Time Magazine Features UK Research

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of Suzanne C. Segerstrom
Suzanne C. Segerstrom

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Among other findings, Segerstrom and Miller found that short-term stresses people face – like speaking in public – tend to boost a person’s immune system while “long-term stresses prevent the immune system from being as effective as it could be,” Segerstrom said.

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Time Magazine article

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2004) -- Research on stress and the immune system conducted by Suzanne C. Segerstrom, University of Kentucky associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Gregory Miller, assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, is featured in the July 19 issue of Time Magazine.

The research involved a meta-analysis of 319 articles on stress and the immune system published since 2001.

Among other findings, Segerstrom and Miller found that short-term stresses people face – like speaking in public – tend to boost a person’s immune system while “long-term stresses prevent the immune system from being as effective as it could be,” Segerstrom said.

Segerstrom, whose master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology are from the University of California, Los Angeles, has taught at UK since 1997. Her research focuses on psychosocial influences on human immunity, particularly the interaction between environmental stressors and personality characteristics.

Segerstrom is interested in the influence of optimism on stress-related changes in the cellular immune system as well as how cognitive processing styles such as worry affect well-being and immunity.

Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Norman Cousins Program in Psychoneuroimmunology, the Dana Foundation, and the Templeton Foundation. She won the 2002 Templeton Positive Psychology Prize for her work on optimism.


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