Meet Our Researchers

Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D (Principal Investigator)
Professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser holds the S. Robert Davis Chair of Medicine in The Ohio State University College of Medicine; she also holds the title of Distinguished University Professor. She is a member of the OSU Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research as well as Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology. Working in the area of psychoneuroimmunology, she has authored  more than 200 articles, chapters, and books, most in collaboration with Dr. Ronald Glaser.  Their studies have demonstrated important health consequences of stress, including slower wound healing and impaired vaccine responses; they have also shown that chronic stress substantially accelerates age-related changes in inflammation which is linked to some cancers, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and frailty and function decline.  In addition, their programmatic work has focused on how personal relationships influence immune and endocrine function, and health.

Most notable among her honors is her membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  In addition, she is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the American Psychological Association; she received an Award for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association's Division of Health Psychology, as well as the Developmental Health Psychology Award from the Divisions of Health Psychology and Adult Development and Aging. She is the past President of the Division of Health Psychology. The Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society gave her the Norman Cousins Award in 1998.  She is listed in the Institute for Scientific Information ISIHighlyCited.com (among the world's most highly cited authors, a group comprising less than one half of one percent of all publishing researchers). She is currently a member of the NIH MESH study section and she has served on the editorial boards of 10 professional journals including the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Health Psychology.  Her research has been supported by a series of grants from the National Institutes of Health, including a MERIT award, as well as a Research Career Development Award, and she is currently a PI on NIH grants from the NCI  and NIA.  In 2008, she received The Ohio State University's highest honor for scholars, appointment as a Distinguished University Professor, a title awarded to only ~50 faculty members since 1985. She has published two mystery novels, Detecting Lies and Unconscious Truths.

Although cancer survivors are the primary focus of her current research, her ongoing studies also reflect her interests in older adults, marriage, and the interactive influences of stress and dietary intake on immune function. Her current projects are addressing questions such as the longer-term mental and physical health of breast cancer survivors, the ability of mind-body interventions such as yoga to modulate endocrine and immune responses, and the role that proinflammatory cytokines play in combination with depression among cancer survivors who experience debilitating fatigue.

Another segment of her current research focuses on the intersection of nutritional neuroscience with psychoneuroimmunology. Drawing on behavioral, nutritional, immunological, and cardiovascular research, two projects address the ways that stress, depression, and obesity interact to enhance responses to fast-food type meals (i.e., meals high in saturated fat) substantially boosting postprandial inflammation and fueling chronic inflammatory and atherogenic responses. One of these studies involves breast cancer survivors and the second involves healthy married couples; for the marriage study, she is also interested in how the couples’ responses to a marital problem discussion may interact with their responses to the meals.

Michael Di Gregorio, M.S., CCRP
Michael has been with the lab since December, 2000. He is a senior clinical research coordinator 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 qi gong, Chinese medicine, yoga and is a licensed massage therapist. Outside the lab, Michael enjoys drumming, yoga, soccer and live music.

Stephanie Wilson, Ph.D.
Stephanie is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab.  She completed her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies with emphases on lifespan development, health, and quantitative methods.  Stephanie aims to better understand the mechanisms by which social interactions, particularly in close relationships, shape health and well-being along micro- and macro-longitudinal time scales.  An NSF-sponsored traineeship in Big Data Social Science helped to supplement her skill set to address these questions.  Beyond the lab, Stephanie particularly enjoys life hacking, music, needlework, and all things classics.

Shelby Bridgett, B.S.
Shelby is clinical research assistant in the lab. She graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a minor in Nutrition. As an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, Senior Fitness Specialist, and Exercise is Medicine Credential she is interested how physical activity, nutrition, and other lifestyle factors influence overall health and wellness. Outside the lab, she enjoys hiking with her dog, yoga, reading, and cooking.

Sam Donermeyer, B.S.
Sam is a clinical research assistant and scheduling coordinator in the lab. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the Ohio State University in 2016. She is interested in exploring how different lifestyle and psychological factors can affect biological processes and influence health outcomes. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending her free time reading, playing the piano, writing music, and running.

Angelina Caradonna, B.S.
Angelina is a clinical research assistant in the lab. She recently graduated from Miami University in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health, a major in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a minor in Italian. She is interested in the role of health and wellness in the mind-body connection, specifically how nutrition impacts those of all ages, ranging from everyday life to serious diseases. She is also an avid proponent of the Slow Food Movement and in her free time she enjoys cooking, writing, reading, spending time outdoors, knitting, and traveling.

Heather Derry, M.A.
Heather is a graduate student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at OSU. She joined the Stress & Health Lab after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2010. Her research interests include investigating the links among relationships, cognition, inflammation and health in both healthy adults and women with breast cancer.  Heather also enjoys teaching, running, and exploring Columbus.

Spenser Hughes, M.S.
Spenser is a graduate student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at OSU. He joined the Stress and Health Lab after receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010. His research interests include exploring the associations among diet, exercise, relationships, psychological distress, and immune function in both cancer survivors and people without a cancer history.

Jennifer Kuo, B.A.
Jennifer is clinical health psychology graduate student at the Ohio State University. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2013. Then she spent a year working at Duke University under Dr. Rhonda Merwin on a study involving Type 1 Diabetes and eating disordered behavior, and Dr. Nancy Zucker on an intervention study for children with functional abdominal pain. Her research interests are in psychoneuroimmunology, nutrition, chronic disease, and obesity. Outside of lab, Jennifer enjoys baking, swimming, traveling, and yoga.

Avelina Padin, B.S.
Avelina is a current graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at OSU working towards a Ph.D. She received her Bachelor of Science from Xavier University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. Avelina is interested in the impact of obesity and physical exercise on chronic disease progression. In her free time she enjoys yoga, running, live music, and reading.