Principal Investigator – Dr. Zeev Rosberger
Over a number of decades, Dr. Rosberger has led research programs in multiple areas of psychosocial oncology. His current research focus is on the prevention of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, and HPV- related diseases (e.g., cervical cancer, penile cancer, genital warts, oropharyngeal cancer). His studies examine psychosocial correlates and predictors of Pap screening, HPV testing, and uptake of the HPV vaccine in several populations. More specifically, he investigates HPV vaccine decision-making in young adults who are at high risk for infection, as well as parents of young boys and girls. His interests in this area relate to vaccine hesitancy and measurement tools to identify factors influencing hesitancy that would inform the development effective interventions. More recently, he has been funded by CIHR to examine the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of Canadian women to inform public policy as provinces move from primary Pap to primary HPV DNA testing over the next few years. Dr. Rosberger is also studying vaccine-related issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. He was recently funded by the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4) to develop and test a video intervention using altruistic motives to promote COVID-19 vaccine uptake in young adults.
Dr. Rosberger was (until 2017) the Chief of the Psychology Department at the Jewish General Hospital, providing exemplary clinical care to patients and their families. He also spearheaded the development of the Louise Granofsky-Psychosocial Oncology Program at the Segal Cancer Centre of the Jewish General Hospital. He participated on numerous provincial and national committees advocating for improvement of the emotional care for cancer patients and their families. He participated in the development of National Distress Screening Guidelines (Canadian Partnership Against Cancer-CPAC), which were subsequently endorsed by multiple agencies (e.g, WHO, UICC, etc. ) and implemented internationally. From 2004-2006, he was President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology. At the same time, he sat on the management committee of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, a coalition of advocacy and professional groups who successfully lobbied the federal government to create CPAC. Dr. Rosberger is currently vice-president of HPV Global Action, an NGO which provides educational resources about sexual health and is developing partnerships and programs nationally and internationally (in sub-Saharan Africa) in the prevention of Human Papillomavirus-related cancers.
Research Associate – Dr. Samara Perez
Samara is a clinician-scientist with expertise and training in clinical and heath psychology with great interest in sexual health notably sexually transmitted infections, psycho-oncology and health decision-making. She completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with specialization in Psycho-Oncology from McGill University (2017). She was awarded the prestigious Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Vanier Scholarship She completed her clinical internship in the Psychosocial Oncology Program, Supportive Care Services, Cedar Cancer Center, and at the Balfour Mount Palliative Care Unit, at the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) . She also received clinical training in Couples and Sex Therapy at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, and at the Allan Memorial Institute.
Samara continued her research training with a Post-doctorate in Psychiatry on cancer-related fertility distress at McGill University (2018). She is very passionate about the intersection between health psychology and public health policy, and the role psychologists can play in health behavior modifications and prevention, and how to translate research findings to the public. As such, she has written numerous blogs, newspaper articles, presented for healthcare professionals and lay audiences to disseminate her research, as well as the more traditional formats of publications (presentations at national and international conferences, and peer-reviewed articles).
In addition to her research, she is the Research, Evaluation, and Policy Affairs Officer & Board Member of the Non-for-profit organization, HPV Global Action. She is currently employed as a psychologist for cancer patients and their families at the psychosocial Oncology Program at the MUCH and in her private practice, which allows her practice to inform her research, and her research to inform her practice. (And she loves hot chocolate chip cookies!)
Research Associate – Dr. Ovidiu Tatar
Graduate Student – Patricia Zhu
Patricia is a MSc. student at McGill University in Psychiatry. Her research interests lie in understanding how people make health-related decisions, and how to use this knowledge to inform public health policies that can improve the health of the population at large. Her current research project examines the efficacy of a video-based intervention eliciting altruism to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake, and how empathy and distress affects altruistic behaviours. In the future, she aims to either pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology or a career in Public Health. In her free time, Patricia enjoys hiking, watching Netflix, and cooking and eating good food.
Research Assistant – Gabrielle Griffin-Mathieu
Gabrielle obtained her BSc in psychology at McGill University and joined the lab as a full-time research assistant in summer of 2019, a position she occupied until summer of 2021. She is now involved as a volunteer research assistant both in the Preventive Health Behaviours Lab and in the ReaCH Lab directed by Dr. Serena Corsini-Munt at the University of Ottawa. As an aspiring researcher-clinician in clinical psychology, she is interested in conducting research in the fields of sexual health as well as sex and couples’ therapy. In her spare time, Gabrielle enjoys dancing to Latin music, swimming, hiking, and watching Friends (you may be able to recognize Joey and Monica in the picture!).
Research Assistant – Ben Haward
Ben Haward is a research assistant in the lab who recently obtained his undergraduate degree in Psychology at McGill University. His academic interests include process-based psychotherapy, personality risk and resilience factors in psychopathology, and psychological and cognitive symptoms in chronic pain. Outside of the lab, Ben enjoys playing and watching soccer, reading, and eating St. Viateur bagels. He intends to pursue graduate studies next year in clinical psychology.
Former lab members
- Gilla Shapiro, PhD
- Andrea Krawczyk, PhD
- Roxane Robitaille, PhD
- Sophie Lebel, PhD
- Christopher Brown
- Leonora King, PhD
- Pasqualina Di Dio, PhD
- Vanessa Delisle, PhD
- Anila Raz, MD
- Andrea Feldstein, PhD
- Keven Joyal-Desmarais, PhD
- Chris Brown