Our Research

Anxiety Disorders Program (Adult)

We maintain close ties between our clinical and research endeavors, ensuring that our clinical work is always fully informed by the latest scientific advances and that our scientific efforts are informed by in-depth clinical understanding of the disorders we seek to understand.  

Our research team is large with a broad range of interests and capabilities.  Our thematic focus is captured in our name – trauma, stress and anxiety.  We are interested in all aspects of trauma and trauma related psychiatric disorders. We conduct psychobiological and treatment studies of Anxiety Disorders, and also study the general psychobiology of trauma, stress and anxiety as we seek to fully understand interactions between cognitive, emotional, and somatic processes as they shape human behavior and contribute to psychiatric disorders.  The Research Group includes a Basic Science Laboratory and is closely aligned with a Neuroimaging Laboratory.

We conduct extensive research on the pathophysiology, etiology, and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We are deeply interested in the psychology and neuroscience of stress, and its relevance to physical as well as emotional/mental health.  We are interested in all of the anxiety disorders, with particular research emphasis on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Specific Phobias, in addition to PTSD.

Our science covers a full range.  We have a basic science laboratory where we conduct fundamental studies on the neural underpinnings of behavior in animals.  This laboratory also provides us with assay expertise to support our studies in psychneuroendocrinology, and DNA analysis capabilities to support our studies of genetic determinants of behavior and psychopathology in humans.  We do laboratory studies with healthy human subjects as well as psychiatric patients, and clinic based studies within a large University based Anxiety Disorders Treatment Program and a Veterans Administration Health System based PTSD Treatment Team.

We are interested in the science of psychotherapy, as well as neurotransmitters and neuropsychopharmacology.  We study the impacts of stress, anxiety and psychiatric disorder across the lifespan, from pregnancy through adulthood.  We conduct brief, laboratory experiments and are involved with field work examining treatments in “the real world” and studying the impact of stress and trauma in long term, longitudinal studies.

We are closely affiliated with a strong neuroimaging laboratory that allows us to integrate psychoneuroendocrine, clinical, genetic, behavioral, and treatment expertise with the latest tools for looking inside of the brain in action.  Our team includes psychoneuroendocrinologists, psychophysiologists, experimental psychologists, physiologists, cognitive and affective neuroscientists, neuroimagers, psychiatrists, social workers and nurses.

It includes undergraduate students getting their first exposure to serious science, graduate students doing their PhD dissertation work, post-doctoral fellows from a variety of disciplines preparing for independent research careers, junior faculty in the early stages of their own program development, and senior faculty who are national and international leaders in trauma and stress research.  We publish extensively, and are well funded through local, foundation, and federal grants.

The research group is housed just above our clinics, at the Rachel Upjohn Building, helping to sustain the clinical-scientific exchange we consider so essential to top notch work in both arenas. The building also contains a wide range of clinics treating the full range of psychiatric disorders in children and adults as well as major research teams studying Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Addiction Disorders, Sleep and Chronobiology.