Grant enables research on depression, cardiovascular disease

 East Carolina University psychology professor Dr. Matthew Whited received a 5-year grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study connections between depression and cardiovascular disease.

“People who are depressed are more likely to end up with cardiovascular disease, but we’re not sure why, and we’re not sure what to do about it,” Whited said.


“I’m hoping to find out if treating depression can contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and if we can identify who would get the most benefit from depression treatment in terms of their long-term mental and physical health.”

The institute chooses promising researchers from a pool of applicants, providing funding for research as well as training from expert mentors. Among Whited’s mentors are Dr. Samuel Sears, director of ECU’s health psychology program and director of the Cardiac Psychology Service at the East Carolina Heart Institute, and Dr. John Cahill, assistant professor of cardiovascular sciences with ECU Physicians. Dr. Sherry Pagoto and other scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School will also serve as mentors.

Whited is a new faculty member in the clinical health psychology program, housed in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

For additional information about the grant or Whited, contact him at 252-328-6308 or