Health

Melissa Cyders, Ph.D.

My primary research area is the role of emotional experiences in risk processes for a wide range of maladaptive health behaviors, including alcohol use, drug use, gambling, risky sexual practices, sexting, and eating disorders.

Adam Hirsh, Ph.D.

My lab conducts research on the biopsychosocial aspects of pain and functioning in humans. In one line of research, we use virtual human technology to investigate how providers make pain assessment and treatment decisions. In this work, we are particularly interested in examining the mechanisms that underlie disparities in pain care. A second line of our research focuses on pain and functioning in individuals with chronic pain secondary to a neurological disorder (e.g., spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis). Our third line of research examines how psychological constructs, such as pain-related fear and catastrophizing, influence the experience of pain. This work often involves using experimental stimuli to induce pain in healthy and clinical populations. We are a multidisciplinary laboratory and collaborate frequently with colleagues in Medicine, Nursing, Communication Science, Informatics, and Social Psychology.

Catherine Mosher, Ph.D.

My current research falls into two general areas of behavioral oncology. One line of research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions to reduce negative psychological and physical sequelae (e.g., distress, pain, fatigue) following a cancer diagnosis. For example, I have recently studied the health effects of written emotional disclosure for women with metastatic breast cancer (F32CA130600, PI: Mosher). My colleagues and I are also examining the impact of cognitive-behavioral therapy on posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in bone marrow and stem cell transplant survivors and potential mechanisms underlying the positive effects of this therapy (R01CA093609, PI: William Redd). My second research area concerns the development and evaluation of interventions to reduce family caregiver burden in cancer care. We are currently assessing the psychosocial and practical needs, barriers to psychosocial service use, and psychosocial service preferences of primary family caregivers of lung cancer patients (R03CA139862, PI: Mosher). Results from this research will inform conceptual models of psychosocial service use and the development of more feasible and accessible interventions for lung cancer patients’ caregivers.

Kevin Rand, Ph.D.

Currently, my research is focused on cancer populations, particularly patients with advanced cancer who may be near the end of life. I am interested in understanding how these patients cope with their illness and how these coping efforts influence psychological adjustment (especially symptoms of depression and anxiety) and future treatment decisions. I am a core faculty member of the RESPECT center, which is a collaborative, interdisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians who are interested in the science of palliative and end-of-life care across the lifespan. More generally, I investigate how people think about and pursue goals in their lives and how these goal pursuits influence people's mental and physical health.

Jesse Stewart, Ph.D.

I conduct research examining the influence of negative emotions (e.g., depression, anxiety, and hostility/anger) on the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and hypertension. I also investigate the role of cardiovascular responses to stress in the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Tamika Zapolski, Ph.D.

My primary research focus is on understanding important factors related to risk of drug use among youth and developing interventions to help mitigate risk for future use among youth. Although many of the findings based on the research from my lab are universal, applicable across ethnic groups, I do pay particular focus on understanding cultural factors that are influential in elevating risk of drug use among African American youth.