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The Mindfulness Podcast with Dr. David Black

Join Dr. David Black, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Founding Director of the American Mindfulness Research Association, discuss the research and practice of mindfulness meditation with leading experts in the field. He sets out to uncover the clinical utility of mindfulness practice, explore its use among diverse populations, review the novelty of new research methods applied in the field, and expand its investigation across scientific disciplines. 

Existing members sign in or become an AMRA Member to listen. Select episodes become free to the public.

Episode 42: Maternal mindfulness and cardiometabolic health during pregnancy
June 2024

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I'm joined by Karen Lindsay, PhD, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with expertise in maternal and child health, nutrition-stress interactions, and mindful eating. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and of Population Health and Disease Prevention at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), as well as the Early Career Chair for Integrative Health in the UCI Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute. Her research focuses on clinical and community-based studies on nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, particularly the nutrition-stress interplay during pregnancy. She investigates the potential for prenatal mindfulness-based interventions to enhance maternal health behaviors, cardiometabolic health, and clinical pregnancy outcomes, with lifelong implications for offspring health and disease risk.

Materials discussed:

Lindsay, K. L., Guo, Y., & Gyllenhammer, L. E. (2024). Mindfulness and cardiometabolic health during pregnancy: An integrative review. Mindfulness.

Lindsay, K. L., Most, J., Buehler, K., Kebbe, M., Altazan, A. D., & Redman, L. M. (2021). Maternal mindful eating as a target for improving metabolic outcomes in pregnant women with obesity. Frontiers in Bioscience.

Episode 41: Enhancing children's math skills through digital games with mindfulness prompts
May 2024

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I’m joined by Bruce McLaren, PhD, Associate Research Professor at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on leveraging gaming and technology to support education and evaluating the impact of game systems on performance outcomes. He has over 20 years of experience in the commercial sector, applying research ideas to practical problems using Artificial Intelligence techniques. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Director of eCommerce Technologies at OpenWebs Corporation, where he led a team of engineers in developing an intelligent B2B trading product. He also spearheaded numerous expert system projects during his more than 10 years at Carnegie Group, Inc. In his academic role, he has researched and developed educational technology that utilizes AI techniques to assist teachers in moderating collaborative e-Discussions and online arguments. He is the current Secretary and Treasurer and a past President of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society.

Materials discussed:

Bereczki, E. O., Takacs, Z. K., Richey, J. E., Nguyen, H. A., Mogessie, M., & McLaren, B. M. (2024). Mindfulness in a digital math learning game: Insights from two randomized controlled trials. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

Episode 40: The mindful surgeon: the state of research and ethos of the scalpel
Apr 2024

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I'm joined by Carter Lebares, MD, a gastrointestinal surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. She serves as the Director of the UCSF Center for Mindfulness in Surgery. Her research interests encompass resilience and mindfulness in surgery, mindfulness and nutrition in metabolic syndrome and obesity, the neuroendocrine and cognitive effects of stress on learning and performance, and endoscopic surgery for diseases of the esophagus and stomach. Additionally, she has developed the Enhanced Stress Resilience Training curriculum for surgeons. Together, we explore the application of mindfulness in the surgical profession and explore the surgical ethos.

Materials discussed:

Coopersmith, A. S., Shroff, Y. V., Wen, G. A.,... Lebares, C. C. (2024). Mindfulness Based Interventions for Surgeons: A Scoping Review. Annals of Surgery.

Lebares, C. C., Hershberger, A. O., Guvva, E. V., Desai, A., Mitchell, J., Shen, W., ... & Harris, H. W. (2018). Feasibility of formal mindfulness-based stress-resilience training among surgery interns: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Surgery.

Episode 39: Lifestyle interventions to safeguard brain health and reduce dementia risks
Mar 2024

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I am joined by Ryan Mace, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Health Outcomes and Interdisciplinary Research. His research combines mindfulness, lifestyle modifications, and digital health tools to promote brain health and reduce dementia risk factors in diverse aging populations. Supported by an NIA K23 Career Development Award, he is refining and testing a novel group mindfulness-based lifestyle program for older adults with early dementia risk factors (“My Healthy Brain”). His research aims to redefine brain health such that promoting healthy lifestyles and well-being to reduce dementia becomes a priority earlier in the lifespan. 

Materials discussed:

Mace, R. A., Stauder, M. J., Hopkins, S. W., Cohen, J. E., Pietrzykowski, M. O., Philpotts, L. L., ... & Vranceanu, A. M. (2024). Mindfulness-Based Interventions Targeting Modifiable Lifestyle Behaviors Associated With Brain Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Mace, R. My Healthy Brain: a mindfulness-based lifestyle intervention to modify early risk of dementia in older adults. NIA grant 1K23AG075257-01.  

Episode 38: Chief cancer surgeon reviews use of mindfulness in operating room
Feb 2024

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I am joined by Timothy M. Pawlik, MD, PhD, MPH, MTS, MBA, FACS, FSSO, FRACS (Hon.), who serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the Urban Meyer III and Shelley Meyer Chair for Cancer Research. He also holds the position of Surgeon in Chief at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Additionally, Maryanna Klatt, PhD, from Ohio State and Director of their Integrative Medicine program, joins me for a second time (see episode 20). We engage in an excellent discussion concerning their review of mindfulness trainings for patients before, during, and after surgery. Moreover, we explore the potential promise of mindfulness training for surgeons in the operating room to enhance awareness in the present moment, possibly leading to improved precision in care and better patient outcomes.

Materials discussed:

Palmer Kelly, E., McGee, J., Klatt, M., Beckers, G., & Pawlik, T. M. (2024). The Use of Brief Mindfulness Interventions in the Context of Perioperative Care. The American Surgeon.

Lam, C. N., Silke, O., Itamura, J., Salem, G., & Black, D. S. (2020). Mindfulness training by telephone before and after orthopedic surgery: a feasibility study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Episode 37: Adherence to the DASH hypertensive diet
Jan 2024

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I am joined by Eric Loucks, PhD, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Mindfulness Center at Brown University. His research focuses on human aging and health, with an emphasis on adapting and testing the efficacy of mindfulness programs. He wrote a book called The Mindful College Student, released in 2022. We discuss his recent clinical trial that tests an adapted mindfulness program to support adherence to the DASH diet for hypertension management.

Materials discussed:

Loucks, E. B., Kronish, I. M., Saadeh, F. B., Scarpaci, M. M., Proulx, J. A., Gutman, R., ... & Schuman-Olivier, Z. (2023). Adapted Mindfulness Training for Interoception and Adherence to the DASH Diet: A Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open.

Loucks, E. B., Schuman‐Olivier, Z., Saadeh, F. B., Scarpaci, M. M., Nardi, W. R., Proulx, J. A., ... & Kronish, I. M. (2023). Effect of Adapted Mindfulness Training in Participants With Elevated Office Blood Pressure: The MB‐BP Study: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of the American Heart Association.

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