THE GRADY TRAUMA PROJECT
The Grady Trauma Project (GTP) is a large-scale study of the impacts of stress and trauma, and related risk and resilience factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related behavioral and physical health comorbidities in trauma-exposed individuals seeking medical care at Grady Health System and within the broader Atlanta community. Grady Health System is an urban safety-net hospital that serves predominantly racially marginalized (>85% Black) and low-resourced adults. A major focus of our work at GTP is establishing mechanisms of risk and resilience to adverse health outcomes in Black adults with limited socioeconomic resources who have been historically underrepresented in research and experience substantial health inequities.
This interdisciplinary team of investigators is led by Co-Directors Abigail Powers Lott, PhD, ABPP (Director of Treatment Research and Education), Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD (Director of Translational Neuroscience), and Jennifer Stevens, PhD (Director of Human Neuroscience).
The GTP leverages translational techniques, such as neuroimaging and psychophysiology to study the underlying biology of adverse health outcomes related to trauma exposure and PTSD. Over the last 15 years, the GTP has conducted trauma interviews on over 12,000 participants recruited from medical clinic waiting rooms at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA.
Data from GTP indicate high rates of trauma exposure, with >90% reporting at least one trauma, and 46% meeting lifetime diagnostic criteria for PTSD.
Current GTP studies are trying to 1) understand the mechanisms by which women are more at risk than men for PTSD and other stress- and trauma-related adverse health outcomes and co-morbidities (e.g. reproductive dysfunction, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, immune dysfunction, infectious disease, cancer and aging), 2) identify new neurobiological treatment targets following acute trauma exposure, 3), address intergenerational trauma-related risk and adverse outcomes, and 4) develop culturally responsive evidence-based, accessible interventions for PTSD other stress- and trauma-related adverse health outcomes with the long term goal of reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes in Black communities.