This mid-career development award will provide protected time for Dr. Oken to mentor and to advance his capability in physiological signal acquisition and analysis. While already a successful mentor, as evidenced by his mentees becoming successful NIH-funded academicians, his time has been and will be further limited by the lack of any salary support for the T32 he directs. This successful T32 currently has 5 post-doctoral and one pre-doctoral candidate. The pre-doctoral candidate is the first on the T32 and she has declared Dr Oken to be her primary mentor for her Behavioral Neuroscience PhD thesis. In addition to increasing current mentorship roles, the K24 will allow Dr. Oken to develop a formal curricula for the T32 he directs, give CAM-related lectures to non-CAM clinical research and basic science trainees, and to allocate time to the mentorship and career development program that the OHSU associate dean is developing. Besides sufficient funding to better mentor others, Dr. Oken will also spend a significant portion of this career development award advancing his lab's capability for signal analysis and acquisition including the enhanced use of a 24-hour recording device that is interfaced with a personal digital assistant. This development will utilize the technical support of Mikel Aickin, PhD, Deniz Erdgomus, PhD, and Roger Ellingson, MSEE. These systems will be available to those on the T32 and other junior faculty interested in these techniques. Some of the career development funds will allow Dr. Oken to take graduate level Systems Science courses at Portland State University. The analysis techniques will aid development of: a physiologic measure of adherence to and quality of meditation interventions;a measure of interelectrode EEG correlation based on information theory that is likely more valid than parametric synchrony measures already used by others in the field;and a stress- sensitive measure of 24-hour heart rate variability. The personal digital assistant interfaced to the 24-hour recording device allows for frequent, experience-based sampling of self-rated measures relevant to mind-body such as perceived stress and mindfulness outside the laboratory in the subject's usual environment. These measurements will be related to the physiological measurements using systems science approaches.
The general goal of this application is to promote Dr. Oken's ability to better mentor clinical complementary medicine researchers and to advance the field of mind-body research. This will be done by allowing Dr. Oken to decrease some of his administrative and clinical responsibilities and by developing new physiologic measures that can be used in mind-body research, including measures of stress, adherence to interventions, and positive effects on the brain. From a practical perspective this application will lead to more qualified young CAM clinical researchers and to improved clinical trials of mind-body medicine. Improved understanding of the benefits of mind-body medicine and possibly even improving mind-body techniques themselves has broad health implications to almost all medical care and health promotion.
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|Oken, Barry S; Fonareva, Irina; Haas, Mitchell et al. (2010) Pilot controlled trial of mindfulness meditation and education for dementia caregivers. J Altern Complement Med 16:1031-8|