Department of Medicine
I direct the UB Behavioral Medicine Clinic (BMC), an internationally known clinic and research facility that provides short-term, state-of-the-art treatment for patients with painful medical disorders. These disorders include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), low back pain, fibromyalgia, non-cardiac chest pain, temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and benign headaches such as migraine and tension headaches. A unique feature of our care is the use of evidence-based treatment protocols to help patients gain control of symptoms that have not adequately responded to standard medical treatments. Because our clinicians are active researchers, patients treated at the BMC receive cutting-edge treatments.
My research, which is focused on developing and testing novel treatments for functional gastrointestinal (GI) disease, has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1999. My research responsibilities include designing and conducting outcome clinical trials of novel treatments, which provide valuable research experiences for the medical, public health and psychology students I mentor. Students who work at my lab learn to design, write, conduct and analyze quality research projects with the goal of authoring at least one empirical study for publication in a first-tier journal. The academic skills my students learn at the BMC help them grow into independent researchers or academically oriented clinicians who value critical thinking and a scholarly approach to medicine. In addition, I routinely assist faculty and mentor GI fellows in research design and analysis.
I lecture in several UB academic departments such as psychiatry, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery and psychology with the aim of familiarizing trainees with the psychosocial aspects of chronic disease and ways to promote symptom self-management skills in patients coping with chronic illness.
I present at the GI research conference on brain-gut interactions, outcome research, research methods and behavioral aspects of GI disease.