Alexandra is fascinated by the mind-body connection, and if it's really possible that our minds have power over our cells. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCSF in the US.
Alexandra has been interested in the mind-body connection since working at the Duke Cancer Center as an undergraduate, and meeting patients that were convinced that a stressful event in their life like a divorce had caused their cancer. Alexandra was, and continues to be, fascinated by the question of whether it's really possible that our minds have power over our cells. If so, that truth has the potential to turn upside down how we understand biology. It could mean that prayer actually can heal disease, or that unhealed trauma can cause physical pain, or that our intuition about our health can be accurate.
Because of the broad and theoretical implications of the connection between the mind and body, Alexandra's exploration of human behavior has always intertwined science and spirituality. To her, there is no difference - there may be two different approaches to viewing the way humans work, but there is just one truth we are trying to discover. And by unpacking the connections between the mind and the body, Alexandra believes that we also unpack fundamental pieces of who we are beyond just our physical body.
Alexandra has spent 15 years as a psychological scientist studying the effects of stress on biological health and well-being, with a new focus in recent years on how contemplative practices can create more resilient physical bodies. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCSF in the US.
Humans are information-seeking beings at heart. But while technology has given us unprecedented access to the data we crave, it has created a deluge of side effects on our brains and bodies too. How are we adapting to information and stimulation overload?