Aaron Heller, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor
Dr. Heller’s research combines neuroimaging, biomarkers (i.e., inflammation) and mobile technology (mHealth). Using these methods, his work to characterize associations between the brain circuits underlying emotion regulation and how individual differences in these brain circuits relate to real-world functioning. As a result, his central interests are to better characterize psychological health and resilience to improve interventions designed to attenuate depression and enhance resilience. Recently, he has begun to work with Mike Antoni in the Psychology department (CANCER CONTROL PROGRAM) to study how resilience emerges in patients diagnosed with breast cancer. They plan to collaborate with Dr. Bonnie Blomberg to conduct this work. In particular, this nascent work will utilize mobile technology to objectively and unobtrusively index breast cancer patient’s behavioral, social, and emotional responses (mHealth) to cancer diagnosis and treatment as they play out in the real world using a combination of GPS, self-report and text messaging data. These mHealth measures will directly examine whether in-vivo behavior during cancer treatment is one pathway by which pre-existing traits predict better outcomes psychological and biological outcomes. Using mHealth to identify the profile of resilience can then inform intervention and follow-up decisions to facilitate the patient’s psychosocial well-being and physical health during and after cancer treatment.