Peter J. Gianaros, PhD

Professor, Psychology


210 S. Bouquet St.
Website >


Imaging neuroscience and psychophysiological studies of stress and heart disease.

Research Summary

Dr. Gianaros conducts research on the neurobiology of psychological stress, emotion, health disparities, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. This focus has encompassed studies of (i) how the brain regulates and represents autonomic, immune, and cardiovascular stress responses; (ii) how the brain influences and is influenced by biological and behavioral risk factors for chronic illnesses, including atherosclerotic CVD; and, (iii) links social inequalities to health over the lifespan. Research methods include multimodal brain imaging, as well as psychophysiological, epidemiological, behavioral, and basic laboratory approaches.


Summer Undergraduate Research Program



Gianaros PJ, Jennings JR (2018). Host in the machine: A neurobiological perspective on stress and cardiovascular disease. American Psychologist, 73, 1031-1044.

Hu MX, Penninx BWJH, de Geus EJC, Lamers, Kuan DC-H, Wright AGC, Marsland AL, Muldoon MF, Manuck SB, Gianaros PJ (2018). Associations of immunometabolic risk factors with symptoms of depression and anxiety: the role of cardiac vagal activity. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 73, 493-503.

Kraynak TE, Marsland AL, Wager TD, Gianaros PJ (2018). Functional neuroanatomy of peripheral inflammatory physiology: A meta-analysis of human neuroimaging studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 94, 76-92. Meta-analysis brain maps available on Neurovault,

Lockwood KG, Marsland AL, Matthews KA, Gianaros PJ (2018). Perceived discrimination and cardiovascular health disparities: A multi-system review and health neuroscience perspective. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1428, 170-207. 


Dr. Gianaros currently serves as the overall Program Director of an NIH Program Project Grant (P01 HL040962), Biobehavioral Studies of Cardiovascular Disease. 

This Program Project focuses on the human brain substrates of behavioral and socio-environmental influences on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in midlife, with an emphasis on factors that moderate and mediate brain- to-risk relationships.