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The Miriam Hospital receives $11.1m trauma and stress research center

Researchers will focus on the effects that child neglect, sexual abuse, and food insecurity have on mental and physical well-being

An exterior of The Miriam Hospital.
An exterior of The Miriam Hospital.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

PROVIDENCE — Executives at The Miriam Hospital announced Thursday that funding from a $11.1 million federal grant will help create a new research center devoted to how stress and trauma early in life can have lasting impacts on health and wellness.

Researchers will focus on the effects that child neglect, sexual abuse, and food insecurity have on mental and physical well-being.

The grant, which was administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The center will be based out of the Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam. Researchers will be able to collaborate at Lifespan, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Care New England‘s Butler Hospital, which specializes in psychiatric medicine.

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The Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant is for five years and is the first of up to three phases over 15 years. Lifespan Corporation, which owns The Miriam, has previously received COBRE grants for research into antimicrobial resistance, opioids and overdose, childhood and adolescent sleep, skeletal health and repair, cancer research development, and stems cells and aging.

“It is a critical time for research into stress and trauma, and the pathways to resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the global burden of stress, trauma, and adversity and has exaggerated racial, ethnic, and socio-economic inequalities,” said the center’s principal investigator, Dr. Laura R. Stroud, who is also the director of The Miriam’s Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine and a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Brown University’s medical school.

Stroud said the center will support transformative research to understand how stress and trauma impact mental and physical health, and to help develop novel approaches to interventions.

Dr. Timothy R. Babineau, Lifespan’s president and CEO, said this new COBRE center will “enhance” the system’s growing stature as a “global leader of medical research.”

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The Center will also allow The Miriam to recruit a new faculty member and fund pilot projects for new research initiatives with a focus on health disparities.



Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz.