Antonia V. Seligowski, PhD

Physician Investigator (NonCl)
Psychiatry, Mass General Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
PhD in Clinical Psychology, Northern Illinois University 2017

Dr. Seligowski's Neurocardiac Effects of Stress & Trauma (NEST) Laboratory is housed within the MGH Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center (CIRC). The NEST Lab seeks to understand alterations in the brain-heart connection that arise from stressful or traumatic experiences. PTSD is widely known to be associated with heightened risk for cardiovascular disease and dysfunction, yet the mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unclear. With collaborators in CIRC, the NEST Lab uses techniques in imaging (e.g., FDG-PET) and psychophysiology (e.g., heart rate variability) to probe these mechanisms. Another goal of Dr. Seligowski’s research is to understand sex and gender differences in PTSD and cardiovascular disease. Women are more than two times as likely as men to receive a diagnosis of PTSD, and cardiovascular disease is known to have sex and gender effects. Estradiol has been shown to be a protective factor in both PTSD and cardiovascular disease, pointing to the significance of gonadal hormones in understanding sex and gender differences in these disorders. Thus, Dr. Seligowski’s research also seeks to characterize the different pathways by which men versus women with PTSD experience cardiovascular risk.