The Grady Trauma Project

The Grady Trauma Project (GTP) is a large-scale study of the impacts of stress- and trauma-related risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related behavioral and physical health comorbidities in a high risk, highly trauma exposed urban population of Black Americans in Atlanta, GA, USA.

This interdisciplinary team of investigators is led by Co-Directors Abigail Lott, PhD, ABPP (Director of Treatment Research and Education), Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD (Director of Translational Neuroscience), and Jennifer Stevens, PhD (Director of Human Neuroscience).

The GTP leverages translational techniques, such as neuroimaging, physiology and psychophysiology, to study the underlying biology of adverse health outcomes related to trauma exposure and PTSD.  Over the last 15 years, the GTP has conducted trauma interviews on over 12,000 participants recruited from medical clinic waiting rooms at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA.

Data from GTP indicate high rates of trauma exposure, with >90% reporting at least one trauma, and 46% meeting lifetime diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

Current GTP studies are trying to 1) understand the mechanisms by which women are more at risk than men for PTSD and other stress- and trauma-related adverse health outcomes and co-morbidities (e.g. reproductive dysfunction, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, immune dysfunction, infectious disease, cancer and aging), 2) identify new neurobiological treatment targets following acute trauma exposure, and 3) develop culturally informed evidence-based, accessible interventions for PTSD other stress- and trauma-related adverse health outcomes with the long term goal of reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes in Black communities.

Please look further at our various projects:

PTSD Intervention Studies:

Primary Care-based Mindfulness Intervention for Chronically Traumatized Individuals — PI Abigail Lott, PhD ABPP

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training for High-Risk African American Pregnant Women: Feasibility and Acceptability of Implementation in Prenatal Clinics — PI Abigail Lott, PhD ABPP

Mechanistic Interventions and Neuroscience of Dissocation (MIND) — PI Negar Fani, PhD

TMS for PTSD — PI Sanne Van Rooij, PhD

Women’s Health – Related Studies:

Neuroendocrine risk factors for PTSD in women – PI Jennifer Stevens, PhD

The effects of pregnancy on post traumatic symptoms and fear physiology in traumatized African American women PI Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD MScR

Predicting risk for post-traumatic stress disorder in African American women with breast cancer — PI Jennifer Stevens, PhD

The combined effects of HIV and estrogen insufficiency induced pro-inflammatory state on end-organ health in women aging with HIV infection: A project of the Emory SCOREProject PI Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD MScR

PTSD Studies:

The AURORA Study — PI Jennifer Stevens, PhD

Impact of Trauma Exposure on Critical Periods In Brain Development — PI Jennifer Stevens, PhD