Mary-Frances O'Connor, Ph.D.

A Short Biography:

1992-1996 Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1998-2004 Doctoral Degree, Clinical Psychology University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 2003-2004 Clinical Internship Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital University of California, Los Angeles, California 2004-2007 Post-Doctoral FellowshipUCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology University of California, Los Angeles, California

Work Titles
Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2004

Contact Information:

Work Email Address:


Work Phone Number:

(310) 825-1889

Mailing Address:

300 UCLA Medical Plaza, Room 3140
Mail Code 707624
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Detailed Biography:

Dr.O'Connor's research interests regard biomarkers underlying emotion regulation in older adults, as measured through immunological and neuroimaging techniques. In particular, she researches the contribution of these biomarkers to those who develop complicated grief as distinct from those who have an uncomplicated adjustment. Her current project examines attentional deficits in older adults with complicated grief as measured by the emotional Stroop, and evaluates the role of circulating markers of inflammation (e.g., TNF-?, IL-6 and IL-1Ra) in these deficits.


Gold Stefan M, Kern Kyle C, O'Connor Mary-Frances, Montag Michael J, Kim Aileen, Yoo Ye S, Giesser Barbara S, Sicotte Nancy L   Smaller cornu ammonis 2-3/dentate gyrus volumes and elevated cortisol in multiple sclerosis patients with depressive symptoms Biological psychiatry, 2010; 68(6): 553-9.
Buchheim Anna, Heinrichs Markus, George Carol, Pokorny Dan, Koops Eva, Henningsen Peter, O'Connor Mary-Frances, Gündel Harald   Oxytocin enhances the experience of attachment security Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2009; 34(9): 1417-22.
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Irwin Michael R, Wellisch David K   When grief heats up: pro-inflammatory cytokines predict regional brain activation NeuroImage, 2009; 47(3): 891-6.
O'Connor David K, Bower David K, Cho David K, Creswell David K, Dimitrov David K, Hamby David K, Hoyt David K, Martin David K, Robles David K, Sloan David K, Thomas David K, Irwin David K   To assess, to control, to exclude: Effects of biobehavioral factors on circulating inflammatory markers Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2009; 47(3): .
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Wellisch David K, Stanton Annette L, Eisenberger Naomi I, Irwin Michael R, Lieberman Matthew D   Craving love? Enduring grief activates brain's reward center NeuroImage, 2008; 42(2): 969-72.
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Gündel Harald, McRae Kateri, Lane Richard D   Baseline vagal tone predicts BOLD response during elicitation of grief Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2007; 32(10): 2184-9.
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Motivala Sarosh J, Valladares Edwin M, Olmstead Richard, Irwin Michael R   Sex differences in monocyte expression of IL-6: role of autonomic mechanisms American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 2007; 293(1): R145-51.
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Irwin Michael R, Seldon Joyce, Kwan Lorna, Ganz Patricia A   Pro-inflammatory cytokines and depression in a familial cancer registry Psycho-oncology, 2007; 16(5): 499-501.
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Allen John J B, Kaszniak Alfred W   Emotional disclosure for whom? A study of vagal tone in bereavement Biological psychology, 2005; 68(2): 135-46.
O'Connor Mary-Frances   Finding boundaries inside prison walls: case study of a terminally ill inmate Death studies, 2004; 28(1): 63-76.
Gündel Harald, O'Connor Mary-Frances, Littrell Lindsey, Fort Carolyn, Lane Richard D   Functional neuroanatomy of grief: an FMRI study The American journal of psychiatry, 2003; 160(11): 1946-53.
O'Connor Mary-Frances, Allen John J B, Kaszniak Alfred W   Autonomic and emotion regulation in bereavement and depression Journal of psychosomatic research, 2002; 52(4): 183-5.

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