Explore This Research Lab

The Center of Excellence (COE) for Psychosocial and Systemic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH). This reflects the current increased awareness in our field of the importance of psychosocial treatment approaches to prevention, illness management and recovery in mental health.

The COE works collaboratively with community entities to develop and execute quality improvement and research projects that are driven by community priorities. Our staff includes individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges, care providers, researchers, postdoctoral psychology fellows, research coordinators and administrative staff members.

Our core projects focus on topics identified as priorities by individuals with lived experience who serve as community researchers in all phases of these consumer-based, participatory research projects. The COE is working to develop equitable collaborations with other community entities to help build quality improvement and research capacity in priority areas.

We value and strive to promote:

  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Safe, measurement-based care
  • Physical health promotion
  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Ethnic, racial and geographic diversity

Our Mission

The Mass General COE seeks to develop collaborative relationships with stakeholders, including family members, persons with lived experience of mental health challenges, schools, human service agencies, care providers, insurers, and policy-makers across the state of Massachusetts.

Our mission is to:

  • Develop and implement research and quality improvement projects
  • Advance knowledge in the development of interventions for individuals and families of individuals at risk for or diagnosed with mental illness
  • Train a new generation of providers and researchers in evidence-based practices
  • Identify and remediate health and mental health disparities for individuals with lived experience, with a particular focus on marginalized populations

Current Projects

A core component of the COE mission is to engage in research and quality improvement. Examples of some of our recent projects include:

  • Listening groups across the state of MA to hear about the needs and priorities of individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges
  • Interventions to promote resilience among Latinx adolescents and their parents in Chelsea, MA
  • An investigation of factors affecting length of stay in Greater Boston DMH homeless shelters
  • A physical activity and nutrition intervention with young adults who have had an episode of psychosis


See our staff
  • Corinne Cather, PhD: Center director
  • Paul Alves, NCPRSS: Community researcher in western MA
  • Diana Arntz, PhD: Psychologist, junior investigator
  • Kamila Bhiku, BS: Clinical research coordinator
  • Julia Browne, PhD: Postdoctoral fellow
  • Valeria Chambers, CPS, EdM, CAS: Community researcher in metro Boston
  • Abigail Donovan, MD: Senior psychiatrist, senior co-investigator
  • Eden Evins, MD, MPH: Senior psychiatrist, senior co-investigator
  • Oliver Freudenreich, MD: Senior psychiatrist, senior co-investigator
  • Daphne Holt, MD: Senior psychiatrist, senior co-investigator
  • Katherine Kritikos, MPH: Program manager
  • Ryan Markley, BA, CPS: Community researcher in central MA
  • Jacqueline Martinez, FPS, CPS: Community researcher in northeast MA
  • Kim Mueser, PhD: Senior psychiatrist, senior co-investigator
  • Cynthia Piltch, PhD, CPS: Community researcher in metro Boston
  • Ylira Pimentel-Diaz, MSW, LICSW: Social worker, senior co-investigator
  • Joy Rosen, MS: Vice president, Behavioral Health, Mass General Department of Psychiatry and for Community Health Initiatives
  • Stephanie Shou, BA: Administrative assistant
  • Derri Shtasel, MD, MPH: Steering committee chair
  • Hannah Skiest, BA: Clinical research coordinator
  • Anne Whitman, PhD, CPS: Senior community researcher
  • Sandra Whitney-Sarles, MS, CPS, COAPS: Community researcher in southeast MA
  • Abigail Wright, PhD: Postdoctoral fellow