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Dr. Matthew Whited

National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute Awards 5-Year Grant to ECU Psychology Professor

Dr. Matthew Whited, a newly hired assistant professor in East Carolina University’s Department of Psychology, recently received a 5-year career development grant from The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study depression and cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes.

“People who are depressed are more likely to end up with cardiovascular disease, but we’re not sure why, and we’re not sure what to do about it,” Whited explained. “I’m hoping to find out if treating depression can contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and if we can identify who would get the most benefit from depression treatment in terms of their long-term mental and physical health.”

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute chooses promising researchers from a pool of applicants to receive grant funding a few times each year. A panel of experts decides which researchers will make a substantial contribution to the understanding of cardiovascular health. These individuals then are provided with five years of funding to conduct their research and receive training from a group of expert mentors.

Whited will be mentored primarily by Dr. Sherry Pagoto of the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Dr. Samuel Sears and Dr. John Cahill of ECU; and by several other scientists with whom Whited worked during his fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

As a new professor at ECU, Whited joins the faculty in the clinical health psychology program, housed in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. For additional information about the grant or Whited, contact him at 252-328-6308 or whitedm@ecu.edu.