Denise Cooper, Ph.D.


Clinical Psychology 2007

Area of Doctoral Study: Clinical Psychology/Behavioral Medicine
Undergraduate Institution: Regent University
Research Advisor: Shari Waldstein, PhD

Current Position: Psychophysiology Relationship Scientist, Walter Reed Army Institute

Description of Research

I am a part of Dr. Waldstein’s research team studying cardiovascular behavioral medicine. One area of investigation involves the study of individual differences in the magnitude and patterning of acute cardiovascular responses to psychological stressors. In the impedence cardiography laboratory, the team examines a variety of predictors of enhanced cardiovascular reactivity in young, healthy adults, including gender, race, serum insulin levels, lipids, dispositional hostility, cerebral activation, and posture. The research team also is investigating the impact of an exercise intervention program on mental-stress induced, silent myocardial ischemia, and cardiovascular and endothelial reactivity.  Another area of investigation examines the impact of hypertension, cardiovascular risk factors, and cardiovascular disease on neuropsychological functioning. The laboratory also is examining the central nervous system mechanisms linking hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors to neuropsychological dysfunction using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).