Research Interests

For some people, losing a loved one feels like a physical blow. In some ways, it is: the bereaved may experience disruptions in their body – cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and neural systems may all be affected.  I investigate a form of bereavement called Complicated Grief, a clinical condition in which people do not adjust to the acute feelings of grief, and show increases in yearning, avoidance and emotional numbness. To tease out the mechanisms that cause such an ongoing and severe reaction to loss, I use a number of techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), inflammation and cortisol assays, genotyping and psychophysiology.