Chris Fagundes

Areas of Interest: 

Affective Neuroscience, Health Psychology, Lifespan Development, Psychoneuroimmunology

Tertiary prevention for cancer survivors

In the area of tertiary cancer prevention Dr. Fagundes investigates the mechanisms that underlie cancer survivorship disparities, and designs biobehavioral interventions to prevent recurrence and improve quality of life. In particular, his work has studied why cancer survivors who experienced early life stress and/or low SES are disproportionally burdened by post-treatment symptoms and shorter survival. Dr. Fagundes was the first to demonstrate that early life stress contributes to the local immune response of a recurrent basal cell carcinoma tumor. He also demonstrated that breast cancer survivors who experienced early life stress and/or low SES had poorer quality of life (i.e. fatigue, pain, and depressive symptoms) and dysregulated immune function after primary treatment. By detecting who is most vulnerable to poor post-treatment quality of life and recurrence, and identifying the biological mechanisms underlying these outcomes, he is able to create tailored tertiary prevention interventions that reduce cancer disparities.

Responses to Loss

Loss events such as bereavement are among life’s most stressful experiences.  Those who experienced profound early life stress and/or have had troubled personal relationships are at enhanced risk for poor post-loss adjustment. Dr. Fagundes investigates who is most vulnerable to poor loss adjustment; he also develops and evaluates theoretically-based biobehavioral interventions in order to improve post-loss well-being. Currently, Dr. Fagundes has an NIH-funded R01 looking at how relationship insecurity (or attachment insecurity) in the context of losing a spouse impacts inflammation, which is a key biological mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis, arthritis, frailty, fatigue, and functional decline.

Research Interest Group(s): 
Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

B.A. in Psychology, University of Califorina, Davis, 2005
M.S. in Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 2008
Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 2010
Chris Fagundes
Assistant Professor

773 BioScience Research Collaborative
(713) 348-2184