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.

**Dr. Ford will be taking graduate applicants in her lab for Fall 2021.**

Hunter College, Department of Psychology

Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program 

Google Scholar – Research Gate  –  CV

Zeba Ahmad

Doctoral Student

Zeba N. Ahmad is a PhD student working under Dr. Ford in the Hunter Psycho-Oncology Lab and in the Health Psychology and Clinical Science program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her primary research interest is in the development and testing of interventions to improve psychological coping with chronic or terminal illness in patients and their family caregivers. In addition to psycho-oncology, she is interested in the affective and emotional contributors to health behaviors in young adults with obesity. As part of her clinical training, Zeba has externed at Mount Sinai Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She also teaches Health Psychology at Hunter College. Prior to doctoral study, Zeba obtained Masters degrees in Human Development and Clinical Psychology and worked as a study interventionist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.


Maiya Hotchkiss

Laboratory Manager

Maiya graduated from Hunter in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a focus in Gender Studies. She is interested in identity and resilience among sexual and gender diverse individuals, with a particular interest in the role of empowerment and self-efficacy. She is also interested in how qualitative methods can be utilized to learn more about promoting resiliency, psychological well-being, and improve health outcome disparities. Maiya plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.



Elizabeth Ray

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Elizabeth Ray is pursuing a BA in psychology. Her anticipated minor is in computer science. Post-graduation she plans to pursue a master’s degree and subsequently her Ph.D. Her current research interests include woman-based medicine, network psychometrics and character traits, positive psychology, psycho-social well being across the life-span, and clinical psychology.


Ariana Gladstone

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ariana is pursuing a BA in both clinical psychology and studio art at Hunter College. She joined Professor Ford’s lab in the fall of 2019. She is currently working on researching the neuropsychological trajectory in nonmyeloablative conditioning allogeneic stem cell transplantation with post-transplant cyclophosphamide in the adolescent and young adult population.


Morgan Loschiavo

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Morgan is a student at Hunter College pursuing a BA in psychology with a focus study in statistics. She plans to pursue a master’s in quantitative methods in the social sciences following graduation. She is interested in the fields of social and industrial/organizational psychology, and psychometrics. Her current research interests include how abnormal development and psychopathology, specifically personality disorders, influence identity development and peer relationships.


Genevieve Durso

Graduate Student Researcher

Genevieve is currently pursing her Master’s Degree in Psychology at Hunter College. Her previous academic lab experience includes two separate labs where she respectively studied mindfulness-based stress reduction and parenting styles. While attending Hunter, she is currently working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Department of Medicine – Early Drug Development. Her future plans include pursing a PhD and working hands on with pediatric cancer patients copied with concomitant psychological ailments.



Favour Ononogbu-Uche

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Favour is a Hunter Psychology student with an anticipated minor in Chemistry. His previous research experience includes biomedical research in the field of pediatric cardiology. He plans to pursue medical school after graduation. His current research interests include equality-based medicine, motivation, medical psychology, emotion, and psycho-social therapeutics.


Zobaida Maria

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zobaida is a junior at Hunter College pursuing a BA in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She is currently interested in research that explores how limited language proficiency can contribute to health disparities within the psychology field, but especially as it pertains to psycho-oncology. She intends to achieve a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy with a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Jacqueline Scott

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jacqueline is a senior at Hunter College pursuing a BA in Psychology with a focus study in foreign language. She is currently working as a research assistant in the lab and is set to graduate in Spring of 2021. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year and work as a research assistant before pursuing a PhD in counseling or clinical psychology. Her current research interests include social and child psychology, mood disorders, interpersonal relationships, racial inequality, prejudice and discrimination and their influence on the personalities, attitudes and the overall mental health of individuals.

Michelle Yu

Research Assistant

Michelle is a senior at Hunter College High School who plans to pursue a degree in public healthShe has previously worked at the CCNY Center for Discovery and Innovation in structural biology. Her academic interests include economic, racial, gender, and linguistic health inequalities; the neurological basis of psychological disorders; and coping mechanisms following traumatic experiences.  

Megan Wirtz

Doctoral Student- Coming Fall 2021

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 how chronic illness, particularly cancer, influences identity formation in adolescents and young adults, and how survivorship affects health-related quality of life in those populations.

Lab Alumni

Kate Darabos graduated from HPCS in 2019.  She is currently an NIH K00 post-doctoral fellow at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Her research is focused on cognitive, affective and biological approaches to understanding decision making among adolescents and young adults with cancer.

Nalini Suratt-Persaud

New York, NY

Nalini graduated from Hunter College with honors in Clinical Psychology and English in Fall 2019. She is currently pursuing her social work degree at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work.

Emily Liang

New York, NY

Emily has graduated with a BA in Psychology with a minor in English from Hunter College in Spring 2020. She is particularly interested in how health psychology can be potentially used to help mitigate health disparities in the community​.

Rachel Walsh completed a General Psychology Master’s student at CUNY Hunter College, studying the development of identity in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors in Spring 2020. She is currently pursuing a PsyD degree.

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.

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