Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program

The Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital promotes health and well-being through the integration of mind, brain, body and behavior.



The mission of the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program (IBHCRP) at Massachusetts General Hospital is to advance clinical and research practice through development and testing of cutting-edge skills interventions with three main goals:

  • Preserving brain health and preventing chronic illness through lifestyle changes (including adaptive thinking, mindfulness and meditation, healthy eating, exercise, social networks and spirituality)
  • Optimizing management of chronic illness as it relates to brain health
  • Promoting recovery after injury or surgery

The IBHCRP carries out this mission through clinical care and research in direct partnership with patients. In addition, the IBHCRP provides integrated, multidisciplinary training for postdoctoral fellows, predoctoral clinical psychology interns, undergraduate interns and medical residents.

The IBHCRP also partners with primary and specialty care doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists and genetic counselors to facilitate integrated, patient-centered care that suits the needs of each individual patient.

Who We Serve

The IBHCRP provides clinical services to patients and their family caregivers. We also offer many opportunities for care through our ongoing clinical research programs. IBHCRP serves individuals anywhere on the spectrum of health to illness, including:

  • Healthy individuals interested in preserving their health (e.g., primary care patients or caregivers)
  • Individuals recovering from injury or surgery (e.g., general surgery, brain injury, orthopedic trauma, stroke and other cardiovascular events)
  • Individuals facing chronic medical conditions (e.g., chronic pain, deafness, tinnitus, neurofibromatosis and tumor suppressor conditions)

Why Focus on Brain Health?

The brain is the most malleable organ of the body. It is the hub of emotions, behaviors, cognition, socialization and spirituality. The brain influences the development and progression of illness and determines how we cope with stress, injury or illness and defines quality of life and well-being. In turn, illness, coping styles, quality of life and well-being influence the brain.

Brain health encompasses all possible relationships between our minds, bodies, behaviors and environment.

Our Services

The Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program (IBHCRP) provides integrated clinical care either in person or virtually to patients who:

  • Are interested in preserving brain health by developing healthy habits associated with longevity and positive vitality, including adaptive thinking, mindfulness, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, social connectedness, meaning-making and spirituality
  • Have been diagnosed with a chronic illness and want to learn skills to manage symptoms for optimal brain health and well-being
  • Would like to improve their recovery following an acute injury or surgery

The IBHCRP also provides services to caregivers for patients facing a chronic illness or recovering from an acute injury or surgery.

Lifestyle and Healthy-Living Skills Group: My Healthy Brain

My Healthy Brain is a 12-week program that teaches specific skills and strategies for optimizing and preserving brain health. During the program, you will learn about the connections between lifestyle behaviors, physical functioning, emotions and brain health, along with skills to help set and achieve healthy living goals that will last a lifetime.

Topics include:

  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Social relationships
  • Building brain reserve
  • Managing medical conditions
  • Enjoying a healthy life

Dates: Ongoing dates, contact us to learn more
Location: 1 Bowdoin Square, Boston, MA

For more information, please contact the McCance Center for Brain Health Coordinator at 617-726-4881.

Individual Sessions

Lifestyle Sessions

The skills taught in Individual Lifestyle Sessions will be tailored to meet your individual lifestyle needs. You will have two to six sessions with one of our psychologists.

Stress Reduction Session

Skills taught include in Stress Reduction Sessions include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Mindfulness
  • Relaxation
  • Acceptance
  • Goal-setting

You will have two to six sessions with one of our psychologists.

Collaborations with Other Programs

The IBHCRP collaborates closely with a variety of programs within the Department of Psychiatry and across Mass General to provide timely clinical care.

Our collaborators include:


Our Research

The Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program (IBHCRP) at Mass General conducts clinical research consistent with our mission of optimizing health and well-being through brain health. Our research is funded by federal and foundation grants and through the generosity of donors who wish to advance brain health science and clinical care. If you wish to support our work, you can donate online.

Active Studies

We are currently enrolling participants in the clinical trials listed below.

Resiliency Training for Adults with Neurofibromatosis via Live Videoconferencing

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu
Co-investigator: Ethan Lester
Project director: Sofia DiStefano
Funding source: Department of Defense

The aim of this study is to compare the effects of two stress management programs tailored for patients with neurofibromatosis on multiple dimensions of quality of life, distress and pain.

For more information please contact Sofia DiStefano (

Integrating mind body skills with physical activity to improve emotional and physical health in older adults with chronic pain and mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu
Co-investigators: Ryan Mace and Ethan Lester
Project director: Sofia DiStefano
Funding source: National Institutes of Aging

The aim of this study is to adapt a mind-body intervention to target chronic pain in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We will conduct focus groups and use the information from the focus groups to develop 2 new programs for this population.

For more information please contact Sofia DiStefano (

Recovering Together: Building Resiliency in Dyads of Patients Admitted to the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Their Caregivers

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu
Funding Source: National Institute of Nursing Research

The aims of this study are to examine the feasibility, credibility, satisfaction and proof of concept of the “Recovering Together”dyadic resiliency skills program in improving emotional distress in dyads of patients with acute neurological illness and their family caregivers.

For more information, please contact Melissa Gates (

Resiliency Training for Patients with NF2 Who Are Deaf via Live Videoconferencing

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu
Funding source: Childrens’ Tumor Foundation

The aims of this study are to establish the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a videoconferencing-based resiliency program in improving quality of life for adults with NF2 who are deaf.

For more information please contact Sofia DiStefano (

Integrating Mind-Body Skills with Physical Activity to Improve Physical and Emotional Outcomes in Patients with Heterogeneous Chronic Pain

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu
Co-Investigator: Jonathan Greenberg
Project Director: Sofia DiStefano
Funding source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

The aim of this study is to adapt a mind-body intervention to increase physical activity among patients with chronic pain. We will then test the feasibility, credibility and acceptability of the mind-body intervention.

For more information please contact Ann Lin (

A Randomized Controlled Trial Testing the Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Effects of a Skills Based Program (Toolkit for Optimal Recovery) Delivered via Live Videoconferencing in Patients with Acute Musculoskeletal Trauma

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu

The aims of this study are to examine the effects of a skills training program delivered via live videoconferencing and optimize recovery after orthopedic fractures.

For more information please contact Ann Lin (

Completed Studies

Preventing Chronic Depression and PTSD in Patients with Stroke Admitted to the Neuroscience ICU and Their Family Caregivers

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu
Co-investigator: Emily L. Zale, Jessica L. McCurley
Project director: Jessica L. McCurley

The aims of this study are to identify modifiable psychosocial risk factors for depression and post-traumatic stress in patients with stroke and their primary caregivers and to develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of a novel mind-body intervention for patient-caregiver pairs.

For more information please contact Ann Lin (

A Prospective Study to Investigate the Relationship Between Patient and Family Caregiver Distress Following Neuroscience ICU Admission

Primary investigator: Ana-Maria Vranceanu

This study aims to identify predictors of depression, post-traumatic stress and quality of life among patients admitted to the Neuroscience ICU and their primary caregivers at three, six, 12 and 24 months post-ICU admission.

For more information please contact Ann Lin (

Our Staff

  • Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD

    Founder & Director

    Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD, is the founder and director of the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program. She is also an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Vranceanu is the former director of behavioral health integration for the Behavioral Medicine Service at Mass General, where she led efforts to integrate behavioral health within primary and specialty medical practices. Dr. Vranceanu is a member of the Promotion Committee and Psychology Steering Committee within the Department of Psychiatry. She is the chair of the Pain Special Interest Group for the Society of Behavioral Medicine and serves as a board member for the Acoustic Neuroma Association. Dr. Vranceanu is an expert in developing, testing and integrating in person or live video brief skills interventions for patients, caregivers or patient-caregiver dyads, aimed at promoting recovery after injury and optimizing management of chronic illness. She founded and co-leads a mentoring group for junior women and mentors postdoctoral fellows within the Office for Women’s Careers. She has over 120 publications, has edited one book and has served as the principal investigator on more than 10 federal or foundation research grants that developed and tested skills interventions delivered in-person or through virtual visits. In collaboration with her mentee Dr. Zale, Dr. Vranceanu developed the “Fundamentals of Behavioral Health Interventions” course through the Mass General Psychiatry Academy, which launched in October, 2017. Dr Vranceanu is faculty on a T32 Postdoctoral Training Program in Recovery and Restoration of CNS Health and Function.

    Dr. Vranceanu emigrated from Romania as a genetics university student to pursue a career in psychology. In her free time, she enjoys running and being outdoors, preferably with her husband, son, and friends.

    See Dr. Vranceanu’s publications.

  • Sofia DiStefano, MS

    Clinical Research Program Manager

    Sofia graduated from Boston University with a BA in health science and public health and received her master’s degree in health and wellness management from Merrimack College. She is passionate about public health topics, including women’s health, global health concerns, nutrition and environmental issues. She enjoys working on clinical research project management and hopes to work as a public health project consultant or in public health policy in the future.

    In her spare time, Sofia loves taking spin, boot camp and barre classes. She enjoys spending time with family and friends.

  • Jonathan Greenberg, PhD

    Clinical Research Fellow

    Jonathan Greenberg, PhD’s work focuses on development of mind-body interventions for various clinical populations, as well as on the cognitive, affective and neural effects of mindfulness training. Dr. Greenberg is interested in mind-body approaches to treatment of chronic pain as well as in the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of mindfulness practice in treating and preventing depression, enhancing cognitive functioning, improving emotion regulation and promoting well-being.

    He was awarded the AlterMed Research Foundation grant to study cognitive mechanisms of clinical improvement in depressed individuals. Dr. Greenberg’s background is in clinical psychology and treating primarily individuals dealing with mood and anxiety related conditions. He has been personally involved in mindfulness practice since 2003 and has since integrated his interest in mindfulness into his clinical and academic work. In his free time, Dr. Greenberg enjoys spending time with his family and attending live music concerts.

  • Ethan G. Lester, MS

    Clinical Fellow in Psychology

    Ethan G. Lester is a PhD candidate of clinical psychology at the University of North Texas in Denton. Ethan has served as a student clinician, a teaching fellow, and an academic advisor for his psychology department. He has taught eight semesters of adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and vipassana meditation to students and staff at the university. His master’s thesis examined the acquisition of mindfulness meditation-based skills using behavior analytic research techniques (i.e., matching-to-sample task). His dissertation is examining the effects of mindfulness and acceptance-based practices for older adults using an experimental design.

    Starting in the summer of 2017 until May of 2018, Ethan worked at Baylor University Medical Center conducting inpatient interventions and consult/liaison services, neuropsychological assessment for adults and older and brief outpatient psychotherapy. His current clinical interests include interventions addressing psychosocial adjustment to aging, health anxiety, neurological illnesses and the mood disorders that accompany and affect medical illnesses.

    When Ethan is not working, he enjoys playing music, exercising, cooking, and spending time with his family. He is currently finding new ways of improving his bread making skills through trial and error learning.

  • Ryan Mace

    Practicum Student

    Ryan Mace is a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Suffolk University in Boston. As a practicum student, he provides evidence-based psychotherapy for adults facing chronic conditions and comorbid mental illnesses. Ryan’s research evaluates psychosocial interventions for dementia and identifies brain–behavior determinants of mental health. He has co-developed a system of screening instruments to optimize the assessment of mood and cognitive functioning with advancing age. Ryan is increasingly interested in the role of psychology in promoting positive lifestyle changes. His dissertation is an analysis of the brain health benefits of cardiovascular fitness in aging from a neuroimaging perspective.

    The culmination of his research and clinical experiences have instilled a view of neurocognitive functioning as a “vital sign” in mental health, particularly for older adults. He hopes to advance clinical psychology research and practice by incorporating data science methods. In the meantime, you can find him cooking, running, weight lifting, and exploring New England.

  • Ann Lin

    Clinical Research Coordinator

    Ann graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with a BS in biopsychology. Ann’s interests in mind-body medicine and integrated brain health include interrelations between neurobiology and behavior and the role of psychosocial factors in critical care medicine. She is interested in working with both patients and caregivers after traumatic injury or critical illness. Ann received an Undergraduate Research Award from the American Heart Association and is currently conducting a study investigating gender differences in resiliency and depression among caregivers of patients admitted to the Neuroscience ICU.

    She hopes to integrate biopsychosocial aspects of recovery into healthcare and medicine and to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in health, especially in women and children. Ann intends to pursue a career in medicine, and is interested in specializing in neurology and/or pediatrics. She loves working with kids and served as a Strong Women Strong Girls college mentor helping to empower young women living in local underserved communities. In her spare time, she enjoys taking road trips, visiting national parks, dancing, kickboxing and attempting to cook.

  • Melissa Gates

    Melissa graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in psychology and minors in Spanish and family studies and human development. Melissa is interested in behavioral interventions, emotional distress and mind-body medicine. She is also interested in seeing how dyadic interactions influence health trajectories.

    Melissa intends to apply to clinical psychology PhD programs for fall 2020, with the long-term goal of integrating her research into her clinical practice. In her free time, Melissa can be found traveling, going to concerts and sporting events, and trying new restaurants with friends. She enjoys yoga and Netflix binges.


  • Jennifer Burbridge, PhD

    Jennifer Ann Burbridge, PhD is a staff psychologist in the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program in the Department of Psychiatry. She holds a faculty appointment as an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Burbridge received her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis with a specialty in neuropsychology. She completed her clinical internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Mass General/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Burbridge also has a private practice in the greater Boston area focusing on CBT and behavioral medicine interventions for anxiety, depression, ADHD and related conditions. Her clinical and research interests include using CBT/behavioral medicine interventions with individuals who have neurological conditions, ADHD, as well as behavioral medicine interventions for women’s reproductive health. Dr. Burbridge has been a psychologist at Mass General since 2006.

  • Michelle Jacobo, PhD

    Michelle Jacobo, PhD, is the chief psychologist of the Inpatient Psychiatric Service and director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at Mass General. She is also the assistant director of training in the Psychology Internship Program and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Mass General’s Clinical Psychology Internship. She provides clinical services and supervision throughout the hospital and teaches mindfulness and DBT. Dr. Jacobo serves as a lead clinician on several research projects aimed at improving outcomes in medical patients. She also works in palliative care, helping residents and physicians work on resiliency training.

    She collaborates with IBHCRP in two main ways: she is the clinical supervisor of the Neuro-ICU rotation as part of both the BMED and IBHCRP tracks and is a co-investigator on the Recovering Together program for dyads of patients with stroke and their informal caregivers.

  • Jamie Jacobs, PhD

    Jamie Jacobs, PhD is a psychologist at Mass General Cancer Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is currently conducting a study funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to develop an intervention to improve symptom management, distress, and adherence to endocrine therapy for breast cancer survivors. She is also a co-investigator on a study testing a psychosocial intervention for caregivers of patients undergoing stem cell transplant. She teaches the Mind, Brain, Behavior seminar course “Fighting Cancer with the Mind” at Harvard University. Dr. Jacobs sees patients during treatment for cancer and cancer survivors for individual cognitive-behavioral therapy in the Psychiatric Oncology Service at the Mass General Cancer Center.

  • Lara Traeger, PhD

    Lara Traeger, PhD, is a psychologist at the Mass General Cancer Center and the Behavioral Medicine Program, and an assistant professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School. She is the associate director of the Qualitative Research Unit and a member of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program. Dr. Traeger specializes in the care of adults with chronic medical conditions. Her research focuses on improving health behaviors and quality of life in adults affected by cancer. She also conducts research on stress and resilience in oncology clinicians. Dr. Traeger is a member of the psychology intern selection and training committees. She provides clinical supervision to psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows, and clinical research mentorship to interns, fellows and junior faculty.

Other Staff Members

  • Julia Blackburn, MD

    Visiting Resident & Fulbright Scholar

    Julia Blackburn is a resident in orthopaedics visiting from the UK for 6 months. She has a research MD and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work with Dr. Vranceanu. Her study will look at a decision aid (DA) and mind-body skills intervention to improve pain and functional outcomes in patients with de Quervain's tenosynovitis (a condition causing wrist pain).

    Julia enjoys walking and having hiked a small part of the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains, is keen to explore more of the beautiful area of New England.

  • Katia M. Canenguez PhD, EdM

    Pediatric Psychologist

    Katia M. Canenguez PhD, EdM is a bicultural/bilingual (Spanish) pediatric psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Her clinical interests and expertise revolve around the practice of pediatric behavioral medicine. In her clinical work she has been actively involved in providing treatment for patients of diverse backgrounds afflicted with anxiety, depression, trauma, adjustment issues, with comorbid medical conditions. Her research interests are in the areas of behavioral health disparities, resilience, community mental health, global health, evidence-based interventions to promote well-being, and research for policy change. Dr. Canenguez is interested in the intersection of health, mental health and education with a focus on developing evidence based effective prevention and intervention programs that are culturally sensitive.

    In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering in youth programs (especially mentoring), and spending quality time with friends and family.

  • Alesandra Giuggio

    Grants Administrator

    Alesandra Giuggio is a grants administrator at both McLean Hospital and Mass General. At IBHCRP she handles primarily pre-award administration.

  • Christina Kourkoulis

    Senior Lab Manager

    Christina Kourkoulis primarily handles post-award administrations within IBHCRP, including administrative, safety, regulatory and financial duties.

  • Emma Meyers, BA

    Medical Student

    Emma graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology and behavior. She is currently an MD candidate at Harvard Medical School with plans to pursue a residency in neurology after graduation. Prior to starting medical school, Emma was immersed in the world of critical care neurology as a clinical research coordinator in a neurosciences ICU. Now, she is working to understand the psychosocial dynamics at play in the neurocritical care setting by studying emotional distress in patients with acute neurologic injuries and their family caregivers. She hopes to incorporate medical humanities, narrative medicine, and a biopsychosocial approach into her practice as a physician.

    In her spare time, Emma can be found cycling, exploring the outdoors, visiting museums, reading fiction, and writing about life inside the hospital, life outside the hospital, and where those two worlds meet.

  • Jarry Porsius, PhD

    Visiting Research Psychologist

    Jarry Porsius, PhD, has a PhD in medicine from the Vrije Universiteit in the Netherlands. He currently works on a project aimed at optimizing recovery in patients undergoing hip replacement surgery. He has expertise and interest in the nocebo effect, whereby people experience negative responses due to negative expectations of treatment. Jarry plans to spend one year in the US and is accompanied by his wife and young baby.

Former Staff

  • Christopher J. Funes, MS

  • Jessica L. McCurley, MPH

  • Emily L. Zale, PhD


  • Gregory Fricchione, MD

    Gregory L. Fricchione, MD, is the Associate Chief of Psychiatry at Mass General and serves as the Gary Gottlieb, MD Partners HealthCare Chair in Global and Community Mental Health. He is also the director emeritus of both the Division of Psychiatry & Medicine and the Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship at Mass General, the founding director of the Chester M. Pierce Division of Global Psychiatry, and the Director of the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Dr. Fricchione is also a Harvard Medical School professor of psychiatry in mind body medicine. 

    Dr. Fricchione collaborates with IBHCRP on mind body research in brain health.

  • Grant L. Iverson, PhD

    Grant Iverson, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and the director of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children TM Sports Concussion Program. He also serves as the associate director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Program at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program. Dr. Iverson is a licensed psychologist with a practice in neuropsychology. He is a leading proponent of a biopsychosocial model for conceptualizing both good and poor outcomes from mild traumatic brain injury in athletes, civilians, active duty military service members and veterans. He has published more than 370 articles, reviews and book chapters.

    Dr. Iverson collaborates with IBHCRP on projects aimed at increasing brain health and quality of life in veterans, college students and general TBI patients through adaptations of the Toolkit for Optimal Recovery for the needs of these populations.

  • William Taylor Kimberly, MD, PhD

    William Taylor Kimberly, MD, PhD, is the associate director of the Neuro-ICU and associate chief of the Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Kimberly’s research group studies metabolomic and neuroimaging biomarkers of stroke and cerebral edema. The overarching goal is to identify novel biomarkers and candidate therapeutic targets for secondary brain injury. A key focus is to design and conduct multicenter clinical studies targeting brain edema, applying biomarkers to probe pharmacologic mechanisms and guide the development of novel therapeutic agents in stroke.

    Dr. Kimberly collaborates with IBHCRP on projects focused on using metabolomics methodology to identify a biomarker for risk for PTSD in caregivers of patients admitted to the Neuro-ICU.

  • Karestan C. Koenen, PhD

    Karestan Koenen, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She does research and teaches trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She is particularly interested in how genes shape risk for PTSD. She investigates how trauma and PTSD influence weight gain and alter long-term physical health, including chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. She also documents the global burden of trauma and PTSD through her work with the World Mental Health Surveys. Dr. Koenen’s work uses research findings to advocate for evidence-based prevention of PTSD and response to trauma survivors, particularly victims of sexual violence.

    Dr. Koenen collaborates with IBHCRP on projects focused on prevention of chronic PTSD among patients with critical illness and their caregivers.

  • Ronald Kulich, PhD

    Ron Kulich, PhD is a professor of psychology at Tufts Medical School. He is also a clinical psychologist and has responsibilities including development and management of opioid risk assessment protocols for the Mass General Pain Center and Facial Pain/Headache Center at Tufts School of Dental Medicine. He dedicates his clinical time to the evaluation and treatment of patients with persistent pain conditions, with activities that include screening and psychological evaluation for chronic opioid therapy, screening for interventional procedures and cognitive behavioral interventions. Therapeutic goals include improvement in patient coping skills, maximizing adherence and managing disability associated with chronic pain. Dr. Kulich coordinate a time-limited educational pain group program, focusing on short-term, cost-effective strategies for the management of pain.

    Dr. Kulich collaborates with IBHCRP on project aimed at developing and testing nonpharmacological treatments for patients with chronic pain.

  • Eric A. Macklin, PhD

    Eric Macklin, PhD, works in the Mass General Biostatistics Center and has an academic appointment in the Harvard Medical School Department of Medicine. His work focuses on biostatistical aspects of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disease research and on the development, design and analysis of clinical studies evaluating complementary and alternative medicine. His current work in neurology includes serving on the executive committee for the Parkinson Study Group, as study statistician/steering committee member for clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease and as lead statistician for clinical trials in ALS, autism and Down syndrome.

    Dr. Macklin is a biostatistician collaborator with IBHCRP on several projects focused on improving outcomes for patients with chronic pain, critical illness and neurofibromatosis.  

  • Jessica L. McCurley, MPH

    Jessica L. McCurley, MPH, is a PhD candidate at the San Diego State University/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. As a doctoral student, she completed an MPH with a concentration in epidemiology at San Diego State University. She is interested in developing interventions to improve psychosocial adjustment to chronic medical and neurological illness and to prevent and manage chronic cardiometabolic conditions. Jessica completed her dissertation in Tijuana, Mexico, has expertise in cultural issues in health, and now works to reduce socioeconomic and ethnic/racial disparities in healthcare. During her graduate training, Jessica received a predoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology and received a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. She received additional funding from the University of California Global Health Initiative of the Americas and Fogarty International.

    In her spare time, Jessica loves hiking, biking, yoga, being in nature and traveling. Prior to coming to Mass General, Jessica worked in Guatemala, Tennessee, Washington, DC, and California.

  • David Ring, MD, PhD

    David Ring, MD, PhD, is associate dean for comprehensive care and professor of surgery at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ring was professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School and chief of hand surgery at Mass General. His interests include trauma and post-traumatic reconstruction in the arm, quality and patient safety, common arm illnesses and psychosocial aspects of arm illness. Dr. Ring has increased the appreciation for both nontechnical skills in orthopaedic surgery and the psychological and sociological influences on musculoskeletal illness.

    Dr. Ring collaborates with IBHCRP on projects aimed at improving care for patients with orthopedic illness.

  • Jonathan Rosand, MD, MSc

    Jonathan Rosand, MD, MSc is a co-director and co-founder of the Mass General Institute for Brain Health, professor of neurology at Harvard, the J. P. Kistler chair in neurology and a neurologist at Mass General, where he is chief of the Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology. A clinician-scientist with expertise in prevention of cerebrovascular diseases and preservation of brain function following stroke and brain injury, he brings the most advanced techniques of personalized medicine to his practice. In his laboratory within the Mass General Center for Human Genetic Research, Dr. Rosand directs a world-class research program in genetics that continues to discover new genes that influence susceptibility to and recovery from stroke.

    Dr. Rosand collaborates with IBHCRP on projects aimed at improving brain health for patients at risk for brain diseases or those who are recovering from brain disease.

  • Rudy Tanzi, PhD

    Rudy Tanzi, PhD, is the director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit and vice chair of Neurology at Mass General. He is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. He co-discovered the first Alzheimer’s disease genes and directs the Alzheimer’s Genome Project. Dr. Tanzi has published over 500 papers, received the Metropolitan Life Award, Potamkin Prize, Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award and was on the 2015 Time 100 Most Influential People in the World list. He has co-authored the bestsellers “Super Brain” and “Super Genes” with Dr. Deepak Chopra.

    Dr. Tanzi collaborates with IBHCRP on developing novel methods to improve brain health across the lifespan.

  • Emily L. Zale, PhD

    Emily L. Zale, PhD is project director on two federally-funded clinical trials testing mind-body skills interventions for patients with neurofibromatosis and chronic pain. During her doctoral training at Syracuse University, she was awarded a National Research Service Award by the NIH, and her research has received recognition from the American Psychological Association and the Society for Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Zale is interested in conducting clinical translational research and developing novel psychosocial interventions that can be applied in medical practices. She utilizes a biopsychosocial approach to understanding health and well-being, with an emphasis on incorporating cognitive-behavioral and mind-body skills into treatments for all patients. Dr. Zale’s areas of expertise include tobacco smoking and prescription opioid use among persons with chronic pain; optimizing recovery after injury—including TBI, stroke and orthopedic fracture—and lifestyle changes for optimal health.

    In her spare time, Dr. Zale is an avid CrossFitter and enjoys Olympic weightlifting. She also loves listening to podcasts – everything from news and educational shows, to advice columns and comedy.

Professional Training

The Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program accepts one intern each year in the Integrated Brain Health elective within the Internship in Clinical Psychology at Mass General.

Internship in Clinical Psychology

Mass General's predoctoral internship in Clinical Psychology is open to matriculated doctoral students enrolled in clinical or counseling psychology programs. The internship helps develop professional psychologists who exemplify the scientist-practitioner model and offers interns seven different tracks of specialization.

Successful interns may transition into a T32 Postdoctoral Training Program in Recovery and Restoration of CNS Health and Function under Dr. Vranceanu’s mentorship.

Learn more about the internship

Integrated Brain Health Elective

The Integrated Brain Health Elective provides interns with both clinical and research training. This elective is designed to launch careers in psychology with a focus on the integration of mind, brain, body and behavior through comprehensive, multidisciplinary training.

Learn more about the elective


Support Our Mission

The mission of the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program is to advance clinical and research practice by developing and testing cutting-edge skills interventions. We work toward reaching our goals of preserving brain health and preventing chronic illness while also optimizing management of chronic illness and promoting recovery after injury or surgery as it relates to brain health.

We work to improve the lives of patients through our research and clinical care.

How Can You Support Our Mission

Your charitable donations can help us reach these goals. We appreciate donations of any size. These contributions help us reach our mission to improve the lives of our patients through cutting edge research and clinical care.

If you wish to support our work, you can donate online.


Contact Us

For clinical services, including new appointments, please call the Mass General Psychiatry Access Line and request an appointment with a provider in the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program.

Psychiatry Access Line: 617-724-7792


Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program

One Bowdoin Square, 1st Floor, Suite 100
Boston, MA 02114


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