Psychology’s Fagundes receives Robert Ader New Investigator Award

Christopher Fagudes, an assistant professor of psychology at Rice, won the Robert Ader New Investigator Award from the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS).

The annual award is given to an outstanding research scientist who has made exciting basic science or clinical contributions to the psychoneuroimmunology field, which focuses on the study of interactions between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. The award is named for Dr. Robert Ader, a pioneer in the field of psychoneuroimmunology.

CHRIS FAGUNDES (Photo by Jeff Fitlow)

CHRIS FAGUNDES (Photo by Jeff Fitlow)

Fagundes received the honor for his “important contributions to the area of early life stress and psychoneuroimmunology” and for being “one of the central figures in the field of developmental psychoneuroimmunology,” according to a statement from PNIRS. Fagundes, who is also a visiting assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, showed in his recent work that the mental and physical responses to cancer are shaped by stress in early life.

“I am extremely honored to be recognized by the psychoneuroimmunology research community,” Fagundes said. “I am indebted to Rice and MD Anderson for giving me the resources and time I needed to launch my research program and accomplish my early career goals. Finally, I am very grateful to Rice for providing me adequate space at the BioScience Research Collaborative, where I have been able to seamlessly collaborate with brilliant and productive scientists across the Texas Medical Center.”

As the award recipient, Fagundes will discuss his research at an invited lecture at the 2017 PNIRS Scientific Meeting June 7-10 in Galveston, Texas. The annual meeting will host hundreds of international researchers from a number of scientific and medical disciplines who are interested in interactions between the nervous and immune systems, and the relationship between behavior and health.

PNIRS is an international organization working to better understand the role of the brain and immune system in health and disease. An important goal of the organization is to conduct basic research that can be translated into clinically relevant health applications. More information is available at

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.