National Spirituality and Health Consortium

Project: Research project

Project Details


In this grant to be submitted to the John Templeton Foundation, our transdisciplinary team of researchers will be investigating the relationships between psychosocial stress and two biomarkers, plasma metabolomics signatures and genome-wide methylation loci, and then the relationship between these two biomarkers and risk of T2D and depression. We will then be examining the potential modifying and mediating influences of religious and spiritual practices and beliefs (R/S) on these relationships. Direct effects of stress and R/S on the health outcomes will also be examined. This study will provide a novel opportunity to look at biological mechanisms associated with T2D and depression across racially/ethnically diverse adults from 8 high quality prospective cohorts, where we will have common measures of key risk factors and covariates across cohorts, as well as common measures of early childhood adversity, stress, and religious/spiritual practices and beliefs (ranging from church attendance and use of spirituality to cope with stressful situations to yoga and connection with nature) gathered via a Supplemental Spirituality Survey. We hypothesize that R/S will emerge as an important, understudied phenomenon that affects risk of disease both positively and negatively. Further, given that the prevalence of R/S is especially high in Black and Latino communities, as is exposures to a range of psychosocial stressors, the proposed study may provide new insight into stressors and sources of resilience that affect disparities in the burden of chronic illness.
Effective start/end date6/1/182/28/19


  • Massachusetts General Hospital (Agmt Ref #228148 // Grant ID #59607)
  • John Templeton Foundation (Agmt Ref #228148 // Grant ID #59607)


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