The MET project aims to develop a methodology for therapy through theatrical tools, with an effect at the neurochemical and neurocognitive levels. In collaboration with our partners, we use behavioral, electrophysiological, biochemical and imaging techniques, to determine how minimalist theatrical practices impact stress level and social closeness.

The scientific hypothesis of the project is that theater practices modulate neuronal activity and plasticity by controlling the secretion of the neuro-hormones oxytocin and cortisol, and by adjusting the activity of the immune system. We believe that via these physiological changes, theater therapies could induce pro-social behaviors, reduce stress, and increase the overall well-being of individuals.


We have a multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists, artists, psychologists and biochemists:

Ioana Carcea MD/PhD

Principal Investigator

Ioana is Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, where she investigates social communication and social buffering of stress in rodents. At CINETic, Ioana aims to address similar topics in human subjects.

Robert C. Froemke PhD

Scientific Director

Rob is Associate Professor at New York University School of Medicine, where his lab investigates the neural substrates for maternal behavior in animal models, in particular the role of oxytocin. His expertise greatly contributes to the successful development of the MET project.

Alexandru I. Berceanu PhD

Scientific Coordinator

Razvan I. Vasilescu

Project Manager

Emil Banea

Project implementation expert

Emilia Alexandru

Financial expert

Horia Murgu PhD

Adrian I. Titieni PhD

Catalin Nedelcea PhD

Dragos Cirneci PhD

Dragos is Associate Professor at the Spiru Haret University where he teaches neuroscience, behavioral genetics and clinical neuropsychology. In the MET project he studies the impact of autobiographical retrieval on stress, well-being and immune system.

Mihaela Onu PhD


Claudiu Papasteri PhD

Claudiu is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and teaching assistant at the University of Bucharest. In the MET project he is responsible with psychological assessment, computerized behavioral experiment programming, and psychological and psychophysiology (EEG, EDA, HRV) data processing and analysis.

Miralena I. Tomescu PhD

Miralena received her licence in psychology at the University of Bucharest followed by a Master degree in Neuroscience at the University of Geneva. She continued her career in Neuroscience at the University of Geneva and received her PhD within a project conducted in collaboration with the Functional Brain Mapping laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Christoph M. Michel. Using electroencephalography (EEG) as a neuroimaging technique, Miralena is a specialist in analysis of spontaneous and event-related electrical activity of the brain. The major research interest is understanding the temporal fast dynamics of brain patterns in healthy development, and across brain disorders. More recently Miralena was awarded with the IBRO Return Home Fellowship to investigate psycho-social stress resilience and coping mechanisms in students training to become actors at UNATC.

Ioana Podina PhD

Ioana is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, currently a senior lecturer at the University of Bucharest. In the MET project, she is responsible with psychological assessment and socio-cognitive theoretically driven input on MET studies and methodology.


Constantin Augustin-Dan Pistol

Alexandra Sofonea

Alexandra is a PhD student of the Theater Doctoral School of Cluj-Napoca, and assistant professor at the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest. Her thesis and personal research is on the psychology of stage performers, mainly on the mental health of professional actors.

Romina Boldașu

Romina is an actress and a PhD student within the UNATC Doctoral School; she undertook her artistic career and professional training in Romania, as well as abroad. At the moment, she is part of the UNATC Junior coordinating team and the MET project research team, CINETic center, developing a series of research projects focusing on theatre pedagogy and applied theatre. As part of the MET project, she is involved in the experiments and protocols that imply working with subjects (non actors and actors); testing and analysing various drama exercises that relate to objective of the project.

Catalina Poalelungi


Nicoleta Puscasu

Dumitru Tanase 


Doina Strat

Mirela Rusu