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    SYR 2014
    is presented by
    The International
    Association of
    Yoga Therapists

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SYR 2014




Gurjeet Birdee, MD, MPH

Gurjeet Birdee, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of Research at the Vanderbilt Center. Dr. Birdee’s research focuses on the therapeutic application of mind-body practices for chronic disease. He has been awarded a  K23 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Dr. Birdee received his medical degree at the University of Rochester and completed an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. He completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at Osher Research Center Harvard Medical School and Master of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Birdee completed a 500 hour yoga teacher training program with Krishnamacarya Healing and Yoga Foundation in Chennai, India, and Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Birdee practices Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and yoga therapy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Presenter's Sessions


James Carson, PhD

James Carson, PhD, is a clinical health psychologist and Associate Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology, and Psychiatry, at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. Prior to becoming a psychologist Jim was a monk (swami) in the yoga tradition and taught meditation world-wide for many years. He has conducted ground-breaking research adapting mindfulness meditation and yoga-based approaches to various medical conditions. Currently he is co-investigator on a Yoga of Awareness for metastatic cancer trial funded by the National Institutes of Health. He has also worked extensively with individuals with persistent pain to help them lead more fulfilling lives, including those with cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, multiple sclerosis, and sickle cell disease. Building on 40+ years of study and practice in the yoga tradition, Jim skillfully integrates his depth of yogic knowledge with extensive clinical experience. Presenter's Sessions


Lisa Conboy, MA, MS, ScD

Lisa Conboy, MA, MS, ScD, is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School\'s Osher Research Center and Co-Director of Research and Dean of Biomedicine, The New England School of Acupuncture. She is a social epidemiologist and a sociologist with an interest in the associations between social factors and health. She is published in the areas of Women\'s Health, Mind-Body Medicine, and qualitative research methodology. Dr. Conboy is co-investigator on three NIH funded grants at the Osher Research center. She is also the research director and part-time faculty at the New England School of Acupuncture where she teaches research methodology. She is also a founding member the Kripalu research collaborative which examines the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and other holistic and mind-body therapies. Presenter's Sessions


Nicole Culos-Reed, PhD

Nicole Culos-Reed, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Health and Exercise Psychology in the Faculty of Kinesiology, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Culos-Reed also holds a Research Associate appointment with the Department of Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

Dr. Culos-Reed is an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Population Health Investigator. Her work is on Physical Activity for Cancer Survivors, and focuses on utilizing a multidisciplinary perspective to understand and improve the quality of life of cancer patients and survivors. Specifically, the goal of this research is to develop physical activity programs that positively impact the myriad of physical and psychological factors that cancer survivors experience, ultimately enhancing their quality of life. Presenter's Sessions


Suzanne Danhauer, PhD

Suzanne Danhauer, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Science & Health Policy in the Division of Public Health Sciences, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Hematology and Oncology in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is a clinical health psychologist whose work has investigated potential benefits of integrative medicine modalities (with an emphasis on symptom management) for cancer patients and post-treatment survivors. She has published two pilot studies of yoga for women with cancer. In 2008, she received a Research Scholar Award (a mentored research award) through the Translational Science Institute in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine for her project entitled “Yoga during Breast Cancer Treatment: Establishing Community-Based Partnerships” in which she is currently implementing a gentle yoga intervention for women with breast cancer in community cancer centers through the Research Base of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University. In addition to her experience conducting studies of yoga for women with cancer, Dr. Danhauer is a co-investigator on a current study funded by NCCAM examining Integral Yoga for hot flashes in peri- and post-menopausal women. Presenter's Sessions


Tiffany Field, PhD

Tiffany Field, PhD, is director of the Touch Research Institutes in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She has had a Research Scientist Award from the NIH for her research career. She is the author of Infancy, The Amazing Infant, Touch, Advances in Touch, Touch Therapy, Massage Therapy Research, Complementary and Alternative Therapies, and Yoga Research , the editor of a series of volumes on High-Risk Infants, and on Stress & Coping, and the author of over 450 journal papers. Presenter's Sessions


Erik Groessl, PhD

Erik Groessl, PhD, received his Clinical Psychology PhD in 1999 from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program with a specialization in behavioral medicine/ health psychology. He is an Associate Professor at the University of California San Diego, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and a researcher at the VA San Diego Medical Center. He is also the Center Director of the UCSD Health Services Research Center. He is PI on several projects at the VA San Diego UCSD that focus on yoga interventions and broader integrative medicine, including a 4-year RCT studying yoga for chronic low back pain among VA patients. He also continues to do research in the areas of Hepatitis C, health services research, outcomes assessment and quality of life, and cost-effectiveness. Presenter's Sessions


Frederick (Rick) Hecht, MD

Frederick (Rick) Hecht, MD, is Director of Research at the UCSF Osher Center, and Professor of Medicine at UCSF. He is trained in internal medicine and clinical epidemiology.  His initial research focused on HIV, including developing the Options Project, one of the largest and most productive cohort studies of early HIV infection in the world. At the UCSF Osher Center, Dr. Hecht has built a research program that focuses on mind-body interventions, particularly meditation and yoga, using a psychoneuroimmunology approach to studying the effects of these practices on the endocrine, metabolic, and immune systems.  He leads a UCSF Center for Excellence in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine grant from the NIH on “The Metabolic and Immunologic Effects of Meditation.” Dr. Hecht has practiced yoga and meditation for more than 30 years, which helped form his interest in rigorous research on the biological effects of these practices. Presenter's Sessions


Partap S. Khalsa, DC, PhD, DABCO

Partap S. Khalsa, DC, PhD, DABCO, is a Program Director at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) overseeing a portfolio of grants on CAM treatments, serving on trans-NIH committees related to pain and CAM, and is the NCCAM representative to the American Pain Society’s CAM Taskforce. He is a board-certified chiropractor, has MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering/Sciences, and held a tenured, Associate Professor position at SUNY – Stony Brook. He has published numerous primary research articles on spine biomechanics, the neurophysiology of pain, and clinical trials of CAM interventions for musculoskeletal disorders. Presenter's Sessions


Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD

Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD, Sat Bir has practiced a yoga lifestyle for over 35 years. He is the Director of Research for the Kundalini Research Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women\'s Hospital in Boston. His central research funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of NIH is targeted at examining the efficacy of yoga for the treatment of chronic insomnia and the mechanisms underlying its effectiveness. He is also involved in research initiatives on yoga\'s effectiveness in drug dependency, at-risk youth, professional musicians, music students, cancer and cardiovascular disease among others. He has established relationships with fellow yoga researchers in the U.S. and Europe and in India where he routinely attends international yoga research conferences. Dr. Khalsa also teaches an elective course at Harvard Medical School in Mind Body Medicine. Presenter's Sessions


Dhanunjaya (DJ) Lakkireddy MD, FACC, FHRS

Dhanunjaya (DJ) Lakkireddy MD, FACC, FHRS, is Professor of Medicine, with the Division of Cardiovascualr Medicine at the University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center. He is an internationally reknowned cardiac electrophysiologist whose seminal contributions have helped several key advances in the field. He has been the primary investigator for numerous investigator initiated studies and industry sponsored trials that have expanded the scope of clinical practice in electrophysiology. Notably, he was the lead investigator of the ‘YOGA MY HEART’ study, which was internationally recognized for its innovation in exploring alternative medical strategies as a supplement to standard medical therapy.  He received the Prevention Award for the year 2011 for his contributions to cardiovascular health by the Prevention magazine. On the clinical front he is at the cutting edge of technology. He has the credit of bringing several new tools and techniques to the greater midwest. He has done pioneering work in the fields of atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, remote magnetic navigation, fluroless navigation. He has been involved in exciting frontier work in the field of left atrial appendage exclusion. Presenter's Sessions


Helene Langevin, MD

Helene Langevin, MD, received an MD degree from McGill University in 1978. She did a post doctoral research fellowship in Neurochemistry at the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit in Cambridge, England, residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a Visiting Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women\'s Hospital. She is also a part-time Professor of Neurology, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She is the Principal Investigator of two NIH-funded studies investigating the role of connective tissue in low back pain and the mechanisms of manual and movement based therapies. Her previous studies in humans and animal models have shown that mechanical tissue stimulation during both tissue stretch and acupuncture causes dynamic cellular responses in connective tissue. Dr. Helene Langevin was appointed as Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women\'s Hospital in November 2012. Through translational research, the Osher Center aims to test and implement integrated patient care, positioning itself as a thought leader in forging medical connections at the physiological, clinical, and community levels. In order to fulfill this mission, the Osher Center’s strategic vision is to build a “center without walls.” This consists of a network of integrative medicine research, education and patient care throughout HMS, with ties to the Osher Centers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Presenter's Sessions


Karen Mustian, PhD, MPH

Karen Mustian, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology Behavioral Medicine Unit of the James P Wilmot Cancer Center and the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Her research is focused on the field of exercise and cancer control. She is currently the primary investigator on several clinical trials and is a member of several organizations. Dr Mustian has authored numerous papers and has been recognized for her excellence in research with awards from oncological societies. Presenter's Sessions


Edi Pasalis, MBA, MTS

Edi Pasalis, MBA, MTS, Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living, champions the use of yoga throughout society, particularly in the education and health-care sectors. She brings more than two decades of corporate and entrepreneurial experience and a deep study of yoga to this work. Edi’s academic background includes an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School, where she explored the impact of yoga on spiritual life. Edi is also a 500-Hour certified Kripalu Yoga teacher. Presenter's Sessions


Dilip Sarkar, MD, FACS, D. Ayur

Dilip Sarkar, MD, FACS, D. Ayur is a retired vascular surgeon and Fellow of the American Association of Integrative Medicine. A certified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Dr. Sarkar teaches classes in yoga therapy, Ayurvedic wellness, and integrative medicine, combining forty-five years of experience in conventional medicine with knowledge of Ayurveda and yoga. He retired as Associate Professor of Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School as well as Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Portsmouth General Hospital in Portsmouth, VA. Dr. Sarkar currently serves on several healthcare boards, including the American Heart Association (AHA). President of the AHA’s Board of Directors for the Hampton Roads region, Dr. Sarkar also chairs its Mission Committee and the “My Life Check” program. He is a life member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and serves as a member of its Yoga Standards Subcommittee. Dr. Sarkar also serves as Board Chairman for the Life in Yoga Institute and Chairman of the School of Integrative Medicine at Taksha University in Hampton, VA. Presenter's Sessions


Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR

Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR, is an Associate Professor in the Colorado State University Department of Occupational Therapy. Clinically, she is an occupational therapist with nearly 20 years of experience. She is a rehabilitation scientist specializing in balance and falls efficacy programming for older adults, people with stroke, and other neurological conditions. She has been funded by the VA to examine the effects of yoga in people with chronic stroke and traumatic brain injury as well as adding yoga to ongoing rehabilitation therapy. Most recently she has been awarded a grant from the American Occupational Therapy Associated to merge yoga and occupational therapy to reduce falls in adults with chronic stroke. She is the Co-Director of the Integrative Rehabilitation Lab. Presenter's Sessions


Dr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck, CTRS, FDRT

Dr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck, CTRS, FDRT, is a rehabilitation scientist and recreational therapist. At Clemson University, Dr. Van Puymbroeck serves as the coordinator of the recreational therapy program and an associate professor. Dr. Van Puymbroeck\’s research focuses primarily on the use of Hatha yoga as a therapeutic intervention, and has been applied to individuals with stroke, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, and informal caregivers. She is particularly interested in the functional skills that are increased via yoga, as well as increases in engagement that occur as a result of yoga participation. Along with her co-investigators, Dr. Van Puymbroeck’s research has been funded by the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Clinical and Transitional Sciences Institute, as well as a number of local agencies and institutes. Dr. Van Puymbroeck is currently the President of the National Academy of Recreational Therapists. Presenter's Sessions