Dr. Lisa Christian

Associate Professor, jointly w/Psychiatry & Behavioral Health; Clinical area
Affiliated Faculty

Lisa Christian is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health and the Director of the Stress and Health in Pregnancy Research Program at the Ohio State University Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. See https://stressandpregnancy.osumc.edu for an overview of her research program and copies of her publications. Her studies focus on immune and neuroendocrine pathways linking maternal factors, particularly sleep, stress, race, and obesity, with adverse outcomes including preterm birth, poor responses to vaccines, risk for perinatal depression, propensity toward obesity, and effects on fetal/infant development. Her research has been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute for Nursing Research, the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and uBiome, among others. Across studies, Dr. Christian’s lab has recruited >800 women, 46% African American, 68% socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 82% in longitudinal protocols. In 2016, Dr. Christian was awarded the Robert Ader New Investigator Award from the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS) as well as the Neal Miller Young Investigator Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.

Selected Publications

Gillespie, S.L., Mitchell, A.M., Kowalsky, J.M., Christian, L.M. (2018). Maternal parity and perinatal cortisol adaptation: The role of pregnancy-specific distress and implications for postpartum mood. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 97, 86-93.

Christian, L.M., Kowalsky, J.M., Mitchell, A.M., & Porter, K. (2018). Associations of postpartum sleep, stress, and depressive symptoms with LPS-stimulated cytokine production among African American and White women. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 316, 98-106.

Mitchell, A.M., Kowalsky, J.M, Epel, E.S., Lin, J., Christian, L.M. (2018). Childhood adversity, social support, and telomere length among perinatal women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 87, 43-52.

Christian, L.M., Mitchell, A.M., Gillespie, S.L., Palettas, M. (2016). Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) across pregnancy and postpartum: Associations with race, depressive symptoms, and low birth weight. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 74, 69-76.

Gillespie, S., Porter, K., Christian, L.M. (2016). Adaptation of the inflammatory immune response across pregnancy and postpartum in Black and White women. Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 114. 27-31.

Christian, L.M., Porter, K., Karlsson, E., Schultz-Cherry, S. (2015). Proinflammatory cytokine responses correspond with subjective side effects after influenza virus vaccination. Vaccine, 33, 3360-3366.

Christian, L.M., Galley, J.D., Hade, E.M., Schoppe-Sullivan, S., Kamp-Dush, C., Bailey, M.T. (2015).  Gut microbiome composition is associated with temperament during early childhood.  Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 45, 118-127.

Christian, L.M.  (2015) Stress and immune function during pregnancy:  An emerging focus in mind-body medicine. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 3-9. 

Christian, L.M., & Porter, K.P. (2014) Longitudinal changes in serum proinflammatory markers across pregnancy and postpartum: Effects of maternal body mass index. Cytokine, 70, 134-140.  

Christian, L.M., Glaser, R. Porter, K., Iams, J.D. (2013). Stress-induced inflammatory responses in women: Effects of race and pregnancy. Psychosomatic Medicine, 75, 658-669.

Christian, L.M., Iams, J.D., Porter, K., & Leblebicioglu, B. (2013). Self-rated health among pregnant women: Associations with objective health status, psychological functioning, and serum inflammatory markers. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 46, 295-309.

  Christian, L.M. (2012). Psychoneuroimmunology in pregnancy: Immune pathways linking stress with maternal health, adverse birth outcomes, and fetal development. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 350-361.

Christian, L.M., Franco, A., Glaser, R., & Iams, J. (2009). Depressive symptoms are associated with elevated serum proinflammatory cytokines among pregnant women. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 23, 750-754.