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Our Team.

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Courtney Beard, PhD

Director

Dr. Courtney Beard (she/her) is a clinical psychologist with expertise in anxiety disorders and cognitive behavioral therapy. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and at McLean Hospital serves as Director of the Cognition and Affect Research and Education (CARE) Laboratory, Co-Director of the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Clinical Research Program, and Co-Director of the McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School Psychology Internship Program.

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Sierra Carter, PhD

Consultant

Dr. Sierra Carter (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Adjunct Faculty member in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Emory University, and a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University. Dr. Carter’s research focuses on racial health disparities and investigates how psychosocial and contextual stressors can affect both mental and physical health outcomes for underrepresented populations. She has had a long-standing interest in the ways that health disparities in African American populations arise and are maintained by psychological, physiological, and contextual processes.

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Margarita Alegria, PhD

Consultant

Margarita Alegría, PhD (she/her) is the Chief of the Disparities Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and The Mongan Institute, the Harry G. Lehnert, Jr. and Lucille F. Cyr Lehnert Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair and a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Alegría has published over 290 peer-reviewed papers, and several book chapters, on topics such as improvement of health care services delivery for diverse racial and ethnic populations, conceptual and methodological issues with multicultural populations and ways to bring the community’s perspective into the design and implementation of health services.

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Grace George, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. George (she/her) is a postdoctoral fellow at McLean Hospital and in the CARE Lab, where she is jointly mentored by Dr. Beard and Dr. Kerry Ressler. She focuses on the brain-behavioral consequences of parent-child interactions in psychopathology. She also has an interest in family health policy and creating accessible therapy to help marginalized families recover from mental illness. Dr. George completed her PhD in Neuroscience and Master's of Public Affairs from University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she focused on using computational neuroscience to understand how parent mental health affected youth neurodevelopment.

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IreLee Ferguson

Program Coordinator

IreLee (she/her) graduated from Union College in 2021 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and joined the CARE Lab in June of 2022. Previously, she worked as a coordinator on a NIA-funded clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of a digital neuro-exergaming tool for ameliorating symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. IreLee hopes to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her research interests surround maintenance factors of anxiety and the development of more accessible interventions.

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Frances Grace Hart

Research Assistant

Grace (she/her) graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in psychology in 2023. She has held various roles in the CARE Lab since 2022, including undergraduate research assistant; thesis student; and now research assistant. She hopes to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology and is interested in studying death anxiety, suicidality, and meaning-making.​ Outside of work, Grace enjoys yoga, painting, and reading.

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Kevin Narine

Research Assistant

Kevin (he/him) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. He is a 2nd year clinical psychology doctoral student at William James College. He is interested in culturally sensitive evidenced-based treatments for anxiety and trauma-related disorders. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys writing, hiking, and playing with his cat.

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Zelda McGhee

Research Assistant

Zelda (she/her) started out with as a member of the pilot group for the MENTOR program between McLean and Bridgewater State University in 2022 and joined the CARE lab early 2023. She anticipates graduating with her bachelors in psychology from BSU in May of 2023 and is looking forward to applying and working as a research assistant after graduation. Zelda plans on applying for her Master’s in Public Administration or Policy in the future. While some of her interest include having and buying everything in the color pink, going to museums, and watching Disney movies, her life passions are reading and being a life time learner.

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Kobe Huynh

Research Assistant

Kobe (he/him) graduated from the University of San Diego in May 2023 with a B.A. in Psychology and joined the CARE Lab in July of 2023. His research interests include parent-child interactions, evidence-based interventions, and supporting marginalized communities in accessing mental health treatments. Outside of the lab, he can be seen at SoulCycle, spending time with friends and family, or exploring the city!

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Gabriela Kovarsky Rotta

Research Assistant

Gabriela (Gabi, she/her) graduated from Williams College in June of 2023 with a B.A. in psychology and English. She comes to the CARE Lab with a special interest in child psychology, hoping to eventually work with young populations after pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology. When Gabi is not at work, she can usually be found wandering around while listening to a podcast or an audiobook.

Former team members who contributed to the development of HabitWorks:

Research Assistants and Students

Ramya Ramadurai​

Erin Beckham​

Lara Rifkin​

Allie Silverman​

Kirsten Christensen​

Emily Bowers​

Heather Martin​

Yas Salon​

Liz Daskalakis​

Harris Bajwa​

Jenna Sandler​

Sara Brown​

Arielle Solomon​

Kyleigh Watson​

Megan Gonsalves

Dan Johnson

Postdoctoral Fellows

Melanie Hom ​

Andrew Peckham ​

Ivar Snorrason

Collaborators & Consultants

Thröstur Björgvinsson ​

Kate McHugh​

Nader Amir

Bethany Teachman​

John Torous​

Risa B. Weisberg

McLean Hospital Behavioral Health Partial Hospital

Research Program Patient Advisory Board​​

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