I am delighted to announce that Dr. Shufang Sun has joined the Mindfulness Center and the International Health Institute as an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Dr. Sun received a NIH K23 award entitled "Developing internet-delivered, mindfulness-based intervention to reduce HIV risk and promote mental and sexual health among young adult MSM", and comes with funding from three other NIH grants. Dr. Sun's work in mindfulness is focused on marginalized populations and communities affected by early life adversities. Specifically, building on her clinical interest in mindfulness and prior research in mental health and treatment disparities that affect minority populations, her research seeks to investigate the potential of mindfulness-based interventions to promote well-being among marginalized, minority populations and individuals affected by early life adversities. When completing her clinical residency at Emory University School of Medicine, she completed research to understand predictors and moderators of an mindfulness-based intervention to lower suicide risk and depression among African American suicide attempters. At Brown University during her post-doctoral fellowship, she initiated a systematic review project on mindfulness-based interventions for marginalized populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, low-income individuals, and sexual and gender minorities. Her meta-analysis of mindfulness-based interventions for predominant low-income racial minorities found mindfulness-based interventions to have a small to moderate effect (Hedge’s g = .41 compared to non-active controls and g = .14 compared to other active controls). Currently, she is conducting a review on the potential of mindfulness-based interventions to address key mechanisms linking early life adversities and poor health outcomes in adulthood. Overall, this line of work suggests the need for culturally adapted mindfulness-based interventions that can effectively meet the needs of minority populations as well as for mindfulness interventions to attend to individual and contextual factors to best maximize its effects with historically marginalized communities.
Dr. Sun's research agenda is directly in line with the Mindfulness Cetner's focus on rigorous research, and the Center's core value emphasizing diversity and inclusion.
All the best,
Eric B. Loucks, PhD
Director, Mindfulness Center