Neurobiology of Trauma and Stress
MTOP researchers are motivated to better understand how and why psychiatric illnesses like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression occur in those exposed to trauma and stress. Using state-of-the-art methods, we emphasize a multi-modal systems approach to combine data across self-report, clinical interviews, neuroimaging, hormone and immune system functioning, and the microbiome. Together, this gives us a larger and more definitive picture of how trauma and stress “get under the skin” to produce resounding changes in mind and body functioning. Advances in science help us design well-rounded studies that test the impact of stress across multiple biological systems, while decades of experience working one-on-one with patients inform directions for scientific inquiry.
- Presently, MTOP researchers are conducting ongoing scientific studies to:
- Examine how the endocannabinoid system may counter the effects of stress in those exposed to acute trauma and how the burden of chronic stress may impact immune system functioning, particularly in ethnic minorities - Learn more about STAR 2.0
- Measure neural functioning in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event to help inform how and when PTSD symptom develop in the future
- Test how bacteria that normally live within the human intestinal tract, known as dysbiosis, is linked to anxiety and depressive behaviors in those exposed to trauma, particularly in ethnic minority patients - Learn more about Microbial Dysbiosis
- Understand the role of endocannabinoids in the transition from acute to chronic pain following traumatic injury - Learn more about Endocannabinoids in Pain