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Irina Todorova

Associate Clinical Professor/Interim MPH Program Director

Department of Health Sciences

Office: 208/209 D Robinson

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 617-373-2087

Irina Todorova works on issues related to psychosocial aspects of health and well-being, social change and health, and health and gender inequalities.  Todorova is Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Interim Director of the Master of Public Health Program, Northeastern University. She publishes on migration and health, social change and health in Eastern Europe, psychosocial aspects of infertility, new reproductive technologies (NRT) and vaccines; cervical cancer prevention; inequalities in cancer prevention, and narrative inquiry. She is currently PI on an international project on cultural, health systems and psychological aspects of vaccination, funded by the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research.

Todorova is Past President of the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS), and currently representative for EHPS at the United Nations. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Critical and Qualitative Psychology and the Advisory Board of the Central and East European Behavioral Medicine Network.  She is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. She has been Editor of the European Health Psychologist, and is on the editorial board for Health Psychology Review and Psychology and Health and Cognition, Brain, Behavior.

Irina Todorova has taught courses in Qualitative and Narrative Inquiry and Gender and Health at Harvard University, The Graduate Consortium on Women’s Studies at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Northeastern University and the Central European University.  Todorova and collaborators were named Women’s Health Heroes by Our Bodies, Ourselves Global Network.

PhD, psychology, Sofia University and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Post-doctoral scholar, Department of Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University

Specializations: Health psychology; gender, culture and health; health disparities

Research Interests:
Psychosocial aspects of health and well-being
Gender and health
Health disparities
Social change in Eastern Europe and implications for health
Narratives of health and illness

Selected Research/Scholarship Projects:

  • Center on Population Health and Health Disparities
  • Boston Puerto Rican Health Study
  • Cultural and psychological aspects of vaccination (through the Institute of Urban Health Research, Northeastern University)
  • Cultural, health systems and psychological aspects of cancer prevention and disparities

Key Experiential Learning Opportunities for Students:

  • Cross-cultural studies of health and illness
  • Experience with qualitative/ narrative research


  • University of Lausanne and Swiss Science Foundation: Project: Quality of Qualitative Research Network
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece: Project: ORCAB: Improving quality and safety in the hospital: The link between organizational culture, burnout and quality of care. European Commission Seventh Framework Program, 10 country international team
  • The Department of Psychology at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania ( Social, Political and Gendered Dimensions of Preventive Technologies in Bulgaria and Romania: HPV Vaccine Implementation:
  • European Health Psychology Society 

Public Service:

  • President, European Health Psychology Society (EHPS), 2008-2010
  • European Health Psychology Society (EHPS) Representative to the United Nations
  • Executive Committee: Central and East European Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • Editor: The European Health Psychologist, 2002-2006|
  • Executive Committee International Society of Critical and Qualitative Health Psychology, 2009- present
  • Consulting Editor, Health Psychology Review, 2008- present
  • Editorial Board Member: Psychology & Health 2011- present


  • PHTH 6320: Qualitative Methods in Health and Illness

Selected Publications

Todorova, I., Guzzardo, M. T., Adams, W. E., & Falcón, L. M. (In press). Gratitude and longing: Meanings of health in aging for Puerto Rican adults in the mainland. Journal of Health Psychology.

Todorova, I., Alexandrova-Karamanova, A., Panayotova, Y., Dimitrova, E., & Kotzeva, T. (2013-On Line first). Managing uncertainty: Healthcare professionals’ meanings regarding the HPV vaccine. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. doi: 10.1007/s12529-013-9343-9

Todorova, I., Katherine L. Tucker, Marcia Pescador Jimenez, Alisa K. Lincoln, Sandra Arevalo, Luis M. Falcón (2013) Determinants of self-rated health and the role of acculturation: Implications for health inequalities. Ethnicity and Health, On-line first.

Todorova, I., Suárez-Orozco, C., Singh, S. (2012) Evolving narratives of immigrant Latino youth, In:  Nagata, D.,  Kohn-Wood, L., Suzuki, L.  (Eds) Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural  Research. American Psychological Association Press.

Todorova, I. (2011). Health in Eastern Europe. In: Friedman, H. (Ed). Oxford Handbook of Health Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Todorova, I., Lincoln, A., Falcon, M.L., & Price, L. (2010). Perceived discrimination, psychological distress and health. Sociology of Health and Illness, 32(6), 843-861.

Panayotova, Y. & Todorova, I. (2009) Cultural meanings of the infertility treatment procedures and new reproductive technologies: Women’s voices from Bulgaria, In: , Eds. Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli & Marcia C. Inhorn,  Assisting Reproduction, Testing Genes: Global Encounters with New Biotechnologies, Berghahn Books. (Selected by the Council for Anthropology and Reproduction as  a winner of the Most Notable Recent Collection Book Prize for 2012)

Todorova, I., Baban, A., Alexandrova, A. & Bradley, J. (2009). Inequalities in cervical cancer screening in Eastern Europe: Perspectives from Bulgaria and Romania. International Journal of Public Health, 54, 222-232. Awarded “Editors’ Choice Paper” by the International Journal of Public Health.

Suárez-Orozco, C., Suárez-Orozco, M., & Todorova, I. (2008). Learning a New Land: The experience of newcomer immigrant youth. Harvard University Press.  Awarded the Virginia and Warren Stone book prize.

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