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CIE Researcher of Distinction, February 2017

Briana LociceroBriana Locicero

Each month, the Center for Inclusive Education showcases the outstanding research being conducted by one of our talented scholars in our Research Café series. In addition, we recognize this scholar as a Researcher of Distinction and share the details of his/her journey to becoming an accomplished scholar. This month's Researcher of Distinction is Briana Locicero, MD student in the School of Medicine. Briana presented her talk, ‘Internalized HIV Stigma and Mindfulness: Associations With PTSD Symptom Severity in Trauma-Exposed Adults With HIV/AIDS’ on Monday, February 13, 2017.

Briana's Path Into Research

I am a fourth-year medical student and plan to pursue a residency in psychiatry. I am also currently pursuing a master’s degree in Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics. My interests are compassion, resilience, and mindfulness. I am a Turner Fellow in the Center for Inclusive Education.

Briana's Current Research

Describe the work you presented for your Research Café.

Rates of both traumatic event exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder are disproportionately elevated among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). Trauma and related psychopathology significantly affect quality of life and disease management in this patient population. The current study examined associations between internalized HIV stigma, mindfulness skills, and the severity of PTSD symptoms in trauma-exposed PLHA.

Are there any other projects, beyond your Research Café work, that you are currently working on? 

I am currently working on a project through the department of child and adolescent psychiatry which looks at measures of irritability and how a specific measure may correlate with outbursts and medication required while on the inpatient unit. I am also working on a perspective paper looking at abstract qualities of neurology such as creativity and memory.

What was the deciding factor for you to come to Stony Brook for your graduate studies?

I absolutely loved my time as a Stony Brook undergrad and I knew that Stony Brook was where I wanted to stay for my graduate studies! With all the amazing research and the great medical training, I knew this was where I wanted to spend the next four years.

What are your future goals?

I plan to become a child and adolescent psychiatrist who practices psychotherapy and focuses on mindfulness and resilience in research and clinical work.

What do you enjoy most about research?

I love that research allows you to make progress in the areas that you are passionate about. I enjoy being able to develop a question and assess it, and possibly change the existing paradigm or way of practice. The practice and knowledge of science and medicine are constantly changing and I enjoy being able to take part in that change by conducting research.