Jennifer Ford, PhD

Lab Director

Dr. Jennifer Ford (Ph.D., Kent State University, clinical psychology) is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Hunter College, The City University of New York, and director of the Hunter Psycho-Oncology Lab. She is also on the doctoral faculty and the Deputy Director of Clinical Training for the Health Psychology and Clinical Science program at the Graduate Center, The City University of New York. She trained in clinical health psychology, with a focus on child development, and her primary research efforts have focused on the psychosocial and behavioral aspects of pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer survivorship. She translates her research into the development and study of distance delivered clinical interventions for cancer survivors. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State. Dr. Ford spent the first 17 years of her professional career working in academic medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, before joining Hunter College and The Graduate Center in 2018. She is also currently an Associate Editor for the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Ford urges those from underserved and underrepresented minority backgrounds to apply to work in her lab, where she strives to offer the support, mentorship, experience, and inspiration students need to succeed in science or any other field of their choosing.

Hunter College, Department of Psychology

Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program 

Google Scholar – Research Gate  –  CV

[email protected] [email protected]

Megan Wirtz

Doctoral Student

Megan Wirtz graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a BA in Psychology and Theatre and a minor in Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies. She joins the Hunter Psycho-Oncology Lab and the Health Psychology and Clinical Science program at the Graduate Center, CUNY, after working as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she coordinated several intervention trials focusing on smoking cessation and medication adherence among people living with HIV. Her primary research interests include sexual wellbeing, identity development, and post-traumatic stress of adolescents and young adults living with chronic illness.


Carly Miron

Doctoral Student

Carly D. Miron is pursuing her Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. Ford in the Health Psychology and Clinical Science Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY.  In 2019, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Consumer Psychology. She spent the following three years as the Program Coordinator for the Anxiety, Stress, & Prolonged Grief Program at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, contributing to research on the psychosocial and contextual factors that influence wellbeing among breast cancer survivors and individuals at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer. In her doctoral research, she is primarily interested in the role of social support in promoting adaptive outcomes to health-related adversity.

Alyssa Ciniglio

Laboratory Manager

Alyssa Ciniglio joined the Psycho-Oncology Lab in 2021 where she completed her honor’s thesis under Dr. Ford’s mentorship and graduated from CUNY Hunter College in 2022 with a Bachelor of the Art’s degree in Psychology with a focus in Clinical Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She is interested in sexual and gender minority adolescents suffering from mood disorders. Alyssa plans to further her education and obtain her Masters in Mental Health Counseling in order to become a mental health counselor for adolescents.

Tal Eliyahu

Graduate Student Research Assistant

Tal Eliyahu is pursuing a Master’s degree in Psychology at Hunter College. She graduated from Hunter College in 2022 with a major in Psychology with a concentration in clinical psychology. In her undergrad, she was a research assistant at a lab that examines a variety of anxiety and related disorders. Currently, she interns at the psychiatric department of Maimonides Medical Center. She is interested in health psychology and the relationship between physical health and mental well-being. Tal plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical psychology.

Kate Scotchie

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kate Scotchie is an undergraduate psychology major at Hunter College in the Roosevelt Scholars Program with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is open to studying a variety of topics in the social, clinical, health, and community psychology fields. Specifically, her current interests include using research to strengthen and develop interventions aimed at improving psychological functioning for individuals facing adversity, the effects of gender-based violence, and aspects of social support and community building. Kate is hoping to further her education by pursuing a Ph.D. in Social or Clinical Psychology.

Jason Amadio

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jason is a sophomore undergraduate student at Hunter College, studying Psychology, and is set to graduate in 2024. He has a particular interest in research related to diseases/disorders and studying them from both a neurobiological and health psychology perspective. He hopes to find his concentration on a specific disease to focus his research on. In the future he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology.

Olivia Whalen-Kipp

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Olivia Whalen-Kipp is an undergraduate psychology major at Hunter College and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2024. Her primary interest in the field of psychology is in human sexuality and sexuality inclusive education. She is passionate about expanding the scientific knowledge on LGBTQ+ sexualities as well as alternatives to traditional relationship styles such as consensual non-monogamy and polyamory. She hopes to continue her studies in clinical and health psychology and eventually practice as a sex and relationship therapist. Olivia is also interested in pursuing a Ph.D. to help further advancements in sexuality education and treatment.

Divya Shah

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Divya is a sophomore undergraduate student at Hunter College, majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Psychology. She is particularly interested in studying mental health disorders such as PTSD in adolescents as well as the psychosocial effects of cancer. She hopes to explore more topics in health and clinical psychology throughout her education. Divya is on track to
graduate in Spring 2026 and plans to pursue an M.D. or Ph.d. after graduation.

Asha Suganthan

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Asha Suganthan is a sophomore undergraduate student at Hunter College in the Macaulay Honors Program. She is studying Psychology and hopes to concentrate in neuroscience or clinical psychology. Upon conducting narrative research on breast cancer patients in high school, Asha found her passion for psycho-oncology research and hopes to explore her interests in cultural competence in health care and patient quality of life. In the future, Asha plans to further her education by pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology.

Annabel Savarese

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Annabel Savarese is an undergraduate Macaulay honors student at Hunter College, majoring in Psychology with a certificate in Human Rights. She is interested in clinical and health psychology, particularly surrounding children and adolescents. She hopes to approach psychology from both a clinical and public health perspective and address disparities in psychological research and education. Annabel is on track to graduate in Spring 2026 and plans to pursue an M.D. or Ph.D. post-graduation.

Bryan Cheng

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Bryan Cheng is a Hunter College undergraduate studying Psychology with a particular interest in learning how to support young adults with special social/emotional needs. He plans to pursue graduate school to garner the necessary experience to work professionally with young children and adolescents. He hopes to, one day, look back and see the Psycho-Oncology Lab as an important milestone towards his goals. In his free time, Bryan enjoys taking photos of his two cats and biking.

Melany Guzman

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Melany is a Developmental Psychology major at Hunter College, set to graduate in Fall 2024. Her current research interests cater to PTSD, trauma-informed therapy, and the implications of generational trauma in the development of adolescents. She also hopes to advance existing treatments for depression and various anxiety disorders to increase efficacy. Furthermore, she is passionate about combating social injustice by improving access to mental health care for young minorities. Melany wishes to further her education by pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling or Clinical Psychology, in hopes of contributing valuable research to the field and influencing future mental health policies.

Lab Alumni

Assistant Professor – Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Member – Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ)

Get Involved

Whether you are interested in the lab as a volunteer, an honors student, or a prospective graduate student, we are pleased that you have chosen the Psycho-Oncology lab for your experience.

Learn More