About Me!

Lauren Kennedy

I am a 4th year PhD candidate in the department of Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health here at Virginia Tech.  I’m located on the Roanoke campus at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, where I am a senior member of the Parker Lab (http://labs.vtc.vt.edu/parker/).

My dissertation work broadly focuses on optimal performance under stress in high-risk, high-consequence settings.  In particular, I’m interested in determining and validating the foundations of a real-time acute stress management intervention to be used during surgical training.  So far, this involves presenting the surgeon’s biofeedback back to them, and providing a contextual coping instruction at times of severely heightened physiological stress.  Right now this work is being done in the lab, but eventually it could have an impact in more applied settings.  I have the opportunity to work closely with medical students at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, as well as residents, fellows, and attending physicians at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

I hope this work will lead me to a fruitful postdoctoral position, where I will have the opportunity to implement these concepts in high-fidelity simulations while physicians are specifically training to enhance their performance under stress.  In the long term, I’d like to hold a faculty position that will allow me to teach and mentor students, as well as maintain my own research lab.