Harvard Italian Team
Meet our Team of Specialists
Richard Mollica MD, MAR is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) at Massachusetts General Hospital. Since 1981, Dr. Mollica and HPRT have pioneered the medical and mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture in the U.S. and abroad. Under Dr. Mollica’s direction, HPRT conducts clinical, training, policy, and research activities for populations affected by mass violence around the world. Dr. Mollica is currently active in clinical work, research, and the development of a Global Health curriculum, focusing on trauma and recovery. The Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery certificate program is the first of its kind in global mental health and post- conflict/disaster. Dr. Mollica has published over 160 scientific manuscripts and has recently published his first book, “Healing Invisible Wounds: Paths to Hope and Recovery in a Violent World.”
Sonia Graziano, PsyD, is an HPRT Research Coordiantor in Italy (Harvard Program Refugee Trauma). She is the Director of the Harvard Italian Team. She is a Psychologist, specialized in Clinical Psychology. Her main interest is for childhood, adolescence, and family. She completed her education at Sapienza University of Rome. In 2009 she completed the “Mastery in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program” organized by HPRT. From 2011 to 2013 she attended the HPRT organization at Harvard University in Boston as a research fellow. In 2007 she attended the Department of Psychiatry, Traumatic Stress Service London Health Sciences Center - University of Western Ontario (Canada). In 2010, she coordinated the training of Primary Care General Practitioner in L’Aquila (Italy) after the earthquake. In 2017, she coordinated a training organized by HPRT after the Earthquake of Central Italy and she was a consultant in a project focused on trauma after car accident (Sapienza University of Rome). She is a research fellow at Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome - Unit of Clinical Psychology. The goal of her research is to study the effects of stress and traumatic experiences on the development of children, adolescents, adults and families, primarily in chronic diseases using a family systems perspective.
She worked in community healthcare, child and adolescent services, as well as in private practices. During the past years she worked with the following organizations in Mental Health in Italy: Unit of Clinical Psychology at Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital; Santa Lucia Foundation; Gemelli Hospital; Caritas in a project about Asylum Seekers, Slave Traffic Victims, Women and Minors.
Giampiero Rosati is a member of the Harvard-Italian Team and the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT). Giampiero received a degree in sociology from the University of Trento with a specialization in families. His interests are linked to the impact of traumatic experiences and the subsequent invisible wounds often associated with them. Giampiero has been collaborating with Prof. Mollica since 2001 and works primarily with the logistical and operational aspects of the courses that HPRT holds in Italy. For twenty years he has managed an “agriturismo” in Orvieto, Umbria, which has become the headquarters for these courses and for other cultural and educational events.
Eugene F. Augusterfer
Eugene F. Augusterfer is a senior faculty member and Director of Telemedicine at the Harvard Global Mental Health Program. Additionally, he is a guest lecturer in Global Mental Health at Georgetown University School of Public Health and he is a mental health subject matter expert at Vanderbilt University’s National Center for Emergency Preparedness. He has been a consultant and/or advisor to senior executive leadership at the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Development Programme, and with executives in the healthcare (mental health) industry. He co-founded and co-led the World Bank Mental Health and Psychosocial Working Group. He has conducted on-the-ground studies/research in post-disaster settings, such as, Japan, Haiti, Italy, and Hurricane Katrina in the USA. Additionally, he had been directly involved in projects in post-conflict settings, including a current project to support medical doctors in the Syria. He published the findings of his work in international peer-reviewed journals, such as, the International Review of Psychiatry and Academic Psychiatry. He has presented papers at numerous national and international meetings and he has published two books focused on post-disaster mental health. As a senior member of the Harvard Global Mental Health Team, he has focused on design and development of sustainable mental health care through the use of telemedicine. Additionally, in the field of telemedicine, he has served as the Chair of the American Telemedicine Association Mental Health Special Interest Group and he served as a subject matter expert on the development and implementation of the U.S. Air Force, USAF, Telemedicine Program. Previously, he was a team member of the task force which successfully designed and developed the USAF ‘Family Support Center’ model, which combined mental health services, chaplain services, and command leadership under one umbrella. This concept later morphed into the current ‘Military One Source’ program. Additionally, he reviewed and critiqued off-site civilian courses for the possible use by the USAF, such as, substance abuse and mental health courses. He has been actively involved in clinical mental health for 30+ years, providing clinical care in various settings including inpatient care, outpatient care, and emergency settings. In his clinical practice, he co-founded the McLean Psychiatric Study Group, affiliated with Georgetown University Department of Psychiatry.
Maya Habboush has a PhD in psychology and a post doctorate specializing in psychological testing and evaluation of intelligence and personality. Her major focus is child and adolescent psychology. She has completed the Harvard Master Program in Refugee Trauma and Recovery and is active participant in the ongoing program. Maya has over 30 years of experience in the practice of psychology, both in clinical and private settings. In addition to her expertise in childhood testing and personality evaluation, Maya has held group therapy sessions for women facing terminal illness and has conducted qualitative research regarding bereavement of women who have lost loved ones to armed conflict. Maya has been involved with the Amel Association since 2006. Amel is a Lebanon based NGO that works with internally displaced Lebanese refugees and other refugees from the Middle East. Maya is a consultant with Amel on projects that empower women and children and provide mental health services, educational skills, and vocational training. With the increase in the influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon (which is estimated to be over 2,000,000 people) Maya has developed a strong interest in the process of preventing radicalization of the young and their mothers in refugee camps through early intervention to prevent marginalization and by detecting early signs of vulnerable youths. Her major aim is to help refugees integrate into their host country and become productive members in their new society by living in stability and resiliency.
Giampaolo Nicolais is an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome. Main research topics and clinical areas of intervention are in the fields of developmental psychopathology, attachment and moral development in preschool and school years, post traumatic disorders. Author of several publications on peer-reviewed scientific journals on child maltreatment, methodology of clinical intervention in childhood trauma, intergenerational transmission of psychological trauma, parenting at risk. Faculty of Harvard’s “Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program”. President of the Italian Association for Infant Mental Health – AISMI. Ordinary Member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health – WAIMH.
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University “Federico II” Napoli, Italy.
Academic career since 1971 in the Universities of Bari, Napoli, Udine, Trieste and Napoli. Full Professor of Psychiatry from 1989, Chairman Department of Psychiatry, University of Napoli from 1996 to 2013. Research Assistant in Psychopharmacology, Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research, Milano, Italy from 1968 to 1970. Visiting Scientist at Psychiatry Branch and Psychobiology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, USA from 1974 to 1977 and from 1986 to 1987. Visiting Consultant at Clinical Neuroscience Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, USA from 1977 to 1980. Scientific and training programs with Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MASS, USA since 1989, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Opatija, Croatia, Sarajevo, Bosnia Erzegovina, Orvieto, Italia. Fields of Interest: Preclinical and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Psychopathology of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Author and co-author of 163 scientific papers.
Irene Toniolo is a member of the HPRT Italian team. She is a Psychiatrist, her work focus on treatment of severe mental health disorders, eating and post traumatic disorders, cultural psychiatry and psychoanalysis. She completed her Medical degree at the University of Padua and her Residency Program in Psychiatry at the University of Bologna. She attended the Mastery in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program organized by the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) and the Postgraduate Diploma: D9F Working with People with Eating Disorders and Body Image Disturbance organized by the Tavistock Clinic of London. She is one of the authors of the Primary Care Toolkit for the 2010 training of Primary Care General Practitioner in L’Aquila (Italy) after the Earthquake. She works for the National Mental Health Service in Bologna as a psychiatrist, with patients affected by severe mental illnesses both in outpatients, inpatients and emergency settings and as a consultant for the GPs. She is a consultant for the Court of Bologna. She hold a a Social Statistics course as a Professor at the University of Bologna, Faculty of Medicine and a Prevention and Educational Care of Social Disadvantage course at the University of Bologna, Faculty of Psychology. She published the findings of her work in national and international peer-reviewed journals, such as Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. She has presented papers at several national meetings.
James Lavelle is the Co-Founder of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT). As the Director of the Indochinese Refugee Mental Health Program from 1978-1981, his work established a strong foundation in New England for the future success of HPRT. He started HPRT in 1981 with Richard Mollica M.D., and has spent the past 40 years working as a clinician, educator, researcher, and community organizer pioneering the field of Refugee and Global Mental Health. Currently, James spends his time as a clinician on a grant from the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement serving torture survivors in Massachusetts, as well as providing technical assistance to other torture treatment programs nationally; secondly, he is a member of the team leading the Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program to continue consolidating more than three decades of work through this expanding Community of Practice. Also, James is currently involved in innovative projects in Lebanon and Liberia. Finally, he participates in the Leadership of all HPRT endeavors that aim to reduce suffering, minimize disability and increase resiliency for survivors of violence worldwide.
Caterina Nicolais is twenty-one years old and this is her third year studying psychology at Sapienza University of Rome. She attended a classical high school with a specific address in languages, so she can speak English, Spanish and French. Her main interest is trauma and recovery. When she participated in the project in Orvieto “Le ferite invisibili” on May 2017 she had the chance to listen to the witnesses of many people who lived the big earthquake in the central Italy, united by the same tough experience. She believes that working with the survivors of an earthquake in Italy requests a special point of view, since we are used to rely a lot on our communities. For this reason, she thinks it is up to us to preserve this special reality and to prevent future mental diseases in this fragile population. She is ready to learn, to listen, and to give herself and her knowledges to these people.
Chris is studying to receive his doctorate in psychology from William James College in Newton, Massachusetts. He recently worked as a research assistant at the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. During his time there he assisted in the coordination of HPRT’s annual Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program. He also participated in the preparation of a health promotion project for rural women in Liberia. Chris received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern University in Boston. During his undergraduate career he studied for nearly a year at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council) in Porano, Italy. In addition to this experience he completed an internship at a Cambodian healthcare clinic that offers both primary and behavioral healthcare in Long Beach, California. Currently Chris volunteers for an afterschool program in Boston that is designed to bring kids closer to the natural world. Chris also volunteers to help run a local storytelling show for the general public two nights of every month. Chris’ interests lie primarily in the use of storytelling to treat mental illness and in the intersections between the time we spend in nature and our overall wellbeing.