitioners and clinicians in other medical disciplines.