We are a group of researchers working out of the Health & Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Limerick, Ireland whose main purpose is to advance the science of stress and health. Our research group is made up of health and social psychologists, allied health professionals such nurses and physiotherapists, as well as postdoctoral, postgraduate and undergraduate researchers. We conduct research that looks at the way in which stress might affect human health; this can be from how stress gets inside our bodies (e.g. hormones and biology) to what groups of people are most vulnerable to its effects and what makes them vulnerable (e.g., personality, chronic exposure to stress, isolation and distress). Further, in our research efforts we often partner up with outside agencies, hospitals, businesses, advocacy groups etc so that the people who will directly benefit most from our research findings have input into the research agenda.
In addition, we use various methods for looking at these links between stress and health such as surveys and experiments run in our lab to look at how stress can impact blood pressure or hormones. We also use saliva sampling to see how stress affects health hormones across the day. Saliva contains a number of active biological ingredients that are very important for health hence our interest in looking at them. In all of our studies we are looking to find out how stress is associated with both physical and mental health and by examining these links, we aim to reduce the enormous impact that stress has on human health and wellbeing.
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Dr. Stephen Gallagher (Director) speaking about some of his research interests.