Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD

Vasiliki Michopolous 2018_1_0.pngAssistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine

Affiliate Research Scientist, Yerkes National Primate Research Center

Dr. Michopoulos’ translational research is focused on understanding how adverse social experience, including chronic stress and trauma exposure, results in a number of adverse mental outcomes and co-morbid physical health diseases and conditions.  She is particularly interested in understanding why females are more at risk for these stress-induced conditions than males.  Dr. Michopoulos’ work across the domains of training, mentoring, research, and outreach, strives to highlight the importance of understanding 1) the impact of sex and gender on anxiety and depression, and 2) the influence of anxiety and depression on physical health outcomes.

Dr. Michopoulos has been an ADAA member since 2014.

Why am I an ADAA member?     

I started coming to the annual ADAA meeting in 2013 as a postdoc – I was impressed with the interdisciplinary nature of the attendees and the high caliber of basic, translational, and clinical research being presented.  The camaraderie and passion of the conference goers was clearly evident and made a huge impression on me.  I have been back every year since.

What do I value about the ADAA mission and how does my work fit into the ADAA mission? 

ADAA strives to improve the quality of life for those suffering from psychopathology by providing critical information and resources to the public and by bringing together the leading professionals and researchers in the field.  ADAA promotes both professional and public awareness of these disorders, and is at the forefront of promoting evidence-based interventions and vital research for these conditions.  My work fits directly within ADAA’s mission, as our research strives to understand the mechanisms by which adverse social environments impact the body, brain and behavior. My work will inform treatment targets for novel interventions and prevention tools that can decrease the impact of these conditions on one’s overall quality of life.

What is the thing that I think is most exciting/interesting about what is currently happening in my lab or workplace?

I’m very excited about our recent work that highlights the role of systemic inflammation in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder.  My translational research is now focused on understanding how inflammation arising from environmental factors, such as stressor exposure and diet, can impact the brain to influence emotional and motivated behavior.