Franchesca (Franckie) Castro-Ramirez, M.A.
Franckie is a doctoral candidate of clinical science at Harvard with a background in systems neural science. The central theme of her research is on how violence exposure might lead people to harmful coping behavior. Using theory and tools from experimental economics, neural development, and public health, Franckie models real-life choice behavior. In particular, environmental incentives for violation of prosocial norms as well as regulatory processes that might lead to suicide attempts and self-injury. Another area of interest to her involves integration of qualitative inquiry, or mixed methods research, to better understand social determinants of minority mental health and suicide.
The focus of Franckie’s research is on systemically disadvantaged racial and ethnic communities where violence exposures are concentrated and culturally accessible programs aimed at psychological well-being and resilience are scarce. A goal of hers is to integrate models of scarcity and decision-making with stress physiology and neural development to help inform violence prevention and suicide intervention strategies for systemically disadvantaged communities.
Through clinical work, Franckie hopes to use knowledge of choice behavior, impulse control, and stress regulation to better inform treatment for people with a history of violence exposure. Franckie’s research and clinical experience serve as a basis for how she conceptualizes evidence-based, skills-oriented treatment.
Franchesca is a 2018 recipient of the Ford Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.