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Branco Weiss fellow Aoife O'Donovan wins prestigious Award

12.07.2012 20:00

The Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research has awarded Dr. Aoife O’Donovan the Neil E. Miller New Investigator Award 2012. O’Donovan works at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California in San Francisco and at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her programme of research is focused on uncovering the mechanisms by which psychological stress increases risk for diseases of aging such as cardiovascular, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. Her work suggests that enduring and traumatic psychological stress may promote biological aging, and that individuals who anticipate greater levels of threat in daily life may be at increased risk for an accelerated rate of biological aging. O’Donovan is the second Branco Weiss fellow to have won this prestigious award. Last year, the award was given to George Slavich, Branco Weiss fellow since 2008.

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.

Find out more about the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and the Neil E. Miller Award.