The Center for Health Outcomes and Interdisciplinary Research (CHOIR)

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Ethan G. Lester, PhD

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Dr. Lester is a clinical psychologist in CHOIR and the creator of NF-Web. He serves as lead clinician on CHOIR's funded clinical research projects (Recovering Together [NINR]; Resiliency in NF [DoD]) and conducts research in areas of mindfulness, third-wave behavioral therapy, neurocritical care, and neurofibromatosis. Ethan also works as the clinical psychologist in the Neuro-ICU at MGH, where he delivers bedside care to patients and families as well as to care team staff (virtual nurse support groups). His embedded work also takes place at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) in the Eye Trauma Clinic in both inpatient and outpatient encounters, as well as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Stroke Recovery.  His current clinical interests include interventions addressing psychosocial adjustment to trauma, aging, neurological illnesses and psychiatric presentations that accompany and affect medical illnesses. When he is not working, Ethan enjoys creating music and baking bread.

Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD

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Dr. Vranceanu is a clinical health psychologist, Associated Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and Founding Director of CHOIR at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She is an expert in the development and testing of in person and live video mind body and lifestyle modification interventions integrated within medical practices, to preserve health, promote recovery after surgery or injury, and optimize management of chronic illness. Current work includes federal trials with dyads of patients with young onset dementia and their spousal-care partners, patients with chronic pain, older adults, adolescents and adults with neurofibromatosis, individuals with acute orthopedic injuries at risk for persistent symptoms and individuals with comorbid knee osteoarthritis, depression and obesity. Dr. Vranceanu has published over 200 peer reviewed article and has been principal investigator on over 20 research grants. She actively mentors clinical psychology interns as part of the Integrated Brain Health Track of the MGH Internship in Clinical Psychology, as well as postdoctoral fellows, medical residents and junior faculty members. In her free time, she enjoys running, swimming, and spending time with family and friends.

Paula Popok, BA

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Paula graduated summa cum laude from Montclair State University with a BA in psychology and a minor in public health and while there, interned at the Kessler Foundation. She is interested in the field of health psychology and has interest in exploring the connection between physical illnesses and the co-occurrence of mental health conditions. With this, she hopes to be actively involved in researching and treating these connections and to address various biopsychosocial factors to promote mental health for those with physical illnesses throughout her career. Paula has plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with the intention of pursing both clinical and research work within the realm of health psychology. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, going to many concerts, and practicing her photography skills.