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James F Carmody PhD

InstitutionUMass Chan Medical School
DepartmentPopulation and Quantitative Health Sciences
AddressUMass Chan Medical School
368 Plantation Street AS8-1061
Worcester MA 01605
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    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentPopulation and Quantitative Health Sciences
    DivisionPreventive And Behavioral Medicine

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    James Carmody, PhD is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, and Population and Quantitative Health Sciences Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine. His interest is in the qualities of attending to experience that are associated with distress and well being and how these can be modified. 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 these programs mitigate. 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-five 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 and psychological mechanisms 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


    NIH/NCCIH R01AT009680 (Co-I) (Burns PI) 08/1/18 - 7/30/23 Evaluating Specific and Non-Specific Mechanisms in Two Distinct Complementary/Integrative Interventions for Chronic Pain. A multisite trial with Rush Medical Centre and Vanderbilt Medical Centre to compare the effect and mechanism of mindfulness training and spinal manipulation therapy on chronic low back pain.

    NCCAM R01AT0083931 (Multi-PI Pbert/Carmody)   09/3/2014 - 08/31/2020 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


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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Burns JW, Jensen MP, Thorn BE, Lillis TA, Carmody J, Gerhart J, Keefe F. Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Behavior Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Pain: Predictors and Moderators of Treatment Response. J Pain. 2024 Jan 08. PMID: 38199593.
    2. Burns JW, Jensen MP, Gerhart J, Thorn BE, Lillis TA, Carmody J, Keefe F. Cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and behavior therapy for people with chronic low back pain: A comparative mechanisms study. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2023 Mar; 91(3):171-187. PMID: 36848061.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. Burns JW, Jensen MP, Thorn B, Lillis TA, Carmody J, Newman AK, Keefe F. Cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and behavior therapy for the treatment of chronic pain: randomized controlled trial. Pain. 2022 02 01; 163(2):376-389. PMID: 34074945.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. Shallcross A J, Duberstein ZT, Sperber SH, Visvanathan PD, Carmody J, Spruill TM. . An Open Trial of Telephone-Delivered Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Efficacy for Reducing Depressive Symptoms. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2021. View Publication.
    5. Carmody J, Evolutionary Psychology and Mindfulness and Meditation: Easing the Anxiety of Being Human. The SAGE Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Todd K. Shackelford (Ed) In Press. 2020.
    6. Carmody J. Why we are hard-wired to worry, and what we can do to calm down. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/why-we-are-hard-wired-to-worry-and-what-we-can-do-to-calm-down-127674. 2020.
    7. Bock BC, Dunsiger SI, Rosen RK, Thind H, Jennings E, Fava JL, Becker BM, Carmody J, Marcus BH. Yoga as a Complementary Therapy for Smoking Cessation: Results From BreathEasy, a Randomized Clinical Trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 10 26; 21(11):1517-1523. PMID: 30295912.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Lori L. Davis, Charles Whetsell, Mark B. Hamner, James Carmody, Barbara O. Rothbaum, Rebecca S. Allen, Al Bartolucci, Steven M. Southwick, J. Douglas Bremner. . A Multi-site Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in the Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice. 2018. View Publication.
    9. Sevinc G, H?lzel BK, Hashmi J, Greenberg J, McCallister A, Treadway M, Schneider ML, Dusek JA, Carmody J, Lazar SW. Common and Dissociable Neural Activity After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Relaxation Response Programs. Psychosom Med. 2018 06; 80(5):439-451. PMID: 29642115.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Jensen MP, Thorn BE, Carmody J, Keefe FJ, Burns JW. The Role of Cognitive Content and Cognitive Processes in Chronic Pain: An Important Distinction? Clin J Pain. 2018 05; 34(5):391-401. PMID: 28926413.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. Gunes Sevinc, Britta K. Hölzel, Javeria Hashmi, Jonathan Greenberg, Adrienne McCallister, Michael Treadway, Marissa L. Schneider, Jeffery A. Dusek, James Carmody, and Sara W. Lazar. . Common and Dissociable Neural Activity Following Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Relaxation Response Programs. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2018; 80(5):439-451. View Publication.
    12. Thind H, Sillice MA, Fava JL, Lantini R, Horowitz S, Jennings E, Rosen RK, Carmody J, Becker BM, Marcus BH, Bock BC. Development and Validation of the Outcome Expectations for Yoga Scale. Am J Health Behav. 2017 Nov 01; 41(6):796-802. PMID: 29025507.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Bremner JD, Mishra S, Campanella C, Shah M, Kasher N, Evans S, Fani N, Shah AJ, Reiff C, Davis LL, Vaccarino V, Carmody J. A Pilot Study of the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Brain Response to Traumatic Reminders of Combat in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Combat Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2017; 8:157. PMID: 28890702.
    14. Thind H, Sillice MA, Fava JL, Lantini R, Horowitz S, Jennings E, Rosen RK, Carmody J, Becker BM, Marcus BH & Bock BC. . Development and validation of the outcome expectations for yoga scale. American Journal of Health Behavior6. 2017; 41(6):776-802.
    15. Carmody J. Fish Discovering Water: Meditation as a Process of Recognition. The Psychology of Meditation, Michael West (Ed), Oxford University Press. 2016. View Publication.
    16. 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. PMID: 25686165.
      Citations: 27     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. 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. View Publication.
    18. 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. View Publication.
    19. 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; 38(2):321-332.
    20. 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. View Publication.
    21. 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. PMID: 24345027.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. 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. PMID: 23605175.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. 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. PMID: 24084051.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. 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.
    25. 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. View Publication.
    26. 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. PMID: 22853988.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    27. 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. PMID: 22623334.
      Citations: 98     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. 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. PMID: 22544892.
      Citations: 43     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. 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. PMID: 22536294.
    30. 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. PMID: 22116792.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    
    31. 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. PMID: 21372745.
      Citations: 41     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. 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.
    33. 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.
    34. H?lzel 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. PMID: 19776221.
      Citations: 157     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. 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. PMID: 19267330.
      Citations: 102     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. 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. PMID: 19309694.
      Citations: 131     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Carmody J. . Evolving Conceptions of Mindfulness in Clinical Settings: Invited Commentary. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. 2009; 23 (3):270-280.
    38. 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. PMID: 18400281.
      Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    39. Carmody J, Reed G, Kristeller J, Merriam P. Mindfulness, spirituality, and health-related symptoms. J Psychosom Res. 2008 Apr; 64(4):393-403. PMID: 18374738.
      Citations: 76     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    40. 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. PMID: 17899351.
      Citations: 379     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    41. 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. 2007.
    42. 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.
    43. 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. PMID: 17019673.
      Citations: 169     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    44. 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. PMID: 16932242.
      Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    45. 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. PMID: 15952230.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    46. 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.
    47. 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; 166(6):2202-7.
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