Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center | Meet our Team

Heidi Ellis, PhD

Heidi Ellis, PhD

Dr. Ellis is the Director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center (RTRC) and Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ellis’ research and clinical work focus on how the social context—trauma, discrimination, culture, and social environmental stressors—effects the health and development of refugee youth. Dr. Ellis co-developed Trauma Systems Therapy with Dr. Saxe, and is the co-author of the TST book.


Colleen Barrett

Colleen Barrett Bixby, MPH

Mrs. Bixby is the Program Coordinator at the RTRC. She has a background in cultural anthropology, as well as a master's degree in public health with a concentration in international health. Bixby first came to the RTRC in 2009 as a public health intern to support the evaluation of Project SHIFA. She is interested in health disparities among refugee populations and how psychosocial research can be integrated with community-based work as part of the approach towards reducing them.


Emma Cardeli, PhD

Emma Cardeli, PhD is a Research Associate at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center (RTRC) at Boston Children's Hospital, an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and a licensed clinical psychologist with years of experience working with traumatized children and families from culturally diverse backgrounds. Her research interests include understanding factors that influence the expression of violence in addition to examining cross-cultural aspects of trauma exposure, PTSD, resettlement, and identity development.


Seetha Davis

Seetha Davis is a Research Assistant at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children's Hospital. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 2019 with a BA in Psychology and Education, and has previously conducted health services research investigating translation of discharge materials for families with LEP. In addition to issues of (in)equity in language access, Seetha's interests include pediatric integrated care and provider cultural responsiveness, particularly as they relate to refugee and immigrant communities. She hopes to care for and collaborate with refugee and immigrant communities to promote mental and physical well-being and eliminate disparities in healthcare.


Osob Issa

Osob Issa, MSW

Osob Issa, MSW, is a clinical social worker and program coordinator at the RTRC. Ms. Issa has a master’s degree in social work from Boston University, and an under-graduate degree in psychology with a minor in women’s studies. She has first joined the team as a social work intern in 2008, and has since become increasingly involved in the research and clinical aspect of the work. Her passion is to make a difference in the mental health, and well-being of immigrant and refugee families.


Alisa Miller, PhD

Alisa Miller, PhD

Dr. Miller is a Research Associate at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center and Assistant in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests are trauma exposure, PTSD, identity development, family cohesion/conflict and the effects these have on refugee and immigrant family and community functioning. She is interested in reducing mental health disparities among refugee and immigrant groups and the healthy adjustment of youth during and after resettlement.

Luna Mulder, PsyD

Luna Mulder, PsyD

Dr. Luna Acharya Mulder currently works as a psychologist at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is an Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She has many years of experience providing clinical services to children and families suffering from mental illness and conducting psychological assessments to children with learning disabilities. Dr. Mulder is Bhutanese and, in addition to training and experience in working with traumatized children, brings intimate knowledge of Bhutanese culture, language, and the refugee experience.

She joined the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center (RTRC) at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2012 as a consultant and is now a psychologist helping implement Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R).


Jeffrey Winer, PhD

Jeffrey P. Winer, PhD

Jeffrey P. Winer, PhD, is an Attending Psychologist within the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children's Hospital and an Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Winer received his BA from Grinnell College and his MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During his graduate training he completed a two-year externship at the University of Vermont focused on refugee mental health. He completed his clinical internship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical school. His primary research and clinical interests are in developmental psychopathology of emotion and behavior dysregulation (including depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress) and culturally-responsive evidence-based psychological interventions (e.g., prevention and treatment) for youth, young adults, and families.


Saynab Yusuf

Saynab Yusuf moved to the United States in 2001 and has been living in Boston ever since. Having completed her undergraduate studies, Saynab hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Administration. She enjoys volunteering and getting involved in the community as much as possible to gain knowledge and experience.