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Mary W. Meagher, PhD

Professor and Cornerstone Faculty Fellow
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Adverse Life Experiences and Pain Sensitization

Mary W. Meagher is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Texas A&M University. She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Neurobiology. She subsequently completed postdoctoral training in Clinical Psychology at Texas A&M University followed by a clinical internship at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veteran’s Administration Hospital in San Antonio. Her research focuses on the role of stress and emotion in health, with an emphasis on pain and inflammatory conditions. Meagher uses both animal and human laboratory models to examine how stress modulates pain and sensitivity. Her recent human studies investigate the effects of adverse early life events on pain sensitization and the mitigating effects of exposure interventions. Other work examines the effects of persistent pain on motivation and decision-making using EEG to assess changes in prefrontal regulation. Her recent animal work examines how psychosocial stressors alter vulnerability to an animal model of multiple sclerosis, Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus infection. The long-term goal of this research program is to elucidate mechanisms by which early life stress alters susceptibility to later infectious, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Divisions 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience) and 12 (Clinical Psychology) and the recipient of several university awards for research and service. Meagher and her collaborative team have been funded by grants and fellowships from NIH, NSF, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.