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Department of Psychiatry

Department of Psychology
 

Behavioral Immunology & Endocrinology Lab

Research Funding


Our early studies and more recent studies have led to a number of projects that involve psychiatric and medical populations.  One example includes the impact of psychiatric disorders on regulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis during social challenges or diurnal variation in release of cortisol as measured in saliva.  We have developed a novel and compact means for collecting saliva for these samples that is well suited to field studies and minimally invasive.  This resulted in collaborations with the Space Program at NASA to investigate the potential for salivary cortisol to serve as a biomarker of stress in the astronauts during training and flight missions.  However an overarching goal is to determine how the HPA axis responds before treatment and whether it is predictive of treatment outcome and long term prognosis in patients with psychiatric disorders.  Patient populations presently under investigation include:

  • Traumatized groups (both early and adult traumas)
  • Medical patients with serous illnesses such as cancer and their caregivers
  • Adolescents with chronic illnesses (asthma/allergy)
  • Adolescent populations with affective(anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder) and eating disorders
  • Children with genetic risk factors (fragile X, autism, ADHD, Williams syndrome)
  • Adolescents with substance use disorders
  • At risk infants hospitalized in neonatal intensive care units.

Noninvasive studies of early development and the role of the quality of the early mother-infant relationship in nonhuman primates still remains an important research area of the laboratory.  Interactions between polymorphisms of genes controlling neurotransmitter activity such as the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems and the early maternal relationship and their effects on impulsivity in novel situations, social interactions, and regulation of the HPA are a particular interest in socially living macaque monkeys.  Regulation of the HPA during social challenges in transgenic mice representing a potential model of fragile x is also underway. 

 

Current Grant Support

 
 
Faculty Member
Role 
Grant Title
Source Support Grant Number
Status
Project Period
Current Year Direct Costs Awarded
Laudenslager
PI
Quality of life in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients is improved when their caregiver’s distress is reduced.”
PCORI
CE-1304-6208
In progress
10/01/13-9/30/16
$520,015
Laudenslager
PI subcontract
Personality and Health - A Longitudinal Study”
NIA
R01AG020048
10/01/13-9/30/16
$50,000
Laudenslager
CoI
Brain reward circuits and computational modeling in adolescent anorexia nervosa
NIMH
R01 MH096777
09/01/12-08/31/17
$200,000
Laudenslager
CoI
Evaluation of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and the Emotional Availability Intervention: Mitigating Toxic Stress among American Indian Children in Early head Start
ACF
90YR0058
09/30/11 – 09/29/16
$290,000
Laudenslager
PI subcontract
Mechanisms and longitudinal effects of stigma on women's adherence and outcomes
NIMH
1R01MH104114-01
02/19/2015 – 12/31/2019
$530,738
Laudenslager
Faculty
Palliative Care and Aging Research Training
NIA
T32AG044296
05/01/2014-04/30/2015
$175,000
Laudenslager
Scientific Director
Development of maladaptive behavior
NIMH
T32MH015442
07/01/06-06/30/16
$325,000