Christopher P. Fagundes

WEBSITE(S)| Personal Website

Dr. Fagundes uses theories and methods from clinical, social, and developmental health psychology to examine how close relationship quality, loss, and trauma impact the molecular and cellular processes associated with quality of life and diseases of older adulthood in diverse populations (e.g., cardiovascular disease, stroke, age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease & related dementias). He uses attachment theory as an overarching theoretical framework to examine individual differences. Dr. Fagundes also develops and tests mechanism-focused interventions that target behavioral, psychological, and interpersonal processes underlying quality of life, age-related cognitive decline, and diseases of older adulthood. His grant portfolio includes longitudinal observational and clinical trial designs aimed at improving the health and well-being of widow(er)s, dementia family caregivers, and cognitively impaired older adults.

Dr. Fagundes admits Ph.D. students in the Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine Research Interest Group and the Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience Research Interest Group within Rice University's Department of Psychological Sciences. When applying, applicants must select only one research interest group; however, obtaining a dual degree by completing both groups' requirements is feasible. Dr. Fagundes welcomes email inquiries about being a Ph.D. student in his lab. However, he does not engage in phone or zoom calls before the application deadline to maintain a fair selection process.

Dr. Fagundes has been the primary mentor for numerous NIH training fellowships for graduate students (F31), post-doctoral fellows (F32), and assistant professors (K awards). Potential post-doctoral fellows and research assistant professors (grant-funded, non-tenure track) should contact him well in advance of their ideal start dates (i.e., 6-18 months) to maximize funding prospects.


Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine

  • B.A. in Psychology, University of Califorina, Davis, 2005

  • M.S. in Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 2008

  • Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 2010

Research Areas

Psychoneuroimmunology, Clinical & Social Health Psychology, Lifespan Personality Development, Affective Science, Psychophysiology


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