Stress and Health in Pregnancy Research Team

Our Stress and Health in Pregnancy research team, that is part of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, consists of specialized clinical researchers, professors, nurses and undergraduate students who are interested in gaining research experience related to stress and health in pregnancy.

A central focus of our research is racial disparities in preterm birth. Our team members are studying how psychosocial factors, such as stress, social support, physical health and depressed mood affect women’s health during pregnancy and postpartum. We are also observing how the effects of everyday life stress and obesity impact a woman’s immune response to the influenza virus vaccine during pregnancy. Several of our doctors and researchers have been published in book chapters and articles relating to the subject of stress and health during pregnancy.

Learn more about the individuals who make up the Stress and Health in Pregnancy Research Program team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and check out our team members’ bios below.

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 Lower, MPH

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.


Undergraduate Students

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Savannah Headley

Savannah is a fourth-year pre-medicine undergraduate student majoring in neuroscience and minoring in molecular genetics and bioethics at The Ohio State University. She is an active member of the Mortar Board Senior Class Honorary and Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity. Savannah enjoys volunteering at The James Cancer Hospital, reading, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.



Chrissy Leary Leary cropped

Chrissy is a third-year undergraduate student at The Ohio State University from Tiffin, Ohio. She is studying biology with a minor in Spanish. Chrissy is completing her second year as a Resident Advisor at OSU and is interning at Nationwide Children's Hospital in the Emergency Department this year. Additionally, Chrissy is the Assistant Manager at Cheryl's Cookies located in the Wexner Medical Center. In her free time, Chrissy enjoys shopping and eating her way through Columbus!

Haley Lehmkuhl Lehmkuhl cropped

Haley is a fourth-year neuroscience major, on the pre-medicine track from Dublin, Ohio. She is the volunteer coordinator for MEDLIFE and enjoys being a part of her sorority Kappa Alpha Theta. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, trying new/weird foods and watching lots of Grey's Anatomy!



Beth Raiff Raiff Elizabeth cropped

Beth is a fourth-year undergraduate student from Cleveland, Ohio. She is majoring in biology with a minor in bioethics. She is the Chief of University Engagement for Universal Health Aid, Columbus and a member of the Ohio State women's club water polo team. Beth works at Tremont Elementary School in Upper Arlington as an after school program aide. In her free time she enjoys cheering on Cleveland sports teams, spending time with friends and family, and being outside.


Stephanie Wentzel Wentzel Stephanie cropped

Stephanie is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in neuroscience with a minor in leadership studies. As a pre-med student, she aspires to become a physician who serves underserved urban communities. Stephanie is the co-president of Pan-Asian Mental Wellness Association, the president of Ladies of Leadership and a resident advisor. Stephanie enjoys traveling to new cities/countries, trying new foods, running, and learning spanish during her free time.


Selena Wilson

Selena is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in health sciences with a minor in clinical psychology. She aspires to go on to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner. In her spare time, she volunteers at Sunrise of Worthington, a rehabilitation and long-term care facility. She enjoys running, reading, helping others, and spending time with family and friends.



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