Lab's Logo


“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble." ― Representative John Lewis

Latest ongoing initiatives led by our group at McLean Hospital:

In collaboration with Dr. J. Rubén Parra-Cardona and conjunction with Lynn English High School, we are launching CAPAS (Criando con Amor: Promoviendo Armonía y Superación / translated to: Raising with love: promoting harmony and overcoming) at McLean Hospital. This program emphasizes critical evidence of the need for psychiatric and substance abuse intervention for at-risk youth based on the dynamics of oppression and exploitation experienced by vulnerable diverse populations. It focuses on parenting intervention for at-risk kids, where Hispanic parents learn effective ways to raise their teens while adjusting to American culture by teaching best parenting practices and increase knowledge of youths' internalizing and externalizing behaviors, such as mental illness, teen pregnancies, drug use, and gang recruitments.

Studies of postmortem brain tissue are significant since they assist researchers in understanding the human elements of many brain disorders; nevertheless, the US brain banks lack diversity. In collaboration with Dr. Sabina Baretta, director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, and Dr. Timi Folorunso, a young faculty member at McLean, and Ponce Health Sciences University we are actively working to try to understand people's apprehension and misconceptions about organ brain donation to eventually build a sustainable system of organ brain donation from minoritized individuals. Our goal is to develop a program that teaches and emphasizes the value of brain donation, as well as to demonstrate how this knowledge will be used in research to benefit historically underrepresented communities.

With the leadership of our mentee Ibrahim Bata, we are researching ways to help our Afghan community by studying the psychological effects of four decades of war of Afghans in the United States (US) Diaspora. In August 2021, the US pulled its troops out of Afghanistan. As a result, the Taliban quickly took back control of the country, forcing many Afghans to seek refuge in the US. Our work better aims to better examine the central stressors affecting mental health among adult Afghans living in the United States.