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, mood disorders, anxiety, and sleep disturbance interact in a bi-directional manner with the immune and neuroendocrine system to affect physical and mental health. Our studies use psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research approaches to examine how stress “gets under the skin” among individuals caregiving for a spouse with dementia, people coping with cancer, pregnant women, as well as people exposed to chronic stress or discrimination related to race/ethnicity, sexual minority status, or financial strain. An ultimate goal of these studies is to address health disparities and inform behavioral interventions by identifying key pathways by which stress affects health.

Our Team

Christian-LisaLisa Christian, PhD

Principal Investigator

Lisa Christian is an associate professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health and a member of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research where she has been a faculty member since 2008. She received her Ph.D. in clinical health psychology from The Ohio State University after completing internship at the University of Florida Health Science Center. Dr. Christian’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and National Institute of Nursing Research. Her clinical work focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders, particularly in women. In addition to these roles, she serves as the Medical Student Advocate within the College of Medicine, helping to advance a positive learning environment. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, vegetarian cooking, reading, and spending time with her two kids and two dogs.

Academic Profile    Download CV

Michael Di Gregorio, M.S., CCRPMichael Di Gregorio, M.S., CCRP

Michael has been with the lab since December, 2000. He is a clinical research manager and serves as the lab manager. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University in Northern California with a double major in Psychology and Mathematics. He continued on at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida where he earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology with emphases in neuropsychology. He has taken additional classes in Chinese medicine, yoga and massage therapy. Outside the lab, Michael enjoys drumming, yoga, soccer and live music.

Annelise Madison, M.A.Annelise Madison, M.A.

Annelise Madison is a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology (Health Track). Originally from Nebraska, she received a Bachelor of Arts from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She is interested in the physiological correlates of stress and depression, including inflammation, vaccine responses, acute stress reactivity, and the gut-brain axis. In her free time, Annelise enjoys traveling, yoga, running, spending time in nature, and writing. She will be completing her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Boston VA during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Marisa Anthony, B.S.Marisa Anthony, B.S.

Marisa is a Clinical Research Assistant and the CARE Study Coordinator in the lab. She graduated from the University of Dayton in May of 2021 with a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences and Behavioral Health. She enjoys focusing on the psychological and behavioral studies of people. She is interested in learning how various life stressors can affect an individual's physiological state over time and how those responses are reflected in their psychological and behavioral health. Outside of the lab, Marisa enjoys traveling and exploring new places, spending time outdoors and being with family and friends.

Anthony KantarasAnthony Kantaras

Anthony Kantaras is an Undergraduate Research Assistant who has been working with the Stress and Health Lab since January 2021. He is currently attending The Ohio State University and working towards a BS in Molecular Neuroscience on a Pre-Med track, expected to graduate in Spring 2024. Starting in May of 2022, Anthony has been working in the lab as a Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellow researching the psychosocial determinants of recovery in post-hematopoietic stem cell transplant Multiple Myeloma patients as part of the CHAMP study. He is interested in the bi-directionality of the brain and the immune system, specifically how psychosocial factors in both patients and caregivers influence treatment-related decision-making and clinical outcomes. Outside of the lab, he enjoys listening to music, running, exploring nature, and spending time with friends!

More about the Stress, Behavioral Immunology and Health Disparities Lab

More about the Stress, Behavioral Immunology and Health Disparities Lab

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