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Third Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Features Dr. Andrew Miller Discussing the Link Between Inflammation and Depression

The Stress Research Cluster in conjunction with the Center for Research on Families was thrilled to host Dr. Andrew Miller lecture on November 3, 2011. Dr. Andrew Miller, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of Psychiatric Oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute, spoke to a crowded room of students and faculty about cancer therapies and the role of inflammation in patients with depression.

In his lecture, Miller discussed the connections between depression and inflammation.  For example, he reported that patients diagnosed with major depression show increased peripheral blood inflammatory biomarkers (including inflammatory cytokines), and patients who show this pattern tend to be more resistant to standard treatment. He discussed several neural pathways and mechanisms that may account for this link as well as the implications of the findings for the treatment of depression. In particular, he suggested that targeting cytokines and their signaling pathways may reduce depressive symptoms in patients with increased inflammation.

For more information on his lecture you can download his presentation here.

Dr. Miller, who Miller has published over 120 manuscripts in scholarly journals and has edited a book entitled “Depressive Disorders and Immunity”, was invited to campus as part of a dual sponsorship between the Stress Research Cluster and the Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series. 

As part of the Center for Research on Families (CRF), the Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series brings nationally recognized speakers with expertise in family research to campus each year. The speakers provide public lectures, highlighting the importance of research on the family and its implications for public policy, and provide research consultation to CRF Family Research Scholars. The lecture series began in 1999 though an endowment established in memory of Tay Gavin Erickson.

On December 7th at 4pm, the next Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture, titled “Can College Procedures be More Family-Friendly?”, will feature Dr. James Rosenbaum, Professor of Education and Social Policy and Sociology and Faculty Fellow at Northwestern University.