Stephan Bongard, Ph.D.(visiting professor)
Sharon Allen, M.D., Ph.D.
John Grabowski, Ph.D.
Jon Grant, M.D., J.D. MPH
Karen Petersen, Ph.D.
Ronald Regal, Ph.D.
Ruth Westra, D.O., M.P.H.
Barbara Gay, RN
Student Research Assistants
Motohiro Nakajima, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
After completing his doctoral training in Health Psychology program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2009, Dr. Motohiro Nakajima joined the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory (BML) of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus, as a post-doctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Mustafa al’Absi. During his years as a post-doc, Dr. Nakajima received training in psychobiological mechanisms of stress and addiction, with the primary focus on chronic smoking. Dr. Nakajima was promoted to a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health and Population Sciences at the Medical School in 2012, and continues to work as a member of BML.
Dr. Nakajima’s current projects include, but not limited to: (a) Psychophysiological mechanisms of stress, smoking, and cessation outcome; (b) Influences of long-term smoking on pain sensitivity and stress-induced analgesia; (c) Trajectory of self-report measures and biomarkers over an extended period of smoking abstinence; and (d) Sex differences in determinants of smoking relapse.
Dr. Nakajima is a member of the Khat Research Program (KRP). Khat (Catha edulis), an amphetamine-like stimulant, is widely used in East African and Middle Eastern countries. Because khat is often used with tobacco, Dr. Nakajima is focused on psychosocial determinants of khat and tobacco use, and how concurrent use of these substances is associated with stress response dysregulation and health risks.
In addition, Dr. Nakajima is interested in the assessment of psychophysiological responses to stress in the natural environment. As part of a larger project called Autosense, he is involved in examining the feasibility of a novel ambulatory psychophysiological assessment system which is designed to measure multiple psychological and physiological parameters associated with stress and health-related behaviors (e.g., smoking) in everyday life.