Christian_Lisa_720x720Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Health
Member, The Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research
Medical Student Advocate, Office of Student Life
Courtesy Joint Faculty Appointment, College of Nursing
Courtesy Joint Faculty Appointment, Psychology
Courtesy Joint Faculty Appointment, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Wexner Medical Center
460 Medical Center Drive
Columbus, OH 43210

General Research

Lisa Christian is an associate professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health and a member of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research where she has been a faculty member since 2008. She received her PhD in clinical health psychology from The Ohio State University after completing internship at the University of Florida Health Science Center. Dr. Christian’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). Her clinical work focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders, particularly in women. In addition to these roles, she serves as the Medical Student Advocate within the College of Medicine, helping to advance a positive learning environment. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, vegetarian cooking, reading, and spending time with her two children and two Bernedoodles.

Research Lab

Research Techniques

As part of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, directed by Lisa Christian, PhD, the Stress, Behavioral Immunology, and Health Disparities Lab examines how exposures to chronic stress, mood disorders, anxiety, and sleep disturbance interact in a bi-directional manner with the immune and neuroendocrine system to affect physical and mental health. Our studies use psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research approaches to examine how stress “gets under the skin” among individuals caregiving for a spouse with dementia, people coping with cancer, pregnant women, as well as people exposed to chronic stress or discrimination related to race/ethnicity, sexual minority status, or financial strain. An ultimate goal of these studies is to address health disparities and inform behavioral interventions by identifying key pathways by which stress affects health.

Current Research Projects

Dr. Christian’s projects include, but are not limited to, the studies described below. For more information, please see Dr. Christian’s lab website.

  • The CARE Study: Caregiving for a Spouse with a Memory Disorder - The CARE Study is being conducted to understand how the stresses of caring for a spouse or partner with a memory disorder affects the immune system, as well as risk for depression and anxiety problems. We are recruiting two groups of participants, those spouses who are providing care for a partner with a memory disorder as well as control participants who are not providing care for a partner or other family member. Study participants complete three short visits over the course of two years and are compensated for their time.
  • The National Couples’ Health and Time Use Stress Biology Study: NCHAT-BIO – The National Couple’s Health and Time Study (NCHAT) collects information on daily experiences, stress, and family experiences. The researchers are looking to see how these experiences affect the health of individuals and families. NCHAT-BIO is an extension of NCHAT. In this study, researchers are looking at how these experiences may affect your health through biological markers in your blood.


Dr. Christian has published more than 70 articles and book chapters on the topic of stress and the immune system.

Funding Sources:

  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
  • The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
  • The Ohio State University Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI)
  • The Ohio State University Foods for Health (FFH) Discovery Theme Seed Grant
  • The Ohio Attorney General’s Office Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant
  • The National Network of Depression Centers
  • March of Dimes
  • The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center (FIC)
  • Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity
  • The Ohio State Center for Clinical and Translational Science
  • OSU College of Medicine/Nationwide Children’s Hospital Collaborative Pilot Program

Education and Training

PhD: Clinical Health Psychology, The Ohio State University

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (ABMR), 2019
  • The FAME Committee Member of the Month,2019
  • The 2017 FAME Career Development Award for Researchers,2017
  • Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (ABMR) Neal Miller Young Investigator Award,2016
  • The Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS) Robert Ader New Investigator Award,2016
  • Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (ABMR) Research Fellow, 2011

In the News

Dr. Christian’s research has been featured in the news.