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    Last Name

    James F Carmody PhD

    InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    419 Belmont Street
    Worcester MA 01605
      Other Positions
      InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
      DivisionPreventive And Behavioral Medicine



        James Carmody, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

        His interest is in delineating the qualities of attending to experience that are associated with distress and well being. As such, his research is on the psychological and neural mechanisms of mindfulness and mind-body processes more generally, including the evolutionary and biological imperatives that impinge upon these. He is principal investigator on several NIH-funded clinical trials of the clinical effects and mechansims of mindfulness training. Jim is a New Zealander and studied and practiced in Zen, Tibetan, Theravada and Advaita traditions in a number of countries over forty years. He has been a therapist, an instructor in the UMass Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program and Director of Research for the Center for Mindfulness. He teaches mindfulness courses for clinicians with the goal of making the conceptualization of mindfulness straightforward, jargon-free and practically accessible for patients. His work has been featured in national and international media including the New York Times, NPR, and ABC.


        Ph.D. University of Iowa, 1971


        NCCAM R01AT0083931 (Multi-PI Pbert/Carmody)   09/3/2014 - 08/31/2019 Asthma Symptom Management Through Mindfulness Training. The goal of this study is to evaluate the effect of participation in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program compared to an active control on asthma symptom control, and the role of increased perceptual accuracy in intervention-related changes.

        NINR 1 R01NR013910 (Co-I) (Burns, PI) 9/25/13 - 8/24/18. Mechanisms of Psychosocial Pain Treatments. The goal of this study is to evaluate two competing models of mechanisms by comparing four interventions: Behavioral Activation, Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Pain Education. 

        NCCAM 1 R01AT006948-01 (Co-I) (Bock, PI) 7/1/12-6/30/17. Efficacy of Yoga as an Alternative Therapy for Smoking Cessation. This trial tests the efficacy of Yoga as a complementary therapy for smoking cessation. Adult smokers will be provided with smoking cessation counseling and randomly assigned to either Yoga, or a Control group given a Health & Wellness program to control for contact time. Also tests mediators of efficacy and the relationship between maintenance of yoga practice and smoking status.

        U.S. Veterans Administration (Co-I) 10/1/11 - 9/30/13. A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation Therapy for PTSD.The VA has made it a research priority toevalaute new treatments for PTSD, a mental illness prevalent among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. This trial evaluates the efficacy of mindfulness meditation and associated biomarkers.

        NCCAM, (R21) Carmody (Site PI) (S Lazar PI) 7/01/07 – 10/30/10. fMRI Investigation of Mind-Body Stress Reduction An examination of brain function and its relationship to psychological variables in mindfulness-based stress reduction compared to the relaxation response.

        NCCAM (R21 AT002910-01) Carmody (PI) 9/01/05 - 9/31/10. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Hot Flashes. The goal of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and trial the efficacy of mindfulness-based stress reduction in reducing hot flash frequency, severity, bother and quality of life for women experiencing severe hot flashes.

        NINR (R01 NR009257-01A1) Carmody (Site PI) (Bauer-Wu PI) 8/05/05 - 05/31/2010. Mindfulness Meditation in Bone Marrow Transplantation. A study to evaluate the effect of mindfulness meditation on the quality of life and immune parameters of patients going through the bone marrow transplantation process. A two-site trial with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

        NCCAM (R21 AT002938-01A1) Carmody/Pbert (PI) 1/10/06 - 9/31/09. Asthma and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. A randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of participation in mindfulness-based stress reduction compared with a respiratory-health education program on asthma symptoms.

        NCCAM (R21 AT002938) Carmody/Pbert (PI) 6/1/07 – 9/29/09. Immune Function in MBSR for Asthma. Supplemental grant to study an immunoregulatory model of changes in immune function associated with psychological and clinical changes in participants in the mindfulness-based stress reduction for asthma trial.

        Samueli Foundation (Co-I) 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2008. A trial of mindfulness based stress reduction on the Hippocampus in Iraqi Veterans with symptoms of PTSD. To assess the effects of MBSR on prevention of PTSD in returning Iraq war veterans at risk for PTSD, and to assess brain mechanisms, including the hippocampus, memory and cognition, that may mediate this effect.

        U.S. Army (CFMRP DAMD17-02-1-0091) Carmody (PI) 01/02/01 - 12/31/05. A Holistic Quality of Life Intervention for Men with Secondary Prostate Cancer The goal of this RCT is to test the hypothesis that an intervention that integrates dietary change and mindfulness-based stress reduction will significantly increase participants’ QOL through improvements in their social, emotional and physical well-being (including reduced PSA velocity).

        NCCAM (R21 AT01327-01) Reiff-Hekking (PI) 9/30/02 – 5/31/04. Exploring the Effect of Meditation on Hypertension The overall goal of this two-year proposal is to gather preliminary data evaluating the effectiveness of Vipassana Meditation Training on reducing blood pressure in mild hypertensives.

        Media Interviews:

        Public lecture on March 6, 2013, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand:

        National Public Radio Morning Report on the Psychiatry Neuroscience article on increases in gray matter associated with mindfulness training:

        Radio New Zealand Nine to Noon program:

        Australian Broadcasting Corporation nationally broadcast radio program ‘All in the Mind’ on Dr Carmody’s research on the role of meditation in medicine:

        References to, and Articleson Dr Carmody’s mind-body research haveappeared in:

        New York Times (#1 on the most emailed list for 5 days - Jan 29-30 Feb 2), top 10 for 3 more days

        Boston Globe Lifestyle section cover

        WBUR – Anthony Brooks 2/7/11

        Huffington Post

        NIH/NCCAM “In the news”

        UMass Medical School's Newsletter

        Others: ABC Good Morning America, Prevention, Men’s Health, Readers Digest, Boston Herald, ABC World News with Peter Jennings


        selected publications
        List All   |   Timeline
        1. Carmody J. Fish Discovering Water: Meditation as a Process of Recognitio. In The Psychology of Meditation, Michael West (Ed), Oxford Unversity Press. 2016.
        2. Ma Y, Olendzki BC, Wang J, Persuitte GM, Li W, Fang H, Merriam PA, Wedick NM, Ockene IS, Culver AL, Schneider KL, Olendzki GF, Carmody J, Ge T, Zhang Z, Pagoto SL. Single-component versus multicomponent dietary goals for the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Feb 17; 162(4):248-57.
          View in: PubMed
        3. Carmody J. Re-Conceptualizing Mindfulness: The Psychological Principles of Attending in Mindfulness Practice and Their Role in Well-being. In Handbook of Mindfulness: Theory and Research. Brown K, Creswell D and Ryan R (Eds) Guilford. 2015.
        4. SIngleton O, Holzel B, Vangel M, Brach N, Carmody J, Lazar S. Change in brainstem gray matter concentration following a mindfulness-based intervention is correlated with improvement in psychological well-being. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2014.
        5. Bock BC, Rosen R, Fava J, Gaskins R, Jennings EG, Thind H, Carmody J, Dunsiger S, Dunsiger S, Gidron N, Becker B & Marcus BH. Testing the efficacy of Yoga as a Complementary Therapy for Smoking Cessation: Design and Methods of the BreathEasy trial. . Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2014; (In press).
        6. Carmody, James. Eastern and Western Approches to Mindfulness: Similarities, Differences, and Clinical Implications. In Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness. Amanda Le, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, and Ellen J. Langer. (Eds). 2014.
        7. Wang J, Olendzki BC, Wedick NM, Persuitte GM, Culver AL, Li W, Merriam PA, Carmody J, Fang H, Zhang Z, Olendzki GF, Zheng L, Ma Y. Challenges in sodium intake reduction and meal consumption patterns among participants with metabolic syndrome in a dietary trial. Nutr J. 2013 Dec 18; 12:163.
          View in: PubMed
        8. Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Crawford SL, Carmody J, Rosenthal L, Yeh G, Stanley M, Rose K, Browning C, Ockene IS. Phone-delivered mindfulness training for patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial. Ann Behav Med. 2013 Oct; 46(2):243-50.
          View in: PubMed
        9. Wang J, Persuitte G, Olendzki BC, Wedick NM, Zhang Z, Merriam PA, Fang H, Carmody J, Olendzki GF, Ma Y. Dietary magnesium intake improves insulin resistance among non-diabetic individuals with metabolic syndrome participating in a dietary trial. Nutrients. 2013 Sep 27; 5(10):3910-9.
          View in: PubMed
        10. Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Hunsinger M, Morgan L, Fischer D, and Carmody J. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Change in Health-Related Behaviors. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013; 18(4):243 -247.
        11. Carmody J. Mindfulness as a General Ingredient in Successful Psychotherapy. In Mindfulness and Self-Regulation. Ostafin B, Robinson B, and Meier B. (Eds). Springer. 2013.
        12. Carmody JF, Olendzki BC, Merriam PA, Liu Q, Qiao Y, Ma Y. A novel measure of dietary change in a prostate cancer dietary program incorporating mindfulness training. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Nov; 112(11):1822-7.
          View in: PubMed
        13. Baer RA, Carmody J, Hunsinger M. Weekly change in mindfulness and perceived stress in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. J Clin Psychol. 2012 Jul; 68(7):755-65.
          View in: PubMed
        14. Pbert L, Madison JM, Druker S, Olendzki N, Magner R, Reed G, Allison J, Carmody J. Effect of mindfulness training on asthma quality of life and lung function: a randomised controlled trial. Thorax. 2012 Sep; 67(9):769-76.
          View in: PubMed
        15. Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Carmody J, Yeh G, Crawford S, Rosenthal L, Ockene I. Design and methods for a pilot study of a phone-delivered, mindfulness-based intervention in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012:972106.
          View in: PubMed
        16. Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Crawford S, Carmody J, Rosenthal L, Ockene I. Characteristics of Dispositional Mindfulness in Patients with Severe Cardiac Disease. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2011 Oct; 16(3):218-225.
          View in: PubMed
        17. Carmody JF, Crawford S, Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Leung K, Churchill L, Olendzki N. Mindfulness training for coping with hot flashes: results of a randomized trial. Menopause. 2011 Jun; 18(6):611-20.
          View in: PubMed
        18. Bremner JD, Afzal N, DiVitale S, Reed L, Vaccarino V, Carmody J. . Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in the Treatment of Iraq Combat-Related PTSD. American Psychosomatic Society Conference, San Antonio, Texas. 2011.
        19. Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Crawford s, Carmody J, Rosenthal L, Ockene I. . Characteristics of dispositional mindfulness in patients with severe cardiac disease. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2011.
        20. Hölzel BK, Carmody J, Evans KC, Hoge EA, Dusek JA, Morgan L, Pitman RK, Lazar SW. Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2010 Mar; 5(1):11-7.
          View in: PubMed
        21. Carmody J, Baer RA. How long does a mindfulness-based stress reduction program need to be? A review of class contact hours and effect sizes for psychological distress. J Clin Psychol. 2009 Jun; 65(6):627-38.
          View in: PubMed
        22. Carmody J, Baer RA, L B Lykins E, Olendzki N. An empirical study of the mechanisms of mindfulness in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. J Clin Psychol. 2009 Jun; 65(6):613-26.
          View in: PubMed
        23. Carmody J. . Evolving Conceptions of Mindfulness in Clinical Settings: Invited Commentary. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. 2009; 23 (3):270-280.
        24. Carmody J, Olendzki B, Reed G, Andersen V, Rosenzweig P. A dietary intervention for recurrent prostate cancer after definitive primary treatment: results of a randomized pilot trial. Urology. 2008 Dec; 72(6):1324-8.
          View in: PubMed
        25. Carmody J, Reed G, Kristeller J, Merriam P. Mindfulness, spirituality, and health-related symptoms. J Psychosom Res. 2008 Apr; 64(4):393-403.
          View in: PubMed
        26. Carmody J, Baer RA. Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. J Behav Med. 2008 Feb; 31(1):23-33.
          View in: PubMed
        27. Patel S, Carmody J, Simpson B. . Adapting Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: a case report. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2007; 14(4):375-380.
        28. Lau MA, Bishop SR, Segal ZV, Buis T, Anderson ND, Carlson L, Shapiro S, Carmody J, Abbey S, Devins G. The Toronto Mindfulness Scale: development and validation. J Clin Psychol. 2006 Dec; 62(12):1445-67.
          View in: PubMed
        29. Carmody J, Crawford S, Churchill L. A pilot study of mindfulness-based stress reduction for hot flashes. Menopause. 2006 Sep-Oct; 13(5):760-9.
          View in: PubMed
        30. Lam YW, Mobley JA, Evans JE, Carmody JF, Ho SM. Mass profiling-directed isolation and identification of a stage-specific serologic protein biomarker of advanced prostate cancer. Proteomics. 2005 Jul; 5(11):2927-38.
          View in: PubMed
        31. Bishop SR. Lau M. Shapiro S. Carlson L. Anderson N. Carmody J. Segal Z. Abbey S. Speca M. Velting D. Devins G. . Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 2004; 11(3):230-241.
        32. Saxe GA, Hébert JR, Carmody JF, Kabat-Zinn J, Rosenzweig PH, Jarzobski D, Reed GW, Blute RD. Can diet in conjunction with stress reduction affect the rate of increase in prostate specific antigen after biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer? J Urol. 2001 Dec; 166(6):2202-7.
          View in: PubMed
        33. Saxe GA, Hébert JR, Carmody JF, Kabat-Zinn J, Rosenzweig PH, Jarzobski D, Reed GW, Blute RD. Can diet in conjunction with stress reduction affect the rate of increase in prostate specific antigen after biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer?. Journal of Urology. 2001; 6(166):2202-7.
        34. Samuelson M, Carmody J, Kabat-Zinn J, Bratt M. . Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Massachusetts Correctional Facilities. The Prison Journal, 87 (2), 254-268, 2007.
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