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- Epidemiology & Public Health
- Institute of Epidemiology & Health
- Faculty of Population Health Sciences
Dr. Livia Carvalho is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL. With a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Psychoimmunology, Dr Carvalho’s work focuses on the impact of the stress and the activated immune system on behavior and health. She is currently funded by the British Heart Foundation to examine the mechanisms by which psychological stress exacerbate inflammatory conditions such as cardiovascular disease and increase susceptibility to infection. Other interests’ include: understanding how inflammatory molecules following activation of the peripheral immune system can signal to the brain to alter cognitive function, behavior and mood. The role of genes in determining how people respond to a psychological (or immune) challenge. The relationship between inflammation, glucocorticoid resistance and the effect of antidepressants. Studies are carried out in human volunteers (middle-aged adults from the Whitehall II epidemiological cohort, UCL students, major depression and cardiovascular disease patients) and involve a combination of laboratory-based experiments as well as naturalistic measures. Improved understanding of the pathways linking the central nervous and immune systems is essential for the development of new interventions to prevent and treat inflammatory/infectious disease, as well as the behavioral changes that commonly accompany such diseases. Dr. Carvalho has published several manuscripts in scholarly journals, and a couple of book chapters. She is also the recipient of the NARSAD and the ECNP Young Investigator Awards.