Mind-Body will be the focus of one of four plenary sessions at SIO’s 2016 international conference in Miami, Florida. This session, “Top-Down or Bottoms-Up? Interventions for Regulating Health Outcomes,” will be held on Monday, November 7. Investigators have long been interested in improving health biomarkers using mind-body therapies. Additionally, we are beginning to recognize the importance of the gut microbiota in health and potential influences of lifestyle factors on the microbiome. In this symposium, panelists will present examples of current research on two mind-body therapies, mindfulness and stress management, as well as current thinking on the role of lifestyle factors on the microbiome in colorectal cancer. Linda Carlson, PhD, RPsych, of the University of Calgary will moderate the session, with panelists Marie Abreau, MD, and Michael Antoni, both of the University of Miami, and David Victorson, PhD, of Northwestern University.


LindaCarlsonDr. Carlson holds the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology at the University of Calgary and is an Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Health Scholar, Full Professor in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology. She is the Director of Research and works as a Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Her research is in Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery and she trained as a Clinical Health Psychologist at McGill University in Montreal, researching the area of psychoneuroendocrinology. Dr. Carlson has published more than 150 research papers and book chapters in the area of psycho-oncology. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, sponsored by a Terry Fox Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society.

AbreuIn her plenary talk, Dr. Abreu will discuss what is known about the microbiome and colon cancer. Dr. Abreu is chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Health System/Miller School of Medicine. Her primary research interest is host-bacterial interactions and, in particular, the role of toll-like receptor signaling in intestinal inflammation. Her translational work has focused on genotype-phenotype relationships in inflammatory bowel disease and prediction of response to medical therapies. She holds undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Miami; received postdoctoral training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts; and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular and cancer biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. A diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Gastroenterology, as well as a fellow of the American College of Physicians, she has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reviews.

AntoniIn his talk, Dr. Antoni will present research demonstrating the effects of group-based cognitive behavioral stress management in reducing adversity and leukocyte pro-inflammatory processes expression during primary breast cancer treatment and effects on long-term clinical health outcomes. Dr. Antoni is Professor and Director of the Center for Psycho-Oncology Research at the University of Miami and Editor of the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Psychology & Health. His research interests in behavioral medicine and health psychology focus on psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), particularly as it applies to certain human cancers and viral infections such as HIV-1. In his work, he focuses on both delineating PNI mechanisms underlying the associations between stressors and stress reduction and immune and endocrine system changes and physical disease course in the context of persons dealing with immune-mediated diseases such as certain cancers, HIV/AIDS, and chronic fatigue syndrome. For the past three decades, he has received funding from the NIH/NCI to conduct multiple randomized clinical trials of a group-based cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention that he developed for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and for men and women treated for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Antoni also directed a National Cancer Institute-funded P50 Center for Psycho-Oncology Research (CPOR), where he conducted bio-behavioral research on the interrelationships between cognition, emotions, biological processes, and physical health. He received a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Miami.

victorsonIn his presentation, Dr. Victorson will present findings on minimally invasive bio-behavioral measurement approaches to characterize the role of stress biomarkers and patient reported outcomes in mindfulness-based interventions with oncology patient samples. Dr. Victorson is the founder and director of the Contemplative Awareness in Life and Medicine (CALM) Research Program at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine, and a health psychologist and Associate Professor of Medical Social Sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine. His research interests include emotion regulation, resilience and mindfulness-based interventions; symptom management support and social connection enhancement using eHealth technologies; and reducing health disparities through community engaged research. He is the founder and director of True North Treks, a mindfulness-focused cancer support nonprofit for young adults with cancer. He received his PhD from the University of Miami in Counseling Psychology.