Joel Salinas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Joel Salinas
Dr. Joel Salinas at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2015.
Dr. Salinas in 2015.
Born (1983-07-11) July 11, 1983 (age 35)
Miami Beach, Florida
OccupationNeurologist, writer, researcher
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materCornell University (B.A.)
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (M.D.)
University of Miami Business School (M.B.A.)
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (M.Sc.)

Joel Salinas (/səˈlnəs/; born July 11, 1983) is an American neurologist, writer, and researcher, who is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.[1] He practices general neurology, with subspecialty in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.[2] He is also a clinician-scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Framingham Study at the Boston University School of Medicine.[3][4]

The subject of his 2017 book, Mirror Touch: A Memoir of Synesthesia and the Secret Life of the Brain is a collection of patient case histories and his personal experience with multiple forms of synesthesia, including mirror-touch synesthesia.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

Early life and education[edit]

Salinas was born in Miami Beach, Florida, to Nicaraguan immigrants granted political asylum during the Contra War of the Nicaraguan Revolution.[28] He grew up in Miami, Florida with his younger brother and sister, though he spent a formative period in Managua, Nicaragua, after his parents declared bankruptcy under financial strain and temporarily returned to Nicaragua. He was recognized as the Miami-Dade County Student of the Year in 2000 and graduated valedictorian from Miami Southridge High School in 2001.[29]

Salinas earned his bachelor of arts magna cum laude in Biology and Society[30] from Cornell University in 2005.[28] While an undergraduate, he performed research in the Amazon rainforest of Pará, Brazil, studying the methyl-mercury contamination and ethnography of the Gorotire Kayapo watershed, which he described in his honors thesis dissertation on the sociocultural influences that affect people’s response to health risks.[28]

Salinas graduated with a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2011. In 2006, while in medical school, a tumor over his right brain was discovered. When successfully resected, the tumor was discovered to be vascular. The tumor was fortunately also benign and its invasion was isolated to destroying the overlying skull bone.[7] From 2008 to 2009, he spent a year as a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow in neuropsychiatric imaging at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine,[31] where he suffered a devastating car accident.[28] He also completed a joint MD-MBA program, earning a Master of Business Administration in Health Sector Policy and Management at the University of Miami Business School and winning the University of Miami Annual Business Plan Competition’s Grand Prize.[32]

Salinas completed his neurology residency at Harvard from 2011 to 2015, training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He served as Chief Resident in Neurology, followed by a fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.[33][34][35][36][25][26][37] He earned a Master of Science in Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2016.[2]


After completing his fellowship, Salinas joined the staff of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Neurology Department,[38][2][39] serving as neurologist in the Cognitive Behavioral Neurology Unit[40] and the Institute for Brain Health.[41]


Salinas’s research focuses on reducing the negative impact of stroke, dementia, and brain aging[42][43] by harnessing insights gained from integrating epidemiology,[3][4] social and behavioral sciences,[44][45] and digital phenotyping (i.e., the moment-by-moment quantification of the individual-level human phenotype in daily life using data from smartphones and other personal digital devices).[46][47]


Mirror Touch[edit]

Mirror Touch: A Memoir of Synesthesia and the Secret Life of the Brain (2017) ISBN 978-0-062-45866-7 is a blend of intimate memoir and scientific exploration about Salinas's experience living with various types of synesthesia (including mirror-touch synesthesia), while sharing lessons about the brain and what it means to be human through personal case histories in neurodiversity.

Honors and awards[edit]

Salinas’s awards include the American Academy of Neurology's prestigious Robert Katzman Research Training Fellowship Award in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research in 2017 as well as local recognition for excellence in clinical neurology, patient safety, and clinical teaching in neurology.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Salinas lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[49][50] His parents are Norma and Armando. His younger brother is Rainier and his younger sister is Scarlett.


  1. ^ "Harvard Medical School Official Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  2. ^ a b c "Massachusetts General Hospital Official Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  3. ^ a b "Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Official Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  4. ^ a b Salinas, Joel; Beiser, Alexa; Himali, Jayandra J.; Rosand, Jonathan; Seshadri, Sudha; Dunn, Erin C. (Fall 2016). "Factors Associated With New-Onset Depression After Stroke". The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 28 (4): 286–291. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.15110388. PMID 27056020. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  5. ^ Ridley, Jane (18 April 2017). "This doctor can really feel your pain". New York Post. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  6. ^ Rath, Arun (17 April 2017). "This Doctor Can Literally Feel His Patients' Pain". WGBH News. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b Hayasaki, Erika (2015-07-13). "This Doctor Knows Exactly How You Feel". Pacific Standard. Santa Barbara, California: Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  8. ^ Marshall, Dr. Mallika (2015-07-27). "Boston Doctor Physically Feels What His Patients Feel". WBZ CBS Boston. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  9. ^ Seidman, Bianca (2015-07-29). "Doctor's rare condition lets him feel his patients' pain". CBS News. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  10. ^ Kilkenny, Katie (21 July 2015). "Six Lessons About Mirror-Touch Synesthesia From Dr. Joel Salinas". Pacific Standard. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  11. ^ Prizont-Cado, Daniela (2015-07-23). "Joel Salinas: el doctor que puede sentir lo que te duele". Telemundo. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  12. ^ Iacovone, Michele (4 February 2016). "Ciò che è in grado di fare questo medico è sconvolgente". UrbanPost (in Italian). Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  13. ^ "El curioso caso del doctor que "siente" los síntomas de sus pacientes". BBC Mundo. 2015-07-17. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  14. ^ Hayasaki, Erika (13 September 2015). "The neurologist with mirror-touch synesthesia". The Week Publications. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  15. ^ Singal, Jessie (2015-07-14). "Meet a Doctor With the Almost-Superpower of Mirror-Touch Synesthesia". Science of Us. New York Media. New York Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  16. ^ Kirschner, Chanie (2015-09-28). "This doctor really can feel your pain". MNN - Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  17. ^ "The doctor who "feels" what you feel, Newsday - BBC World Service". BBC. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  18. ^ "El curioso caso del doctor que "siente" los síntomas de sus pacientes". Hoy Digital (in Spanish). 17 July 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  19. ^ "El curioso caso del doctor que 'siente' los síntomas de sus pacientes". WRadio. 2015-07-17. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Massachusetts doctor's rare condition helps him 'feel' what patients feel". Fox News. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  21. ^ Díaz, Yolaine (30 July 2015). "Una rara condición hace que un doctor de Boston sienta las sensaciones de sus pacientes". People en Español. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  22. ^ Comunicaciones, Compañia Chilena de (2015-07-17). "El curioso caso del doctor que "siente" los síntomas de sus pacientes". (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  23. ^ Butt, Craig (31 July 2015). "Meet the doctor who feels your pain". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  24. ^ Parry, Lizzie (2015-07-29). "Meet the doctor who physically FEELS what his patients go through". Mail Online. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  25. ^ a b Dayton, Lily (Jun 2015). "What We Can Learn from Synaesthesia". FUTURA. 30 (1): 9–12. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  26. ^ a b "Superheroes of the Senses: A Pair of Medical Marvels". Reader's Digest. Sep 2016. p. 115.
  27. ^ Keating, Caitlin (30 July 2015). "Boston Doctor's Rare Condition Allows Him to Feel Patients' Pain". People Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  28. ^ a b c d "Salinas Packs His Impressive Résumé for Harvard". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  29. ^ "BUSCH: Students Grand Marshals for Miami 300 at Homestead". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  30. ^ "Cornell University Biology & Society Official Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  31. ^ Salinas, Joel; Mills, Elizabeth D.; Conrad, Amy L.; Koscik, Timothy; Andreasen, Nancy C.; Nopoulos, Peg (February 2012). "Sex Differences in Parietal Lobe Structure and Development" (PDF). Gender Medicine. 9 (1): 44–55. doi:10.1016/j.genm.2012.01.003. PMC 3326392. PMID 22333522. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  32. ^ "School of Business Awards $42,000 in Annual Business Plan Competition". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  33. ^ "Harvard Neurology Residency Program Official 2015 Alumni Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  34. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (2016-02-05). "CBS Orders Medical Drama From Ridley Scott". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  35. ^ Owen, Rob (2016-02-19). "CBS pilot appears headed to Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  36. ^ "Sensory: CBS anuncia nuevo drama médico producido por Ridley Scott". (in Spanish). La Prensa Peru. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  37. ^ Gower, Timothy (2015-10-01). "Senses in Practice". Proto Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  38. ^ Ducharme, Jamie (Dec 2015). "Boston Hospitals with Niche Specialties". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  39. ^ Kalter, Lindsay (2017-02-17). "Kalter: Docs say Super Bowl victory leaves fans wanting more". Boston Herald. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  40. ^ "Massachusetts General Hospital Cognitive Behavioral Division Official Staff Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  41. ^ "Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Brain Health Official Staff Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  42. ^ Strong, Colby (14 February 2017). "Prestroke psychosocial factors linked to poststroke depression risk in women". Clinical Advisor. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  43. ^ Grossman, Stan (16 April 2016). "Social Support Could Increase BDNF levels, Decrease Risk for Stroke and Dementia". Neurology Advisor. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  44. ^ Salinas, Joel; Ray, Roberta M.; Nassir, Rami; Lakshminarayan, Kamakshi; Dording, Christina; Smoller, Jordan; Wassertheil‐Smoller, Sylvia; Rosand, Jonathan; Dunn, Erin C. (1 February 2017). "Factors Associated With New‐Onset Depression Following Ischemic Stroke: The Women's Health Initiative". Journal of the American Heart Association. 6 (2): e003828. doi:10.1161/JAHA.116.003828. PMID 28151400.
  45. ^ Salinas, Joel; Beiser, Alexa; Himali, Jayandra J.; Satizabal, Claudia L.; Aparicio, Hugo J.; Weinstein, Galit; Mateen, Farrah J.; Berkman, Lisa F.; Rosand, Jonathan; Seshadri, Sudha (June 2017). "Associations between social relationship measures, serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and risk of stroke and dementia". Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. 3 (2): 229–237. doi:10.1016/j.trci.2017.03.001.
  46. ^ "Massachusetts General Hospital Salinas Lab Official Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  47. ^ Torous, John; Onnela, JP; Keshavan, Matcheri (March 2017). "New dimensions and new tools to realize the potential of RDoC: Digital phenotyping via smartphones and connected devices". Translational Psychiatry. 7 (3): e1053. doi:10.1038/tp.2017.25. PMID 28267146. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  48. ^ "American Academy of Neurology Katzman Research Training Fellowship Award Official Site". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  49. ^ Friedman, Katie. "Natural Colors, Textures Bring Peace and Balance to Boston Bachelor Pad". HGTV. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  50. ^ Conry, Jaci (2016-10-21). "A Cambridge loft gets a new look, in a hurry - The Boston Globe". Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 April 2017.

External links[edit]