OMB No. 0925-0001/0002 (Rev. 08/12 Approved Through 8/31/2015)
Provide the following information for the Senior/key personnel and other significant contributors.
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NAME: Fresco, David Marc
POSITION TITLE: Professor of Psychological Sciences
eRA COMMONS USER NAME (credential, e.g., agency login): dmfresco
EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, include postdoctoral training and residency
training if applicable. Add/delete rows as necessary.)
(if applicable)
Completion Date
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Please refer to the Biographical Sketch sample in order to complete sections A, B, C, and D of the
Biographical Sketch.
A. Personal Statement
I am a professor of psychological sciences at Kent State University and adjunct associate professor of
psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. I direct the Psychopathology and Emotion
Regulation Laboratory (PERL) and am a Co-Director of the Kent Electrophysiological Neuroimaging Laboratory
(KENL). I received my PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a postdoctoral
fellowship at Temple University. My program of research adopts an affective science perspective to the study
of anxiety and mood disorders. Working at the interface of cognitive behavioral and emotion regulation
approaches, I conduct survey, experimental, and treatment research to examine factors associated with major
depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) including metacognitive factors (e.g.,
explanatory flexibility, decentering, rumination, worry), peripheral psychophysiology, and emerging work from
affective neuroscience, utilizing neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques. Another focus of the PERL
lab is the development of treatments informed by affective and contemplative neuroscience findings that
incorporate mindfulness meditation and other practices derived from Buddhist mental training exercises. Much
of my NIH-funded treatment research has focused on the infusion of mindfulness into Western psychosocial
treatments. Presently, am PI (1R01HL119977-01) and Co-I (1P30NR015326-01) on two NIH-funded grants
examining neurobehavioral mechanisms and efficacy of mindfulness-enriched treatments. I am also Associate
Editor for two journals, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and Cognitive Therapy and
Research. Finally, I am also a frequent reviewer for the Interventions Committee of Adult Disorders (ITVA) of
the National Institute of Mental Health, and various study sections of the National Center for Complementary
and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
a. Fresco, D. M., Segal, Z. V., Buis, T., & Kennedy, S. (2007). Relationship of post treatment decentering and
cognitive reactivity following an emotion evocation challenge to relapse of major depressive disorder.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 447-455. PMID: 17563161
b. Fresco, D. M., Moore, M. T., van Dulmen, M., Segal, Z. V., Teasdale, J. D., Ma, H., & Williams, J. M. G.
(2007). Initial psychometric properties of the Experiences Questionnaire: A self-report survey of
decentering. Behavior Therapy, 38, 234-246. PMID: 17697849
c. Hoge, E.A., Bui, E., Goetter, E., Robinaugh, D.J., Ojserkis, R.A., Fresco, D.M., Simon, N. (2014). Change
in Decentering Mediates Improvement in Anxiety in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Generalized
Anxiety Disorder, Cognitive Therapy and Research, NIHMSID # 635177
d. Bernstein, A., Hadash, Y., Lichtash, Y., Tanay, G., Shepherd, K., & Fresco, D. M. (in press). Decentering
and Related Constructs: A Critical Review and Meta-Cognitive Processes Model. Perspectives on
Psychological Science.
B. Positions and Honors
2001 to 2007 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA
2007 to 2014 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA
2011 to Present Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University
School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA
2014 to Present Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA
Other Experience and Professional Memberships
2013- Associate Editor, Cognitive Therapy and Research
2012- Associate Editor, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
2009-2013 Associate Editor, Behavior Therapy
2010-2012 Editorial Board, Journal of Abnormal Psychology
2010- Editorial Board, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
2006- Editorial Board, Cognitive Therapy and Research
2005- Editorial Board, Behavior Therapy
2014- Training and Education Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1 SM(33) National Center for
Complementary and Integrative Health
2015- Temporary Member, Mechanisms of Stress and Health (MESH), National Institutes of Health
2015- Member, Early Phase Clinical Trials Panel National Institute of Mental Health
2014- Training and Education Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1 SM(33) National Center for
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
2014- Member, Development of Novel Interventions Special Emphasis Panel, NIMH
2013- Member, Merit Review Panel for Clinical Trials (CLNA), Veterans Administration
2012- Member, Fellowships and Dissertation Grants (ZMH1 ERB-M 04 S)
2009- Temporary Member, Interventions Committee for Adult Disorders (ITVA)
2007- 2008 Temporary Member, Interventions for Anxiety and Mood Disorders Review Committee (ITMA)
2006 Temporary Member, Adult Interventions Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1 ERB-P-01)
2004-2006 Temporary Member, Interventions Review Committee (ITV)
C. Contributions to Science (Selected from over 70 peer-reviewed publications & chapters)
1. Elucidating metacognitive factors associated with emotion regulation. “Metacognition refers to one’s
knowledge concerning one’s own cognitive processes or anything related to them” (Flavell, 1976, p. 232). In
essence, metacognition represents a cognitive process that facilitates the making and transformation of
meaning in our lives. I have conducted a body of studies on explanatory flexibility, which we define as the
ability to view the causal explanations of one’s negative events with a balance of historical and contextual
information. To date, studies in several contexts have demonstrated a relationship between explanatory
flexibility and mood and anxiety disorders. The other metacognitive capacity that has been the focus of my
research is decentering, which represents one’s ability to observe thoughts and feelings as temporary,
objective events in the mind, as opposed to reflections of the self that are necessarily true. Decentering is
present- focused and involves taking a nonjudgmental and accepting stance regarding thoughts and feelings.
We have conducted a series of studies documenting the relationship of decentering to concurrent levels of
depression and anxiety symptoms and as a factor associated with acute and enduring treatment change in in
depressed and anxiety patients (See citations in Section A). We are also preparing for peer review a paper
examining the relationship of self-report decentering is associated with reductions in posterior cingulate neural
activation during emotion provocation in depressed patients who evidenced a durable treatment response.
a. Fresco, D. M., Heimberg, R. G., Abramowitz, A., & Bertram, T. L. (2006). The effect of a negative mood
priming challenge on dysfunctional attitudes, explanatory style, and explanatory flexibility. British Journal of
Clinical Psychology, 45, 167-183. PMID: 16719978
b. Fresco, D. M., *Rytwinski, N. K., & Craighead, L. W. (2007). Explanatory flexibility and negative life events
interact to predict depression symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 595-608.
DOI: 10.1521/jscp.2007.26.5.595
c. Moore, M. T. & Fresco, D. M. (2007). The relationship of explanatory flexibility to explanatory style.
Behavior Therapy, 38, 325-332. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2006.06.007. PMID: 18021947
d. Fresco, D. M., *Flynn, J. J., Mennin, D. S., & *Haigh, E. A. P. (2010). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive
Therapy (pp. 57-82). In J. D. Herbert & E. Forman. Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior
Therapy. New York: Wiley.
2. Elucidating the nature and treatment efficacy of meditation. Another research interest has been
examining the potential salutary benefits of meditation and other
mental training exercises derived from Buddhist contemplative
tradition. We received NIH-NCCAM funding (1R21AT002698) to
investigate the potential efficacy of mindfulness based stress
reduction (MBSR) for unmedicated hypertension. Findings revealed
that MBSR was superior to a non-meditation comparator in lowering
both clinic Systolic and Diastolic BP. Our currently funded R01 is a
follow-up to this successful proof in concept trial where we are
enrolling a larger, more demographically diverse sample and testing
a mechanistic model for how meditation may reduce BP via gains in
stress management capacities.
a. Hughes, J. W., Fresco, D. M., Myerscough, R., H M van
Dulmen, M., Carlson, L. E., & Josephson, R. (2013). Randomized
Controlled Trial of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Prehypertension. Psychosomatic Medicine,
75(8), 721728. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182a3e4e5. PMID: 24127622
b. Haigh, E.A.P, Moore, M. T., Kashdan, T. B., & Fresco, D. M. (2011). Examination of the Factor Structure
and Concurrent Validity of the Langer Mindfulness/Mindlessness Scale, Assessment, 18, 11-26. doi:
10.1177/1073191110386342. PMID: 20980699
c. Loucks, E. B., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Britton, W. B., Fresco, D. M., Desbordes, G., Brewer, J. A., Fulwiler, C.
(2015). Mindfulness and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: State of the Evidence, Plausible Mechanisms, and
Theoretical Framework. Current Cardiology Reports, 17, 112, DOI 10.1007/s11886-015-0668-7
3. Emotion Regulation Therapy for Anxious
Depression. A third major focus of my career has
been the development of an emotion dysregulation
model and psychosocial treatment for anxious
depression. Three areas of study, in turn, reflect
this facet of my research program: elucidating
biobehavioral markers that distinguish generalized
anxiety disorder (GAD) from major depressive
disorder (MDD); developing a model of emotion
dysregulation that accounts for distress disorders
such as MDD, GAD, etc.; and developing and investigating the efficacy of a mechanism based psychosocial
treatment that we call emotion regulation therapy. We received a NIH-NIMH funding (1 R34 MH070682) to
develop and provide initial validation for an emotion regulation therapy for generalized anxiety. Drawing upon
our own work and synthesizing the extant literature, we have proposed a model of emotion dysregulation
based on a core deficit in emotional intensity/motivational dysfunction, coupled with deficits in adaptive emotion
regulation resulting in increasing utilization of elaborative and depleting cognitive elaboration, and resulting in
deficits in both reward and threat learning. Emotion regulation therapy (ERT) integrates traditional and
contemporary CBT principles and practices and emotion-focused interventions within a framework that reflects
basic and translational findings in affect science. The result is a theoretically-derived, evidence based,
treatment that builds upon the solid foundation of CBT by identifying and targeting putative mechanisms
common to the distress disorders (e.g., motivational/emotional activation, perseverative thinking and resultant
narrowed learning repertoires) while striving to normalize emotion generation and regulation functioning. To
date open-trial and RCT findings indicate that ERT is a promising psychosocial treatment that aligns well with
NIMH funding priorities aiming to elucidate the biobehavioral markers of normative and disordered human
functioning. We are presently conducting an open-label trial where we hope to demonstrate neuro-behavioral
patterns of change in patients treated with ERT.
a. Fresco, D. M., Mennin, D. S., Heimberg, R. G., & Ritter, M. R. (2013). Emotion Regulation Therapy for
Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 20, 282-300.
b. Mennin, D. S., & Fresco, D. M. (2013). What, me worry and ruminate about DSM-5 and RDoC?: The
importance of targeting negative self-referential processing. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 20,
259-268 DOI: 10.1111/cpsp.12038.
c. Mennin, D. S. & Fresco, D. M. (2015) Advancing Emotion Regulation Perspectives on Psychopathology:
The Challenge of Distress Disorders, Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement
of Psychological Theory, 26, 80-92, DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2015.969624
d. Mennin, D. S., Fresco, D. M., Ritter, M., & Heimberg, R. G., (in press). An Open Trial of Emotion
Regulation Therapy For Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Co-Occurring depression. Depression and
Anxiety. doi: 10.1002/da.22377. PMID: 25945946
(Somewhat) Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:
D. Research Support
Ongoing Research Support
1R01HL119977-01 Fresco (PI) 09/30/14-09/30/18
“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for High Blood Pressure: A Two-Site RCT”
A two-site, three-arm randomized clinical trial comparing MBSR versus an active comparator (Stress
Management and Education) or treatment as usual in the control of unmedicated hypertension.
1P30NR015326-01 Moore (PI) 09/30/14-09/30/18
SMART Center II Brain Behavior Connections in Self Management Science
This new P30 center grant will study the brain-behavior connection in self-management of health and illness.
Role: Co-I
The Hershey Family Foundation Fresco (Co-PI) 12/01/2015-11/30/2017
“Tibetan analytic meditation through the lens of neuroscience: A cross-cultural scientific collaboration.” This
project will examine the neurobehavioral markers of Tibetan analytic meditation and debate in Tibetan
monastics at the Sera Monastery, Bylakuppe, India
Kent State University Postdoctoral Seed Grant Fresco (Co-PI) 06/01/14-05/31/16
"Basic, translational and clinical aspects of normative and disordered biobehavioral functioning: An
interdisciplinary consortium in the new Kent State Neuroimaging Laboratory."
With Robert Clements (Biological Sciences) and Will Kalkhoff (Sociology)
Mind and Life Institute Shepherd (PI) 01/01/13-12/31/16
This Francisco J. Varela Research Award, given to my doctoral student, Kathrine Shepherd, entitled,
Examining the relationship of meditation experience to the neural correlates of spontaneous emotion
regulation,“ will examine the neural correlates associated with implicit, spontaneous emotion regulation in
adept Tibetan meditators as compared to demographically matched meditation naïve individuals.
Role: Faculty Mentor
Innovation Research Seed Awards Fresco (PI) 07/01/12-06/30/16
College of Arts and Sciences, Kent State University
The grant application, entitled “Dissociable neural markers of anxious depression,” will compare individuals
with comorbid major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder to healthy control participants on a
series of neurobehavioral markers with fMRI assessment to identify tasks that reliably differentiate patients
from control participants and lead to potential targets of change in treatment.
Mind and Life Institute Flynn (PI) 01/01/11-12/31/16
This Francisco J. Varela Research Award, given to my doctoral student, Jessica Flynn, entitled, “Effects of
Training in Loving-Kindness Meditation on Underlying Approach and Avoidance Motivations,” is examining the
neural correlates associated with training in loving-kindness meditation in relation to approach and avoidance
Role: Faculty Mentor
Completed Research Support
Ohio Board of Regents Fresco (PI) 06/01/10-5/31/12
This Research Incentive Grant sought to identify signature patterns of cognitive, emotional, and physiological
reactivity among individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, current major depression, remitted major
depression, and healthy controls in the context of an emotion evocation challenge.
Role: PI
R34 MH070682 Heimberg (PI) 06/01/06-05/31/10
Development of a novel, manualized treatment for generalized anxiety disorder that combines elements of
cognitive-behavior therapy with skills to promote adaptive emotion regulation.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator & PI of Subcontract to Kent State University
R21 AT002698-01 Hughes (PI) 09/01/06-08/31/09
Randomized clinical trial comparing Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Progressive Muscle
Relaxation (PMR) as augmentation to standard care (i.e., lifestyle improvement) for unmedicated hypertension.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Kent-Summa CTSTS Fresco (PI) 07/01/06-08/31/09
Replicate and extend previous findings showing that nondepressed individuals show a protective bias and
avoid negative stimuli (words and pictures) whereas depressed individuals attend to emotional stimuli in an
unbiased manner, and hence lack this protective bias.
Role: PI
Ohio Board of Regents Fresco (PI) 06/01/04-05/31/07
This Research Challenge Award identify point prevalence rates of major depressive disorder and generalized
anxiety disorder in a primary care medical population; and to evaluate whether there are signature serum
neurotransmitter profiles of individuals as a function of current MDD and/or GAD.
Role: PI
R10 MH44119-13 Heimberg (PI) 1/1/00-12/31/02
The major goals of this project were to evaluate the acute efficacy of cognitive-behavioral group therapy,
phenelzine, the combination of phenelzine and cognitive-behavioral group therapy, and pill placebo in a 12-
week trial in persons with social phobia; 2-year continuation to complete study enrollment (plus no-cost
Role: Co-Investigator, Project Coordinator, and Protocol Therapist
R10 MH57148-06 Heimberg (PI) 7/1/96-6/30/02
The major goals of this project are to compare the individual and combined effects of cognitive-behavioral
group therapy and phenelzine as treatments for social phobia. Specifically, this study examines whether
responders to 12 weeks of acute treatment with one of the study treatments will (1) show enhanced response
over a 12 week intensive continuation phase, (2) whether gains will be maintained or enhanced over a 28-
week maintenance phase, (3) whether gains will be maintained over a one-year follow-up period. Furthermore,
this study examines whether there is differential long-term response to treatments among patients with
generalized versus nongeneralized social phobia.
Role: Co-Investigator, Project Coordinator, and Protocol Therapist