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Invited Lecture by Firdaus Dhabhar, Ph.D.: The Psychology of Good and Bad Stress and How it Relates to Compassion

  • Thursday, April 17, 2014  6:15 PM - 7:45 PM

The Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education presents...

An Invited Lecture by Firdaus Dhabhar, Ph.D.: 
Good Stress, Bad Stress, And Health -- How Compassion May Help You Stay On The Good Side Of The Stress Spectrum


Firdaus Dhabhar is a neuro-immunologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His laboratory investigates the effects of stress on health.  He was the first to show how short-term stress enhances the body's immune defenses to increase protection during a fight-or-flight response. He has proposed that fight-or-flight stress is generally “good” stress and represents one of Mother Nature's fundamental but under-appreciated survival systems. His research aims to harness “good” stress to boost immunity during surgery, vaccination, and cancer. In contrast, his laboratory also investigates how long-term stress, or "bad" stress, and disorders like depression, have harmful effects on brain and body.

Working with colleagues at Stanford’s CCARE, UCSF, and UC Davis, Dr. Dhabhar has become keenly interested in developing practical and sustainable interventions to minimize “bad” stress and maximize “good” stress, in order to promote health and healing. He believes that activities/interventions (e.g., exercise, meditation, compassion, art, music, dance, etc.) can reduce “bad” stress, optimize good stress, and promote prosocial behavior at the individual and societal levels. Among Dr. Dhabhar's honors are the Council of Graduate Schools Distinguished Dissertation Award, the PsychoNeuroImmunology Young Investigator Award, and the Richter Award for Excellence in Psychoneuroendocrinology. In addition to numerous highly-cited scientific publications, Dr. Dhabhar's work has been featured by major media outlets including The New York TimesThe Financial TimesUSA TodayUS News & World ReportScientific AmericanABC News, and others. Dr. Dhabhar loves teaching and working with undergraduate and graduate students in his classroom and laboratory. He also enjoys interacting with diverse audiences and has been invited to make numerous national and international presentations on different facets of his laboratory's research.

Registrants: Be sure to arrive before 5:45 to ensure guaranteed seating. It is recommended you bring a paper or electronic copy of your emailed registration confirmation to the event.

Contact Information
Maaheem Akhtar
Li Ka Shing Center (LKSC), Room 120 (1st Floor)
291 Campus Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
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