Core Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows
Elyse Park, Ph.D., MP.H. | Director of HPRIR
Elyse Park, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director of HPRIR
Dr. Park is director of Health Promotion and Resiliency Intervention Research Program (HPRIR). She is a clinical health psychologist and health services researcher who, for the past 20 years at MGH, has been dedicated to understanding and improving health-related behaviors among cancer survivors and populations at risk for cancer and chronic disease. Her research focuses on developing and implementing behavioral interventions to enhance resiliency, decrease tobacco use, and improve access to healthcare. A Professor of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, her research is conducted at the MGH Mongan Institute’s Health Policy Research Center and Department of Psychiatry. Clinically, she treats cancer survivors. She founded the MGH Division of Clinical Research’s Qualitative Mixed Methods Research Unit and directs behavioral research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine and the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center and, in this capacity, and has developed evidence-based interventions. Accordingly, she started two hospital-based clinical services: the MGH Cancer Center’s Smokefree Support Service and the MGH Cancer Center Resiliency Survivorship Group Program.
Giselle K. Perez, Ph.D.
Giselle K. Perez is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and a clinical psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She has a strong interest in cancer survivorship and behavioral intervention research and is committed to identifying innovative solutions to improve health care equity and cancer outcomes among vulnerable, underserved and minority groups, particularly adolescents and young adults. Specific research interests include the development of behavioral and mind-body interventions to increase stress coping and improve overall physical and emotional health outcomes for patients throughout the cancer spectrum. Clinically, she specializes in working with young adults touched by cancer with a focus on managing the unexpected social and emotional challenges that occur after cancer treatment, improving stress and anxiety symptoms, coping with uncertainty, and promoting health behavior change. In particular, her work examines the physical, psychosocial, and biobehavioral (effects of stress and stress interventions) in cancer survivors.
Daniel L. Hall, Ph.D.
Daniel L. Hall is a licensed clinical health psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. He is a core faculty member of the Mongan Institute Health Promotion and Resiliency Intervention Research program and Health Policy Research Center, the MGH Behavioral Medicine Program, the MGH Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, and the MGH Cancer Center Survivorship Program. Dr. Hall’s interests include (a) uncertainty, resiliency, and health behaviors (e.g., sleep) among adults affected by cancer and chronic illness, and (b) behavioral and mind-body interventions for managing these concerns. His research is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health (NCCIH K23) and the American Cancer Society (MGH IRG). You can follow him @DanielHallPhD.
Christina Luberto, Ph.D.
Christina Luberto is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. At Massachusetts General Hospital, she works in the Health Promotion and Resiliency Intervention Research Program, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, and Behavioral Medicine program. She is also a Staff Psychologist at Cambridge Health Alliance in the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Dr. Luberto earned her PhD at the University of Cincinnati and completed her clinical internship in Behavioral Medicine and research fellowship in Integrative Medicine (NCCIH T32) at MGH/HMS. Her clinical research focuses on integrating meditation training with cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat emotional and behavioral problems, and increase pro-social outcomes, among people with cardiovascular disease. Dr. Luberto is Principal Investigator on a pilot feasibility trial of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy adapted for videoconferencing delivery to treat depression after acute coronary syndrome (NCCIH K23 award) and fear of recurrence after spontaneous coronary artery dissection (NIA P30 award). Additional research projects include mind-body interventions to increase resiliency for adults with congenital heart disease. She provides mindfulness-based individual and group therapy and teaches mindfulness classes at the Harvard Osher Center.
Kelly Irwin, M.D.
Dr. Irwin is a health services researcher and psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She investigates health care disparities in patients with serious mental illness and cancer. Dr. Irwin is the founding director of the Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program at the MGH Cancer Center, a clinical and research initiative dedicated to achieving equity in cancer care for people with serious mental illness. Dr. Irwin’s clinical research program focuses on developing, testing, and scaling interventions to improve cancer outcomes for people with mental illness and their caregivers. Her research has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and multiple foundations. With the support of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Dr. Irwin founded the Engage Initiative (the Cancer and Mental Health Collaborative), which aims to build capacity for person-centered research at the intersection of cancer and mental illness.
Efren Flores, M.D.
Efrén J. Flores currently serves as a board-certified staff radiologist in Thoracic and Emergency Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Officer of Radiology Community Health Improvement & Equity at MGH. Dr. Flores graduated from the University of Puerto Rico Medical School and trained in radiology at MGH. Dr. Flores’ research focuses on identifying social determinants of health impacting access to radiology among underserved populations and develop programs to bridge the healthcare disparities gap. Dr. Flores has devoted his career to develop a nationally recognized health services research program focused on elucidating disparities in radiology care due to the social determinants of health, and developing low-cost, generalizable clinical solutions and outreach programs in collaboration with a growing network of community.
Angela Wangari Walter, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.W.
Angela Wangari Walter is a health services researcher and Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Dr. Walter’s work has focused on preventing and treating alcohol and other drug use disorders (AUD) and co-occurring conditions including mental illness, Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. In addition, Dr. Walter conducts research aimed at improving the quality of care and health outcomes for women. She is Co-PI of a HRSA-SPNS initiative supporting 12 demonstration sites across the U.S. to develop and implement bundled interventions that engage and retain Black Women with HIV in care and treatment. In this role, Dr. Walter is examining implementation processes and assessing outcomes of bundled interventions to inform the replication of interventions to Ending the Epidemic (EtHE). As Co-I on a AHRQ research project, Dr. Walter is working with community health centers and Healthy Start programs to facilitate the adoption and integration of the Gabby System – a health information technology tool designed to identify and modify preconception risks for women. Additionally, she is collaborating with HPRIR faculty, Drs. Park and Ostroff, to examine contextual factors influencing the adoption of evidence-based tobacco use assessment and treatment in community cancer care.
Joanna M. Streck, Ph.D.
Joanna Streck completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at the University of Vermont with a clinical and research focus in addiction. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at MGH/HMS in the NIDA K12 Substance Use and Addiction Medicine career development program and a clinical fellow providing psychological services through the Substance Use Disorder Bridge Clinic. Her research focuses on investigating smoking cessation and novel tobacco harm reduction strategies for populations particularly vulnerable to tobacco addiction, such as those with co-occurring substance use disorders (SUDs), non-SUD psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression), and chronic health conditions (e.g., cancer, COPD). She is particularly interested in better understanding and treating the devastating burden of tobacco use in individuals with opioid use disorder.
Lara Traeger, Ph.D.
Lara Traeger is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She conducts clinical research as part of the Mass General HPRIR Center and the Cancer Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) Program. She also serves as Associate Director of the Qualitative & Mixed Methods Research Unit for the Mass General Division of Clinical Research as well as Director of Qualitative Research for the Mass General CORE Program. Her program of research focuses on improving self-efficacy and resilience in adults affected by cancer. She also studies patient-clinician communication and clinician well-being.
Rachel Millstein, Ph.D., M.H.S.
Rachel Millstein is a clinical psychologist at MGH and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In addition to the HPRIR, she is the Director of Behavioral Interventions at the MGH Cardiac Psychiatry Research Program, Director of Resilience and Research at the MGH Home Base Program, and a staff affiliate of the HSPH Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness. She is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health K23 award to develop a multilevel positive psychology intervention to promote health behaviors, in particular physical activity, among people with metabolic syndrome. Her research focuses on multilevel strategies for chronic disease prevention and management, resilience, and the intersection of emotions and health. Rachel has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in these fields. Her clinical interests include evidence-based therapies, positive psychology, lifestyle behavior change, and mindfulness techniques for improving mood, anxiety, and well-being.
Jordan Neil, Ph.D.
Dr. Jordan Neil is an Assistant Professor in the TSET Health Promotion Research Center in the Stephenson Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Neil received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. He specializes in translational cancer communication science, which uses communication-centered strategies to translate evidence-based cancer prevention behaviors into practice. Dr. Neil’s research focuses on how to improve uptake of tobacco cessation services and colorectal and lung cancer screening, as well as participation rates in cancer clinical trials. To do so, Dr. Neil leverages mixed methods and adaptive trial designs to develop, evaluate, and optimize digital interventions, with particular interest in disseminating tailored navigation strategies to meet the needs of rural and minority patient populations.
Brett Goshe, Ph.D.
Dr. Brett Goshe is a postdoctoral clinical research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, specializing in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Dr. Goshe’s research and clinical practice focuses broadly on the mental health and treatment intervention development for vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals.
Lucy Finkelstein-Fox, Ph.D.
Lucy Finkelstein-Fox is a predoctoral clinical psychology intern in Behavioral Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She completed her Ph.D. training at the University of Connecticut, specializing in health psychology and quantitative research methods. Lucy’s clinical and research work addresses meaning-making, resiliency, and health promotion for individuals coping with chronic medical conditions, with a focus on sexual well-being in cancer survivorship. She is particularly interested in mind-body intervention development and programming to address structural barriers that limit women’s access to sexual health care. After completing her internship in July 2021, Lucy will begin a postdoctoral research position with the Training in Oncology Population Sciences (TOPS) T32 Fellowship Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
MGH Affiliated Collaborators
Areej El-Jawahri, M.D.
Dr. El-Jawahri graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. She subsequently completed her hematology-oncology fellowship at the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center Fellowship Program. Dr. El-Jawahri is an oncologist specializing in the care of patients with hematologic malignancies and those undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Her goal is to improve the quality of life and care for patients with hematologic malignancies and their families. Her research interests include investigating patient-reported outcomes, developing interventions to enhance patient-centered decision-making, and designing supportive and palliative care interventions to improve the care of patients with hematologic malignancies and their families. She is also interested in exploring models of health care delivery to improve patients’ quality of life and end of life care and to enhance their prognostic understanding. She serves as the Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Survivorship Program and the Associate Director of the Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program (CORE) at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Karen Kuhlthau, Ph.D.
Karen Kuhlthau is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kuhlthau conducts mixed methods research on children with special health care needs and more specifically children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and survivors of children with cancer. Much of her work is devoted to understanding the impact of childhood chronic conditions on family members. As part of this work, Dr. Kuhlthau has collaborated with Dr. Park’s lab to test adaptations of the Relaxation Response Resiliency program in populations of parents and siblings of children with chronic conditions. She has over 150 peer reviewed publications Her research has been supported by The Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, National Institute of Health, and the Autism Speaks Foundation.
Karen Donelan, Sc.D., Ed.M.
Karen Donelan is the inaugural Stuart H. Altman Professor and Chair of US Health Policy within the Schneider Institutes for Health Policy and Research at Brandeis University. Dr. Donelan is also a member of the faculty of the Mongan Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is a prominent survey and team scientist who has designed and conducted hundreds of national and international surveys of the experiences of patients and health professionals in health care systems, internationally, nationally and locally. Recognized for her skill in designing surveys to measure the experiences of diverse professional and patient/consumer populations, Dr. Donelan’s current and recent national projects include the health workforce changes needed to improve care for frail older adults, and assessments of quality of life and care innovations for persons with complex illness, cancer, disability and dementia. These include understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the health workforce and patients in congregate housing; evaluation of innovations in improving understanding of insurance coverage for cancer survivors, and a randomized trial of a virtual clinic to improve evidence-based care for people with Down Syndrome. She has led system studies of patients and the workforce to measure diversity, equity and inclusion, teaching nationally through the Disparities Leadership Program. She is interested in informing efforts to foster cultures of respect in health systems, and in mentoring across differences.
Jennifer Temel, M.D.
Dr. Jennifer Temel is co-Director of the Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on improving the care and outcomes of patients with serious cancer and their family members. Dr. Temel’s research demonstrating the benefits of early involvement of palliative care for patients with advanced cancer has changed the practice of oncology care around the world.
Joseph Greer, Ph.D.
Dr. Joseph Greer is Co-Director of the Cancer Outcomes Research & Education Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Greer’s research focuses on the development and testing of supportive care interventions for patients with cancer. As the principal investigator and collaborator on numerous grant-funded projects, he is studying the application of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat anxiety in patients with advanced cancer; nurse-delivered behavioral interventions to improve breathlessness in patients with lung cancer; the use of mobile technology to promote symptom management and adherence to oral chemotherapy medications; and the benefits of early palliative care integrated with standard oncology care. Dr. Greer has published numerous scholarly papers, reviews, chapters, and books related to this work. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and philanthropic donations. Dr. Greer’s program of research is greatly informed by his clinical practice at the MGH Cancer Center where he provides CBT for patients and their families.
Jeffrey Peppercorn, M.D.
Dr. Jeffrey Peppercorn is a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer who conducts research related to health policy, bioethics, and cancer survivorship. He serves at the Director of the MGH Cancer Center Supportive Care and Survivorship Program and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Jamie Ostroff, Ph.D.
Dr. Jamie Ostroff received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Vanderbilt University, and completed her clinical internship at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She serves as Chief, Behavioral Sciences Service, Vice Chair for Research and Director of the Tobacco Treatment Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She is a clinician, scientist and educator with expertise in developing, evaluating and implementing innovative, theory-driven, multi-level interventions to increase integration of evidence-based tobacco treatments and promote tobacco cessation, particularly among cancer patients and those seeking lung cancer screening. She also has a keen interest in addressing stigma as a barrier for tobacco treatment in clinical settings. Dr. Ostroff currently serves on the Go2 Foundation for Lung Cancer’s Scientific Advisory Board, the American Cancer Society’s National Lung Cancer Roundtable and the Expert Panel for the Cancer Centers Cessation Initiative (C3I). She is delighted to collaborate with Dr. Elyse Park on several research studies focusing on improving the reach and effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines for tobacco treatment in cancer care.
Anne C. Kirchhoff, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Anne C. Kirchhoff is a tenured Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine and a Huntsman Cancer Institute Investigator in the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Research Program. As a health services researcher, her program primarily concerns evaluating patient outcomes related to healthcare access and cancer late effects, and developing interventions for childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer survivors, with a focus on addressing the social and financial consequences of cancer. Dr. Kirchhoff leads a range of studies from interventions at Huntsman Cancer Institute and Primary Children’s Hospital to statewide analyses of survivor outcomes using the Utah Population Database. Her research interests also include using large, population-based surveys to examine socioeconomic outcomes of cancer survivors.
Lynne Wagner, Ph.D.
Dr. Lynne Wagner is a clinical health psychologist and a Professor in the Department of Social Sciences & Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Dr. Wagner is a Member of the Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she maintains leadership roles as the Director of Research and Clinical Integration, Cancer Prevention and Control, and as Co-Director of the Qualitative and Patient-Reported Outcomes Developing Shared Resource. Dr. Wagner is Co-PI of the ECOG-ACRIN NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Research Base and is the Co-Director of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Control and Outcomes Program. In this role, Dr. Wagner is responsible for leading a program of cancer control, survivorship and quality of life research within the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). She has contributed to the successful conduction of numerous cancer survivorship trials and the collection of patient-centered outcomes on over 35 National Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Wagner’s research expertise includes psychosocial oncology, eHealth interventions in cancer survivorship, and cancer symptom management. Dr. Wagner has expertise in measuring patient-reported outcomes and integrating patient-reported outcomes into clinical care, with the goal of systematically bringing the patient’s voice to the clinical encounter. She has served as the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on numerous extramurally-funded projects and has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
Ruth Carlos, M.D.
Ruth C. Carlos is a Professor of Radiology, and serves as the Assistant Chair for Clinical Research at the University of Michigan. She received her medical degree from and completed her diagnostic radiology residency at the University of Chicago, and fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1998. She has received a Master’s Degree in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.
Ilana Gareen, Ph.D.
Ilana Gareen is an epidemiologist with more than 20 years of experience in the collaborative design and conduct of studies of diagnostic imaging technologies. Her research focuses on patient outcomes associated with diagnostic imaging technologies, including the impact of imaging on patient health, patient quality of life, and medical care utilization. She currently serves as Co-Chair for the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Care Delivery Research Committee. In that role, she collaborates on the collection of the downstream consequences of medical interventions, including adverse events and patient-reported outcomes.
Gareen directs the Outcomes and Economics Assessment Unit at Brown University. She has been responsible for the collection of patient-reported outcomes in many ECOG-ACRIN clinical trials. She was Co-Chair for the American College of Radiology Imaging Network National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and a key member of the NLST Executive Committee responsible for day-to-day operation of the trial, as well as for publication and dissemination of the primary trial results. She currently holds NIH Research Project grants to explore the impact of significant incidental finding detection in the NLST on patient morbidity and mortality and to compare lung screening efficacy in the NLST versus effectiveness in community lung screening.
Current K Awardees
Giselle Perez, Ph.D.
Joanna Streck, Ph.D.
Ben Bearnot, M.D.
Daniel Hall, Ph.D.
Tina Luberto, Ph.D.
Kelly Irwin, Ph.D.
Chris Celano, M.D.
Rachel Millstein, Ph.D.
Brittain Mahaffey, Ph.D.
Hermi Lokko, M.D.
Sara Kalkhoran, M.D.