Skip to main content
Sign In

Mark L. Laudenslager, PhD 

Mark L. Laudenslager, PhD

Dr. Laudenslager is the Director of the Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Laboratory. His research reflects a number of interests addressing the impact of early developmental challenges on immune and endocrine regulation.


Phone: 303-724-9276
Email: Dr. Laudenslager 



Mark L. Laudenslager, PhD



Positions and Employment:

Postdoc, UCDS-Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1975-1977

Assistant Research Professor, University of California Santa Barbara, 1977-1980

Postdoc, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 1980-1981

Assistant Research Professor, University of Denver, 1981-1986      

Assistant to Full Professor, Univ. Colorado Denver, Sch Med, 1986-pres                                                                                                           

Director, Behavioral Immunology Lab, Univ. Colorado Denver, Sch Med, 1986-pres       

Director, UCHSC-Primate Research Facility, Univ. Colorado Denver, Sch Med, 1995-2001

Executive Director, Develop. Psychobio. Res Grp, Univ. Colorado Denver, 1995-1998, 2007 -2010


Other Experience and Professional Memberships:

Member, NIH Special Emphasis Panel [BBBP-2 1998-2001; BBBP6 2005; ZPRG1 F12A-H 2005;  ZRR1 CM-801(6/07); ZAA1 BB(02) P (6/08); ZAA1DD(02) (2009); ZAA1DD(02) (2009); ZRG1 F12B-S (20) (2009)]

Member NIH Study Section (MESH, 2001-2004)

Editorial Board, Brain Behavior and Immunity, 1993-2002, 2004-2008

Secretary, Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society, 2001-2004


Teaching Activities:

  • UCDHSC Group leader Human Behavior Course (2003 - 2006)
  • UCDHSC Small group leader Cardiovascular Pulmonary Block Spring 2006- present
  • UCDHSC Small group leader  Neuroscience Block Fall 2006 - present 
  • Mentor Integrated program in Psychiatry (2005 - present)
  • Undergraduate Prehealth Program - Summer Institute 2006
  • Scientific Director  R25 Training Medical Students to Become Research Child Psychiatrists
  • Scientific Director T32 Development of maladaptive behavior



Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Segerstrom, S.,  Kemeny, M., & Laudenslager, M.L. Individual differences: Implications for PNI, In R. Ader, D. Felten, & N. Cohen (Eds.), Psychoneuroimmunology, Acad. Press. 2001.

Laudenslager, M.L. & Clarke, A.S. Antidepressants administered early in development alter adult immune and endocrine regulation in macaque monkeys, Psychiatry Research, 2000, 95, 25-34.

Kozora, L. Laudenslager, M.L., Lemieux, A., & West, S. Inflammatory and hormonal measures predict neuropsychological functioning in system lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis patients. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2001, 7, 745-754.

Wamboldt, M., Laudenslager, M.L, Wamboldt, F.S., Kelsay, K., & Hewitt, J. Adolescents with atopic disorders have an attenuated cortisol response to laboratory stress Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2003, 111, 509-514.

Weaver, A., Richardson, R., Worlein, J., deWaal, F., & Laudenslager, M. Responses to social challenge in young bonnet (Macaca radiata) and pigtail (Macaca nemestrina) macaques is related to early maternal experiences.  American Journal of Primatology, 2004, 62, 243-260. 

Benight, C. Harper, M., Zimmer, D., Lowery, M., Sanger, J, &. Laudenslager, M. Repression following a series of natural disasters: Immune and neuroendocrine correlates. Psychology & Health, 2004,19, 337-352..

Fleshner, M.R. & Laudenslager, M.L. Psychoneuroimmunology: Then and now.  Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 2004, 3, 114-130.

Innes, K., Weitzel, L. Laudenslager, M.L.  Altered metabolic profiles among older mothers with a history of preeclampsia, Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigations, 2005, 59, 192-201.

Gozansky, W.S., Lynn, J.S., Laudenslager, M.L., & Kohrt, W.M. Salivary free cortisol determined by enzyme immunoassay is preferable to serum total cortisol for assessment of dynamic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Clinical Endocrinology, 2005, 63, 336-341.

Laudenslager, M.L., Bettinger, T. & Sackett, G. Saliva as a medium for assessing cortisol and other compounds in nonhuman primates: Collection, assays, and examples.  In G. Sackett & G. Ruppenthal (Eds.), Nursery Rearing of Nonhuman Primates in the 21st Century, Plenum Publishers, 2006, 403-427.

Beresford, T.P., Arciniegas, D.B., Alfers, J., Clapp, Martin, B., Beresford, H.F., Du, Y., L., Liu, D., Shen, D., Davatzikos, C., Laudenslager, M.L, Hypercortisolism in alcohol dependence and its relationship to hippocampal volume loss. J. Stud. Alcohol, 2006, 67, 861-867.

Neu, M., Goldstein, M., & Laudenslager, M.L.  Salivary cortisol in preterm infants: Validation of a simple method for collecting saliva for cortisol determination,  Early Hum Devel, 2007, 83, 47-54..

Laudenslager, M.L. & Kennedy, S.  Social dominance and immunity in animals. In R. Ader, D. Felten, & N. Cohen (Eds.), Psychoneuroimmunology, Acad. Press. 2007, 475-496.

Laudenslager, M.L. & Tiefenbacher, S.  Primate models: Behavioral-Immunological Interactions, In G. Fink (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Stress, 2nd Edition,  Volume 3, Academic Press, 2007, pp 199-204.

Coe, C.L., & Laudenslager, M.L. Psychosocial influences on immunity, including effects on immune maturation and senescence.  Brain Behavior and Immunity, 2007, 21, 1000-1007.

Riggs, P.D., Thompson, L.L., Tapert, S.F., Frascella, J., Mikulich-Culbertson, S, Dalwani, M., Laudenslager, M.L., Lohman, M. Advances in neurobiological research related to interventions in adolescents with substance use disorders: Research to practice.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2007, 91, 306-311.

DePietro, J.A., Costigan, K.A., Nelson, P., Gurewitsch, E.D., & Laudenslager, M.L. Maternal and fetal responses to inducing maternal relaxation during pregnancy.   Biological Psychology, 2008, 77, 11-19.

Kivlighan, K.T., DiPietro, J.A., Costigan, K.A., Laudenslager, M.L. The diurnal rhythm of cortisol during pregnancy: Associations with parity, maternal psychological well-being, and fetal growth. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2008, 33, 1225-1235.

Neu, M., Laudenslager, M.L., & Robinson, J. Maternal-infant synchrony in salivary cortisol during infant holding. Biological Research for Nursing, 2009, 10, 226-240. 

Laudenslager, M.L., Noonan, C., Goldberg, J., Buchwald, D., Bremner, J.D., Vaccarino, V., & Manson, S.M. Diurnal rhythms in salivary cortisol among America Indians with and without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Gender and alcohol influences.  Brain Behavior and Immunity, 2009,23, 658-662. 

Nielsen, D.M., Evans, J.J., Derber, W.J., Johnston, K.A., Laudenslager, M.L., Crnic, L.S.,  & Maclean, K.N.  Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome: Behavioral and Hormonal Response to Stressors, Behavioral Neuroscience, 2009, 123, 677-686. 

Lutgendorf, S.M. & Laudenslager, M.L.  Care of the Caregiver: Stress and Dysregulation of Inflammatory Control in Cancer Caregivers, Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2009, 27, 2894-2895.

Ross, R.G., Greco-Sanders, L., Laudenslager, M.L., & Reite, M.L. An institutional postdoctoral research training program: Predictors of publication rate and federal funding sucess of its graduates. Academic Psychiatry, 2009, 33, 234-238.

Segerstrom, S.C. & Laudenslager, M.L.   When is enough measurement, enough? Generalizability of primate immunity over time.  Brain Behavior and Immunity, 2009, 23, 986-992. 

DiPietro, J.A., Kivlighan, K.T., Costigan, K.A., Laudenslager, M.L.  Fetal motor activity and maternal cortisol. Developmental Psychobiology, 2009, 51, 505-512.

Schulze E., Laudenslager M., Coussons-Read M. An exploration of the relationship between depressive symptoms and cortisol rhythms in Colorado ranchers. Journal of Rural Health, 2009; 25, 109-113.


Grants and Contracts:

Research programs

#R01 AA013973 Early experience and low 5-HT markers in alcohol abuse , $2,253,923 Total direct costs (five years)

The major goals of this project are to elucidate the relationship between the quality of early maternal care and the polymorphism in the serotonin transporter protein and adolescent impulsive and aggressive behavior and voluntary alcohol consumption.



#R01 AA013973 ARRA: Early experience and low 5-HT markers in alcohol abuse Supplement, $133,366 Total direct costs (one year)


#1R01CA126971 Psychoeducation for BMT Caregivers: Biobehavioral Markers and Outcome $2,662,249 Total direct costs (Five years)

This is a randomized control trial of a psychoeducation with stress management intervention focused only on caregivers of blood or marrow transplant recipients.  Outcome variables include psychosocial, neuroendocrine, immune, and sleep markers.


Collaborative work with University of California, Los Angeles (Kek Khee Loo, PI, K award), $36,103


Developmental Psychobiology Endowment Fund Grant #383, $9,955


Standing contracts from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (Uma Rao PI)

  • GMO-700824 $75,000
  • GMO-101006 $50,000
  • GMO-101007 $75,000


Standing contract from the University of California, Los Angeles (Lynn Fairbanks PI), PO#2000PKN004, $21,207


Standing contracts from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Michael Lewis, PI)

  • PO #386618    $13,900
  • PO #430309    $ 1,200


Training Programs

“Development of maladaptive behavior”

Principle Investigator/Director: Randal Ross, M.D.

Scientific Director: Mark L. Laudenslager, Ph.D.

Agency: NIMH

Type: 2T32MH015442

Period: 7/1/06-6/30/11

(This is long standing postdoctoral training program in developmental psychobiology.)


Training Medical Students to Become Research Child Psychiatrists”

Principle investigator/Director: Randal Ross, MD

Scientific Director: Mark L. Laudenslager, Ph.D.

Agency: NIMH

Type: R25

Period: 9/1/07 – 8/31/12

(This is a training program aimed at medical students to provide them with specific research and learning experiences relevant to the Medical Scholars Program.)


Research programs completed in the past three years:

"Couples and cancer: Building partner efficacy in caring.”

Principle Investigator William Collinge, Ph.D.

Subcontract PI: Mark L. Laudenslager, Ph.D.

Agency: National Cancer Institute

Type: Phase 2 SBIR CA10360601

Period: 9/01/07 – 8/31/09

(Development of a video instructional tape for a massage intervention for cancer patients by their caregivers.)


“A Telephone Intervention for Caregivers of Hospice Patients”

Principle investigator: Kristin Kilbourn, Ph.D.

Co-Investigator: Mark L. Laudenslager, Ph.D.

Agency: American Cancer Society (Pilot and exploratory projects)

Period: 06/01/07 – 05/31/09

(Telephone counseling intervention to improve psychosocial functioning and quality of life in caregivers of cancer patients in home-based hospice care.)


“Attentional dysfunction in fragile X syndrome”

Principle Investigator: Kenneth MacLean, Ph.D.

Co-Investigator: Mark L. Laudenslager

Agency: NICHD

Type: 1RO1 047029

Period: 8-1-03-7-31-08

(This project uses a mouse model of fragile X syndrome to investigate how sensory abnormalities, HPA axis dysregulation and executive function deficits contribute to the poor attention seen in this disorder.)


“Colorado Program in Aging and Cancer”

Co Principle Investigators TE Byers, MD and RS Schwartz, MD

Agency: NCI                                                       

Type: P20 CA10368

Sub project Principal Investigator: Mark L. Laudenslager, Ph.D.

“The caregiving experience: Burden stress, and hormones in older caregivers of cancer patients”

 (Caregiving burden in caregivers of cancer patients as it relates to salivary cortisol and DHEA).