David Vago, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is part of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine where he directs the Contemplative Neuroscience and Integrative Medicine Laboratory. Dr. Vago is core faculty at the Vanderbilt Brain Research Institute and Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation. Dr. Vago also maintains an appointment as a research associate at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He has formerly held the position of Senior research coordinator for the Mind and Life Institute and continues to advise on strategy and programmatic initiatives as a research fellow and consultant. He has completed post-doctoral fellowships in Biological and Social Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatric Neuroimaging, and Mind and Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School and University of Utah School of Medicine. David’s research interests broadly focus on utilizing translational models to identify and characterize neurobiological and psychosocial mechanisms underlying adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in the context of psychiatric health and chronic pain. He has been a recipient of several research grants from the NIH and small foundations, has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters, and science abstracts. His research has been covered by mainstream news outlets such as the Huffington Post, Boston Globe, and NPR, among others. As a thought leader in the field of integrative health and mindfulness research, Dr. Vago has given over 125 keynote and invited lectures, oral presentations, and grand rounds.
Dr. Vago’s research interests broadly focus on utilizing translational models to identify and characterize neurobiological mechanisms underlying adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in the context of psychiatric health and chronic pain. Through mixed methods of neuroimaging, predictive computational modeling, connectomics, genomic and neuroendocrine biomarker identification, cognitive-behavioral and first-person phenomenological analyses, Dr. Vago leads a multi-pronged research program in basic science, clinical trials, intervention development, education, and innovation. A number of research initiatives that are ongoing, include Mapping the Meditative Mind, in which he has partnered with contemporary meditation teachers and scholars to investigate states of meditation across the spectrum of formal meditative expertise. Another initiative leverages innovation to optimize contemporary tools for electronic delivery of mind and body medicine and utilize neurofeedback for patient-centered mental training.