2015 SYR Presenters
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SYR 2015

Welcomes our esteemed presenters

Keynote Presenters

BN Gangadhar

Dr. B.N. Gangadhar is Professor of Psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences (NIMHANS). He has served with NIMHANS since 1981, after completing his MD. He has interests in Somatic therapies, Yoga, schizophrenia and community mental health. He heads the Advanced Center for Yoga at NIMHANS. He has published over 350 scientific articles in national and international, peer-reviewed journals. He is a co-editor on the Asian Journal of Psychiatry. He is also a Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences India. He has received the CV Raman award as well as the BC Roy award from the government of Karnataka. He now holds the position of Dean of Behavioural Sciences at NIMHANS and is also the Hon Dean (Life Sciences) at the SVYASA Yoga University.

Edward McAuley, PhD

Edward McAuley is a Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Endowed Professor of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds appointments in the Departments of Kinesiology and Community Health, Psychology, Internal Medicine, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He the director of the Exercise Psychology Laboratory at Illinois and has published over 350 articles and chapters. He has served as the Chair of the Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention study section of the National Institutes of Health. He is an elected fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Gerontological Society of America. His research agenda has focused primarily on physical activity, aging, and well-being in healthy adults and breast cancer survivors and the role played by exercise training, including yoga, in neurocognitive function and brain health in older adults.

Remy Coeytaux , MD, PhD

Remy Coeytaux, is an Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University and a faculty member in the Evidence-based Practice Center at Duke Clinical Research Institute. He completed his medical training at Stanford University and received his PhD in Epidemiology from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program in 2001 and the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona as a Bravewell Collaborative Fellow in 2012. Dr. Coeytaux is co-founder of Chapel Hill Doctors Healthcare Center and founder and owner of Chapel Hill Integrative Medicine Associates, PC. He has served as co-PI on reports commissioned by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to evaluate the evidence in support of complementary and alternative medicine for post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as for yoga for back pain, mental health disorders, and falls prevention.​




Session Presenters

Catherine Cook-Cottone, PhD

Catherine Cook-Cottone, is a Licensed Psychologist, Registered Yoga Teacher, and Associate Professor at SUNY at Buffalo. Her research specializes in embodied self- regulation (i.e., yoga, mindfulness, and self-care) and psychosocial disorders (e.g., eating disorders). She has written four books and over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is tilted, "Mindfulness and yoga for self-regulation: A primer for mental health professionals.” Presenting nationally and internationally, Catherine uses her model of embodied self-regulation to structure discussions on empirical work and practical applications. She teaches classes on mindful therapy, yoga for health and healing, self-care, history of psychology, and counseling with children and adolescents. She also maintains a private practice specializing in the treatment of: anxiety-based disorders (e.g., PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder), eating disorders (including other disorders of self-care), and development of emotional regulation skills.

Marshall Hagins, PhD, PT

Dr. Hagins was a ballet major at North Carolina School for the Arts before moving to New York where he danced on Broadway. Leaving dance, he obtained a Physical Therapy degree and a PhD in Biomechanics and Ergonomics from New York University. Dr. Hagins has published over 30 peer reviewed articles in the areas of dance medicine, sports injuries, ergonomics, and yoga and has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on three grants from the National Institutes of Health. His recent research focuses on the efficacy of yoga for hypertension and the psychosocial and academic benefits of yoga for students within schools.

Patricia Kinser, PhD, WHNP-BC, RN

Dr. Patricia Kinser is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, where herresearch focuses on the biobehavioral effects of mind-body interventions such as yoga and mindfulness. Her researchis positioned at the intersection of research and clinical care regarding the promotion of positive health behaviors & interventions for mental and physical wellness.She maintains an active clinical practice as a board-certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She lectures locally, nationally, and internationally about various applications of yoga and mindfulness practices for health. Additionally, she is a yoga instructor in the Richmond, VA community.

Alyson Ross, PhD, RN

Dr. Alyson Ross is a Nurse Researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BSN and MSN in psychiatric mental-health nursing. Dr. Ross received a Doctor of Philosophy from University of Maryland School of Nursing. Dr. Ross was awarded Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Intramural Research Fellowships at the NIH Clinical Center, where she currently works for the Department of Nursing Research and Translational Science researching the impact of health behaviors, particularly the effect of mind-body interventions such as yoga, on stress in both family and professional caregivers. Dr. Ross has studied yoga for over 25 years and is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher. She has lectured and published extensively on the health benefits of yoga. 
(Also a Pre-conference Workshop Presenter)

Joseph F. Signorile, PhD

Dr. Signorile is a Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Miami. His research on developing novel tools to assess and improve independence and reduce falls has produced over 50 manuscripts and 250 scientific presentations. The most recent evolution of his work includes the assessment of muscle utilization patterns across common yoga poses and the modifications of classic yoga poses and pose sequences to develop targeted programs that address the specific needs of elder fallers and Parkinson’s patients. In 2011, Dr. Signorile published his definitive exercise prescription text, Bending the Aging Curve, which was recently translated into Cantonese. (Also a Pre-conference Workshop Presenter)


Pre-conference Workshop Presenters

Gurjeet Birdee, MD, MPH,

Gurjeet is an Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of Research at the Vanderbilt Center. Dr. Birdee’s research focuses on the therapeutic application of mind-body practices for chronic disease. He has been awarded a K23 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Dr. Birdee received his medical degree at the University of Rochester and completed an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. He completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at Osher Research Center Harvard Medical School and Master of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Birdee completed a 500 hour yoga teacher training program with Krishnamacarya Healing and Yoga Foundation in Chennai, India, and Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Birdee practices Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and yoga therapy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Erik Groessl, PhD

Dr. Groessl received his Clinical Psychology PhD in 1999 from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program with a specialization in behavioral medicine/ health psychology. He is an Associate Professor at the University of California San Diego, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and a researcher at the VA San Diego Medical Center. He is also the Center Director of the UCSD Health Services Research Center. He is PI on several projects at the VA San Diego UCSD that focus on yoga interventions and broader integrative medicine, including a 4-year RCT studying yoga for chronic low back pain among VA patients. He also continues to do research in the areas of Hepatitis C, health services research, outcomes assessment and quality of life, and cost-effectiveness.


Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD

Sat Bir has practiced a yoga lifestyle for over 35 years. He is the Director of Research for the Kundalini Research Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women\'s Hospital in Boston. His central research funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of NIH is targeted at examining the efficacy of yoga for the treatment of chronic insomnia and the mechanisms underlying its effectiveness. He is also involved in research initiatives on yoga\'s effectiveness in drug dependency, at-risk youth, professional musicians, music students, cancer and cardiovascular disease among others. He has established relationships with fellow yoga researchers in the U.S. and Europe and in India where he routinely attends international yoga research conferences. Dr. Khalsa also teaches an elective course at Harvard Medical School in Mind Body Medicine.

Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR

Arlene is an Associate Professor in the Colorado State University Department of Occupational Therapy. Clinically, she is an occupational therapist with nearly 20 years of experience. She is a rehabilitation scientist specializing in balance and falls efficacy programming for older adults, people with stroke, and other neurological conditions. She has been funded by the VA to examine the effects of yoga in people with chronic stroke and traumatic brain injury as well as adding yoga to ongoing rehabilitation therapy. Most recently she has been awarded a grant from the American Occupational Therapy Associated to merge yoga and occupational therapy to reduce falls in adults with chronic stroke. She is the Co-Director of the Integrative Rehabilitation Lab.