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Wake Lecture 2022 with Dr. O'Connor

James Wake Memorial Lecture 2022 | Grief and Grieving Through a Multi-Disciplinary Lens


Presenter: Dr. Mary-Frances O'Connor, associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona

Join us as we hear from Dr. Mary-Frances O’Connor on her lecture, “Grief and Grieving Through a Multi-Disciplinary Lens.” O’Connor directs the Grief, Loss and Social Stress (GLASS) Laboratory at the University of Arizona, and is the author of the recently published book, The Grieving Brain.

In her presentation, Dr. O’Connor will share how she is using an integrative view of psychology, neuroscience, and immunology to curate findings that are profoundly impacting the multi-disciplinary field of bereavement research and shaping its development. Her talk will culminate in addressing personal and clinical considerations that participants can integrate into their own circumstances and roles.

More about this session

Mary-Frances O’Connor, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, where she directs the Grief, Loss and Social Stress (GLASS) Laboratory, which investigates the effects of grief on the brain and the body. O’Connor conducted the first fMRI study of grief in 2003, and her research program centers around the cognitive, affective, neurobiological, immune, and autonomic responses to bereavement. Her work contributed to the inclusion of prolonged grief disorder in the ICD-11 and DSM-5-TR, a disorder characterized by lack of adaptation after the death of a loved one. Her functional neuroimaging studies have included a novel idiographic grief-elicitation task, cognitive tasks, resting state, and the overlap of brain activation with peripheral proinflammatory cytokines. O’Connor earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona in 2004 and completed a fellowship at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. Following a faculty appointment at UCLA, she returned to the University of Arizona in 2012. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and Biological Psychiatry, and featured in The Guardian, the New York Times, and The Washington Post. 


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