Ioana Alina Cristea


I am trained as a clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioral psychotherapist and obtained my PhD in Psychology from Babes-Bolyai University, Romania. I have previously conducted research and academic activities at Babes-Bolyai University, Romania; the Universities of Pisa and Pavia, Italy; Stanford University, USA and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Between 2016 and 2017, I was a Fulbright Visiting Senior Scholar at the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford University (METRICS), USA, where I am currently a Research Affiliate.
My field is best defined as meta-research (“research on research”), taking a bird’s eye view on how research is planned, conducted, reported, and used within and across different disciplines. I apply meta-research methods, such as meta-analyses, to clinically important questions, as for example how to best treat or prevent mental disorders in adults and children or how to improve psychotherapies. My work has focused on critically appraising the efficacy and safety of various psychological and pharmacological interventions for mental disorders, as well as documenting the systematic effects of diverse strains of bias, like financial and non-financial conflicts of interest. I am also interested in the development and application of open science policies and practices.
I am currently the principal investigator of an European Research Council (ERC)-funded Starting grant (DECOMPOSE), which aims to uncover the active ingredients of psychological interventions for severe mental disorders, by decomposing psychological treatment packages and integrating diverse components in a cross-disorder, comprehensive taxonomy. The project aims to radically reevaluate effectiveness and personalization from the vantage point of active ingredients. The final goal is to create an open clinical decision support system, where users can “assemble” and “dismantle” interventions, visualizing gain or loss of treatment effectiveness.
In the pre-“parent of small children” era of my life, I enjoyed uninterrupted reading, travelling, visiting art galleries and secluded restaurants.