Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Associate Professor of Epidemiology


I came to the United States in 2006 to pursue a research career in cardiovascular (CV) behavioral medicine. As a practicing cardiologist in Italy, I had a first-hand experience of the psychological difficulties that patients face when recovering from an acute heart attack and of the challenges they face when trying to modify the unhealthy lifestyle that put them at risk of CV disease. I became very passionate about studying the psychological and behavioral factors that contribute to the onset of CV disease and decided to dedicate the rest of my career to “bridging the gap” between cardiovascular medicine and the behavioral sciences.  I have developed an original and innovative program of research in CV behavioral medicine, for which I have secured uninterrupted federal funding since 2009.

A first line of research involves the study of the psychological determinants of CV disease. A second, and complementary, area of investigation seeks to identify the mechanisms whereby mind-body interventions can improve CV health behaviors by targeting the upstream factors – stress, self-regulation, cognitive function – which affect CV health.

I am very passionate about mentoring because it the best way to leave a lasting legacy. The "Mind & Heart Lab" has trained a number of undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral trainees, with 50% belonging to under-represented minorities and 80% women. I also serve as a senior mentor for the NHLBI-funded T32 Training Grant in CV Behavioral Medicine (PI: Wing) and as research mentor for the Research Placement Program in the APA Clinical Psychology Internship at Brown. 

My work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Templeton Foundation, the Mindfulness Center at Brown, and the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute. 

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

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