Clinical Research

The Behavioral Medicine Service (BMED) was founded by Dr. Steven A. Safren in 2004 with an integrative emphasis on providing specialized help to patients suffering from both a medical condition and mental health illness.

 

Faculty


Dr. Steven Safren

Dr. Steven Safren is the Director of Behavioral Medicine. He is also a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Behavioral Medicine Track of the MGH clinical psychology internship, and board certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). His focus is on cognitive behavioral intervention development, particularly in the areas of HIV and other chronic illnesses, as well as adult ADHD.  Dr. Safren also serves as the Editor of Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, the clinical journal of the Association for the Advancement of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (ABCT) which focuses on bridging the gap between published clinical research and the practice of cognitive and behavioral therapies.


Dr. Conall O'Cleirigh Dr. Conall O'Cleirigh is the Associate Director of Behavioral Medicine. He is also an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. O'Cleirigh's research interests are in developing and adapting cognitive-behavioral intervention technologies for application with medical populations, particularly among people living with HIV. As part of this research emphasis he is involved in developing primary and secondary HIV prevention interventions with particular application among gay and bisexual men).

Dr. C. Andres Bedoya Dr. C. Andres Bedoya is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His work focuses on research that improves medical and mental health outcomes of minorities, including through the development of culturally competent evidence-based interventions. The majority of Dr. Bedoya’s research has centered on cultural and linguistic adaptation of cognitive-behavioral interventions for Latinos, including for the treatment of depression within primary care settings and within primary/secondary prevention of HIV.

Dr. Aaron J. Blashill

Dr. Aaron J. Blashill is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on the role body image plays in influencing health behaviors (e.g., sexual risk behaviors, medication adherence, skin cancer risk behaviors, depression, steroid use, and eating pathology). Dr. Blashill has examined these behaviors across multiple populations, including gay and bisexual men, adolescent boys, and individuals living with HIV.

Dr. Mark J. Gorman

Dr. Mark J. Gorman is a licensed staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the MGH Weight Center. He is also an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.Dr. Gorman’s work focuses helping individuals with chronic illness, pain, obesity/eating disorders, body image disturbance, depression, and anxiety disorders – with a special focus on stress management, sleep health, and lifestyle change. Dr. Gorman’s research interests include obesity medicine, combination therapy for obesity management, and adherence factors associated with behavioral medicine treatment.

Dr. Joseph Greer.

Dr. Joseph Greer is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Greer provides clinical care and conducts research at the MGH Behavioral Medicine Service and at the MGH Cancer Center where he studies how anxiety can affect patients' ability to complete cancer treatments and novel ways to treat anxiety with behavioral interventions. He also collaborates with Drs. Pirl and Temel on supportive care studies in the Center for Thoracic Oncology.

He currently is running a randomized clinical trial of a behavioral intervention for anxiety in advanced lung cancer patients. Dr. Greer's other clinical and research interests include recognition and treatment of psychological distress in primary care medical settings; adherence to medical therapies; and racial and ethnic disparities in health care


Dr. Robert Knauz

Dr. Robert Knauz is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service. He is also an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Jonathan Lerner

Dr. Jonathan Lerner is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine service at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also an instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lerner's clinical and research interests are in the areas of behavioral medicine and adult anxiety disorders, with a special interest in Internet-based psychological assessment and treatment. Related to his work in Behavioral Medicine, Dr. Lerner sees patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center’s Crohn’s and Colitis Center. He also has a private practice office in Cambridge, MA.

Dr. Matthew Mimiaga

Dr. Matthew Mimiaga is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School (Psychiatry) and Harvard School of Public Health (Epidemiology) with expertise in designing and conducting intervention trials in HIV sexual risk reduction, substance abuse treatment and prevention, and HIV medication adherence with a variety of populations, including individuals in resource limited countries, sexual minority groups, and adolescents. He has co-authored more than 100 articles, chapters and other publications on HIV/AIDS and related infectious disease topics. His main research interests include HIV/AIDS, sexual minority health, mental health and substance use disorders, psychiatric and infectious disease epidemiology, and global health.

Dr. Elyse Park

Dr. Elyse Park is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service, a faculty member at the MGH Mongan Institute for Health Policy, and serves as Director of Behavioral Sciences at the MGH Center for Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences at the Cancer Center as well as Director of Behavioral Health Research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Dr. Park’s clinical research focuses on motivational and behavioral intervention development, particularly for chronic stress and smoking cessation treatment among cancer and obstetric patients.

Dr. Christina Psaros

Dr. Christina Psaros is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her clinical work focuses on women’s mental health, while her research focuses on psychosocial aspects of HIV care and prevention (particularly among women) both in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa.

Traeger

Dr. Lara Traeger is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and clinical researcher in the MGH Behavioral Medicine Service and at the MGH Cancer Center. Her research interests include mental health disparities in the context of chronic diseases and aging.

Dr. Ana-Maria Vranceanu

Dr. Ana-Maria Vranceanu is a staff psychologist in Behavioral Medicine and Orthopedics Hand & Upper Extremity Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she conducts research and provides clinical services to patients with chronic illnesses and/or psychological disorders. She is also an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Timothy Wallace

Dr. Timothy Wallace is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service. He is also an Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wallace’s work focuses on helping medical patients modify behaviors that affect their health and well-being. He also works with individuals with chronic pain, depression and anxiety disorders and is especially interested in the role of exercise and stress management in the amelioration of these problems.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Dr. Allison Labbe

Dr. Allison Labbe is a Post-Doctoral Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Labbe received her Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology at Syracuse University. Her research interests broadly focus on addiction among medically ill individuals. Specifically, her current research focuses on the development and testing of brief interventions for alcohol and substance use disorders among patients with chronic medical illnesses.

Jessica Magdison

Dr. Jessica Magidson is a Post-Doctoral Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine at the Massachussetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She is received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her clinical and research interests primarily focus on developing and testing brief integrated interventions for depression and substance use comorbidity, with a particular focus on individuals living with HIV or at high risk for HIV.

Giselle Perez-Lougee

Dr. Giselle Perez is a Post-Doctoral Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Perez received her Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Her research broadly focuses on cancer prevention and cancer outcomes research, with a special emphasis on multicultural issues and health disparities research. Specific interests include the development of interventions to promote health behavior change, treatment adherence, and treatment outcomes in cancer populations. .

Dr. Mike Boroughs

Dr. Mike Boroughs is a Clinical and Research Fellow in the Behavioral Medicine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Clinical Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Boroughs earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida. He served the field for two years on the APA Commission on Accreditation from 2010 to 2012. Dr. Boroughs’ research interests include sexual health and HIV prevention, human sexuality and gender roles and their impact upon psychological health, body image, and novel adaptations of third generation cognitive-behavioral treatments to address a variety of medical illnesses with co-occurring psychiatric presentations.

Pre-Doctoral Fellows

Sarah Valentine

Sarah Valentine, M.A. is a Clinical Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine at the Massachussetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She is completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University. Her clinical and research interests primarily focus on developing and testing brief integrated interventions for trauma and health risk behaviors, with a particular focus on reducing risk for HIV. Her other research interests include adaptation following trauma and mechanisms of revictimization.

Sannisha Dale

Sannisha Dale, M.A., Ed.M. is a Clinical Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine at the Massachussetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  She is completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Boston University. Her primary research interests are (a) enhancing our understanding of the relationships between resilience, trauma, and health outcomes among individuals with HIV and those at risk and (b) developing effective prevention and intervention strategies to promote resilience and good health outcomes amongst survivors of trauma and individuals with or at risk for HIV, especially members of ethnic minority (i.e. African Americans) and sexual minority (i.e. men who have sex with men) groups who are heavily burdened by the HIV epidemic.

Affiliated Faculty and Staff

Dr. Ellen Slawsby

Dr. Ellen Slawsby provides individual and couples therapy, specializing in individuals with chronic illness, chronic fatigue, and pain. She received her MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is a staff psychologist in Behavioral Medicine, a researcher and clinical trainer at the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind/Body Medicine as well as Director of the Pain Services at the BHI. Dr. Slawsby is an Assistant Professor in Psychology in the department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Slawsby has published and presented research on chronic medical illness, Infertility, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease and Chronic Pain.

Dr. Stephanie Sogg

Dr. Stephanie Sogg earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1998. She is a staff psychologist at the MGH Weight Center, treating patients with obesity and eating disorders. She is the director of the Weight Center rotation for Behavioral Medicine psychology interns, and serves on committees for the national scientific obesity and weight loss surgery societies. Dr. Sogg's clinical and research interests include: Behavioral medicine, obesity, major mental illness, substance abuse, psychiatric emergency services, and forensic psychology.

Dr Susan Sprich

Dr. Susan Sprich is the Clinical Director of the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. She is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her primary research interests are cognitive-behavioral treatment of ADHD in adults and adolescents, and cognitive-behavioral treatment of Trichotillomania in children, adolescents in adults. Clinically, she treats adults with anxiety, ADHD, mood and OC-Spectrum disorders. She also teaches seminars and does supervision with the interns and residents at MGH. She has a private practice office in Wellesley, MA.

Dr. Ann Webster

Dr. Ann Webster is an associate psychologist in Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine Service, an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a scientist and health psychologist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine. Dr. Webster has been lecturing on mind/body health and conducting workshops for corporations, hospitals and universities across the globe for over 20 years. Dr. Webster graduated with honors in 1988 from the Department of Health Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Research Assistants and Administrative Staff

gordon

Janna Gordon, B.A. is a clinical research coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Williams College in 2011. She primarily assists Drs. Safren, Mimiaga, and Psaros. Her research interests include psychiatric co-morbidity in medical illness and the impact of mental health factors on physical health outcomes. She is also interested in interventions to enhance quality of life and coping in medically ill populations. After her time at MGH, Janna plans to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology. You can reach Janna by phone at 617-643-1168 or by email at jrgordon@partners.org.


Remmert

Jocelyn Remmert, B.A. is is a clinical research coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Middlebury College in 2013. She primarily assists Dr. Safren on “Addressing Psychosocial Comorbidities in HIV treatment and Prevention” and Drs. Safren and Sprich on “Compensatory Executive Functioning Skills Training in Adolescents with ADHD” and “Examination of the Social and Cognitive Risks for Depression in an at-risk Sample of Adolescents with ADHD.” Jocelyn plans to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology after her time at MGH. She can be reached by phone at (617) 726-3679 or by email at jremmert@partners.org.

margolina

Julianne Wilner, BA is a clinical research coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Julianne graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a major in psychology and a minor in Spanish. Currently, she is working primarily with Dr. Conall O'Cleirigh on “Integrated Treatment for Smoking Cessation and Emotion Dysregulation in People Living with HIV” and “HIV Prevention and Trauma Treatment for Men Who Have Sex with Men with Childhood Sexual Abuse Histories.” Her research interests include the development and evaluation of evidence-based treatments for childhood psychopathology, specifically cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety and mood disorders presenting in early childhood. After her time at MGH, she plans to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology. She can be reached by phone at (617) 724-0637 or e-mail at jgwilner@partners.org.

 

is a Post-Doctoral Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Perez received her Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Her research broadly focuses on cancer prevention and cancer outcomes research, with a special emphasis on multicultural issues and health disparities research. Specific interests include the development of interventions to promote health behavior change, treatment adherence, and treatment outcomes in cancer populations.