Slavich wins Theodore H. Blau Early Career Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology

Dr. George M. Slavich, Ph.D., has been awarded the 2012 Theodore H. Blau Early Career Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology. The award is given jointly by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Foundation, and the Society of Clinical Psychology, and honors outstanding contributions to clinical psychology by an early career psychologist. Accomplishments may include promoting the practice of clinical psychology through professional service; innovation in service delivery; novel application of applied research methodologies to professional practice; positive impact on health delivery systems; development of creative educational programs for practice; or other novel or creative activities advancing the service of the profession. Dr. Slavich received the award for his outstanding early career achievements in advancing the science, practice, and profession of clinical psychology.

Dr. Slavich is an assistant professor and Society in Science: Branco Weiss Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He is also a Research Scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, where he directs the Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research.

More information about the Theodore H. Blau Early Career Award is available on the official website for the American Psychological Association.

LINKS
Slavich Citation for Theodore H. Blau Early Career Award

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Slavich wins WPA Early Career Research Award

George SlavichDr. George M. Slavich, Ph.D., has been awarded the 2012 Early Career Research Award from the Western Psychological Association. The Western Psychological Association is the largest regional psychological association in the United States, and the award recognizes outstanding scientific contributions by a member who received his or her PhD in the past 10 years. Dr. Slavich received the award for his work on linking social stress, inflammation, and depression.

Dr. Slavich is an assistant professor and Society in Science: Branco Weiss Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He is also a Research Scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, where he directs the Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research.

More information about the Western Psychological Association Early Career Research Award is available at the official website for the Western Psychological Association.

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Study Finds Early Adversity, Prior Depression Sensitize People to Stress

A recent study has found that individuals who have lost a parent or have been separated from a parent for at least one year before the age of 18 and individuals who have prior episodes of depression are especially sensitive to the depressogenic effects of stress.

To examine the issue, Dr. George Slavich, along with collaborators Drs. Scott Monroe (University of Notre Dame) and Ian Gotlib (Stanford University), recruited 100 individuals with depression, and interviewed them extensively to determine what types of adversity they were exposed to when they were young, how many episodes of depression they had experienced and what types of life stress they had encountered recently. Consistent with prior research, results revealed that individuals with a history of parental loss or separation, and persons with more lifetime episodes of depression, became depressed more easily (i.e., following lower levels of stress) than their less vulnerable counterparts.

Additional analyses revealed for the first time that these effects may be unique to interpersonal loss.

The study appeared in a recent edition of the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

The study was funded by a Society in Science: Branco Weiss Fellowship and by the National Institutes of Health.

LINKS
Early Parental Loss and Depression History: Associations with Recent Life Stress in Major Depressive Disorder

UCLA News Release

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Slavich wins Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award

Dr. George M. Slavich, Ph.D., has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. The Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research is the premier organization for health psychologists and behavioral medicine researchers, and the award recognizes outstanding early career research on “the interaction between behavior and biological mechanisms in homeostasis, the maintenance of health, the pathophysiology of disease, and susceptibility to illness.” Neal E. Miller, for whom the award is named, pioneered the application of learning theory to behavioral therapies, and the use of chemical and electrical stimulation to analyze the brain’s mechanisms of behavior, homeostasis, and reinforcement. He was the first psychologist to receive the United States National Medal of Science.

Dr. Slavich is an assistant professor and Society in Science: Branco Weiss Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He is also a Research Scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, where he directs the Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research.

More information about Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award is available at the official website for the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.

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Slavich wins Enrico E. Jones Early Career Award

George SlavichDr. George M. Slavich, Ph.D., has been awarded the 2011 Enrico E. Jones Early Career Award for Research in Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology. The award honors the late Professor Enrico E. Jones of the University of California, Berkeley, and recognizes outstanding scientific contributions by a clinical psychologist who received his or her PhD in the past 10 years. Dr. Slavich received the award for his research demonstrating how social stress influences inflammation to affect psychological and physical health.

Dr. Slavich is an assistant professor and Society in Science – Branco Weiss Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He is also a Research Scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, where he directs the Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research.

More information about the Enrico E. Jones Early Career Award for Research in Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology is available at the official website for the Western Psychological Association.

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Study Identifies Neural Bases of Inflammatory Responses to Social Stress

A recent study has identified the neural pathways involved in inflammatory responding to acute social stress. Dr. George Slavich and colleagues recruited 124 young healthy adults, and had them to give an impromptu speech and perform difficult mental arithmetic in front of a socially rejecting panel of raters. A subset of these participants subsequently had their brains scanned (using fMRI) while they played a computerized ball-tossing game in which they were eventually excluded.

Dr. Slavich and colleagues found that participants who exhibited greater neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and the anterior insula while being rejected during the ball-tossing game showed greater inflammatory responses to the laboratory-based social stress task.

These findings have important implications for understanding susceptibility to disease and are the first to elucidate the neurocognitive processes that underlie inflammatory responses to acute social stress.

The study appeared in a recent edition of the leading scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

Other UCLA authors on the study were Balwin M. Way, Naomi I. Eisenberger, and Shelley E. Taylor. The study was funded by a Society in Science – Branco Weiss Fellowship and by the National Institutes of Health.

LINKS
Neural Sensitivity to Social Rejection is Associated with Inflammatory Responses to Social Stress

UCLA News Release

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