The IBMR functions as an incubator to create and disseminate cutting edge mind-body research that will enhance individual and community health.
Established in 1996, the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR) is the cornerstone of a broad research program at The Ohio State University in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) – the study of how the brain interacts with the body's immune system. This field has evolved from a novel area of curiosity to an important scientific field, one that has meaningful implications for public health and great promise for enhancing medical treatments.
Our researchers represent expertise in the fields of immunology, virology, psychiatry, psychology, endocrinology, molecular biology, behavior, oncology and the neurosciences. Recent work by our researchers has shown that:
- Chronic stress can weaken the immune status of caregivers, thereby increasing their risk for certain diseases.
- High levels of psychological stress can impede wound healing, impairing recovery from minor procedures to major surgery.
- High levels of stress may interfere with the efficacy of bacterial and viral vaccines.
- Even among healthy, “happy” individuals, minor psychological stress can negatively impact health.
- Diets high in saturated fats can lead to exaggerated neuroinflammation and memory deficits in older individuals.
- Postoperative opiates, such as morphine, can lead to exaggerated neuroinflammation and long-lasting memory impairments in older individuals.
- Implementing comprehensive opiate-sparing pain management protocols for surgical patients decreases hospital opiate use and also lessens use 30-days after discharge.
- Doing brain exercise before major surgery may lower risk of postoperative delirium.
- Virus-induced chronic inflammation from persistent infections plays a role in the immune and cognitive dysfunction that occurs in Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War illness and Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 syndrome. Biomarkers are being developed that can be used for the differential diagnoses of these syndromes.
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Integrative Immunobiology Training Program
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IBMR faculty members Dr. Tamar Gur (left) and Dr. Leah Pyter (right) stand with Dan McKim (center) who was the 2017 recipient of the Ronald Glaser Travel Award.
IBMR faculty members Dr. Tamar Gur (left) and Dr. Leah Pyter (right) stand with Anzela Niraula (center) who received an Outstanding Poster Award.