THE TEAM

Our group includes researchers, project staff members, students and other colleagues who hail from varied training backgrounds in medicine, psychology, sociology, and other fields.

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Dr. Alan Teo, Physician Investigator

Alan is a psychiatrist and health services researcher, having completed his education and training at Stanford University, University of California San Francisco, and University of Michigan. Since 2013, he has been a Core Investigator in the VA HSR&D Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care at the VA Portland Health Care System, and is an Associate Professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in the Department of Psychiatry.

His work intersects the fields of health services, behavioral science, and social and cultural psychiatry. The overarching theme of his research is how our social connections shape and influence mental health outcomes.  In this work, he attempts to understand ways to mitigate social isolation and loneliness, and also harness the benefits of social support. He has a particular focus on depression and suicide prevention and a strong interest in developing, testing, and evaluating interventions in real-world settings.

Project Staff Members

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Aaron Call, EdM

Lab Manager

Aaron received his BA in Psychology from Reed College and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University. Aaron joined the Teo research team in January 2020.

Aaron has previously worked as a research assistant in Kathryn Oleson’s Social Psychology lab at Reed College and in UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse program. He also worked in education for several years and before that as an electronics technician in the Navy.

 

His current research interests include social support, how people make judgements of trustworthiness, perspective-giving experiences, moral decision making, existential anxiety, and implementation science. 

 

Outside of work he enjoys reading sci-fi/fantasy, baking sourdough bread, gardening, practicing Gregg short hand, and playing yard games.

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Mary Benton, PhD

Project Coordinator

Mary received her BA from Carroll College in Montana, her Master’s in Forensic Psychology from Castleton State College in Vermont, and her doctorate in Community Psychology from Wichita State University in Kansas. 

Her doctoral dissertation examined non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).  She has worked in a variety of research areas: pediatrics, community psychology, debriefing in the emergency department, and most recently cardiovascular research outcomes.

Mary is excited to join Dr. Teo’s group and be part of the research environment at the VA.  Mary is a native of Portland but recently returned from a stint in the Midwest.  She enjoys cooking, hiking, rollerblading with friends, and taking her basset hound on long walks.
 

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Kimberly Hubbard, BA

Project Coordinator

Kim received her BA from the University of Portland, studying Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Following graduation, she worked at NW Anxiety Institute in Portland. No stranger to Building 6, Kim may be a familiar face to a few of you as she previously worked for the Scientific Resource Center.

Kim was also a team member on Project Stress Less II with Dr. Belle Zaccari, where her passion for Veteran care was cultivated while working with female Veterans with a history of military sexual trauma. Kim then ventured to Orlando to continue in her pursuit of working with Veterans in the University of Central Florida’s RESTORES clinical research center and treatment clinic.

 

Kim is excited to expand upon her research interests while working with Dr. Teo’s team and is delighted to be back at the Portland VA.

 

She is very happy to return to the Portland food and thrift shopping scene, but also loves quiet days spent at home with her cat. Kim grew up on an island in Washington, so she also enjoys spending her free time at the beach and watching Seahawks games.

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Justin Yin, MA

Research Assistant

Justin received his BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an MA in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. He has extensive suicide research experience from his time at the Greater Los Angeles VA, Bronx VA, and Columbia.

His research interests focus on the predictive utility of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) characteristics in the development of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITB). He is also interested in how we can leverage technology to increase help-seeking behaviors and engagement in healthcare among ADM/Veterans at risk for suicide.

Outside of work, he enjoys writing on his blog, which is aimed at helping first-generation high school/community college students navigate the college admission process. Other hobbies include watching documentaries and spending time with family.

Current Mentees and Trainees

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Adrian "AJ" Stutzman, AA

Adrian graduated from Clark College with his AA degree and is currently working on his BS in Psychology at Portland State University with the expectation to graduate spring of 2024.

He worked on a short research project with Dr. Roberto Anitori in a microbiology lab during Spring Term in 2022 before joining Dr. Teo’s team in July 2022. 

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Jenny Park, BS

Jenny earned a BS in biology at Georgia State University. After college, Jenny was accepted into a post-baccalaureate research program, called the Doctoral Diversity Program, at Johns Hopkins University.

During her three years there, she did research in clinician-patient communication and racial disparities in HIV care. Meanwhile in Baltimore, she served homeless individuals at a rescue mission clinic and was a volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Jenny is an MD/MPH student expected to graduate in 2025.  

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Tiona Wu, BA

Tiona Y Wu graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Psychology and a minor in computer science. She is working as a research assistant at the Portland VA Medical Center for Dr. Travis Lovejoy.

Her interests lie in clinical and cultural psychology and she has worked on various projects at the VA with focus in public health, military culture, and culture-specific psychology. She is currently working with Dr. Teo on a systematic review paper on hikikomori. In her spare time, she likes to go bouldering and squirrel-watch!

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Sarah Yang, MD, MCR

Sarah Yang received her BA in Chemistry from Emory University and both MD and MCR at OHSU. She joined the Teo research team in July 2020.

She is currently a psychiatry resident at Yale University hoping to return home to Portland after graduation. In her free time, Sarah likes to stay physically active and manage baby nephew Jadon's TikTok account.

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Jeanette Doorenbos, AA

Jeanette Doorenbos graduated from Clark college with her AA degree and is currently working on her BS in Psychology at Portland State University with the expectation to graduate spring of 2022. She has two years of research experience working on a project at Clark college and joined Dr. Teo’s team at the beginning of Summer 2021. 

Her interests lie within social and personality psychology with an emphasis on mental wellness, mindfulness and human behavior studies. Currently, she works on a systematic review team on the subject of hikikomori and has a hand in Dr. Teo's PsychArmor S.A.V.E. project.

Outside of research, Jeanette enjoys going on hikes, swimming, drawing and playing online games with her friends! She also enjoys talking about statistics and videos about psychology.

Former Mentees and Trainees

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Victor Pereira-Sanchez, MD

Victor Pereira-Sanchez, MD, is an academic psychiatrist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York, NY. He obtained his medical degree and psychiatry specialty at the University of Navarra in Spain, and is currently completing a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry.

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Miguel A. Alvarez-Mon, MD, PhD

Dr. Miguel Alvarez-Mon is a general adult psychiatrist in Madrid, Spain, with a clinical appointment at the Infanta Leonor Hospital and academic work at the School of Medicine, University of Alcala.

He has a background in neuroimaging research and is now focused on international psychiatry and global mental health research, education, and practice.

 His research focuses both on biological and socio-cultural aspects of mental health disorders, including the immunology of depression and social media analysis on Twitter.

Outside of work, Miguel enjoys spending time with his family, reading, hiking, or watching soccer (he is a strong Real Madrid supporter).

Collaborators

Hikikomori Lab,

Kyushu University

VA Portland Health Care System

Truth Initiative

Portland State University

University of Michigan

Oregon Health & Sciences University

University of Iowa

University of Rochester

University of Rochester

PsychArmor Institute

UCSD School of Medicine

VA Puget Sound Health Care System

University of Washington School of Medicine

VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System

University of Michigan

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System

University of Arkansas

VA Portland Health Care System

VA Portland Health Care System

VA Portland Health Care System