About Our Research Program

As part of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, directed by Lisa Christian, PhD, the Stress, Behavioral Immunology, and Health Disparities Lab examines how exposures to chronic stress, including discrimination due to racial and/or sexual minority status, affect physical health and mental well-being. Our studies use psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research approaches to examine how stress “gets under the skin” to impact health by affecting the neuroendocrine and immune systems.


Christian Lisa 2017Lisa Christian, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)

Lisa Christian is an associate professor of psychiatry with joint appointments in the Department of Psychology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is also a member of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. Dr. Christian received her Ph.D. in clinical health psychology from The Ohio State University after completing an internship in clinical psychology at the University of Florida Health Science Center. In her free time, Lisa enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two children.

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Mary Dreher, MPH, CCRP

Mary is a clinical research coordinator in the Stress, Behavioral Immunology and Health Disparities Lab at the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. She has a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master in public health specializing in health behavior and health promotion. Mary is interested in improving overall health and wellness specifically nutrition, exercise and obesity. Outside the lab Mary enjoys baking, working out and spending time with friends and family.


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