David M. Fresco, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry, Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research
Research Director, Michigan Mindfulness


David M. Fresco is Professor of Psychiatry and Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research (ISR), and Research Director for Michigan Mindfulness. His program of research adopts an affective neuroscience perspective to conduct basic, translational, and treatment studies of anxiety and mood disorders, particularly distress disorders (e.g., major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder) incorporating methodologies including functional neuroimaging (fMRI & EEG), peripheral psychophysiology, and serum markers (e.g., inflammation, neurodegeneration).

Another facet of Dr. Fresco’s research has focused on the development of treatments informed by affective and contemplative neuroscience findings that incorporate mindfulness meditation and other practices derived from Buddhist mental training exercises.  

Increasingly, with collaborators at ISR within the Data Science for Dynamic Intervention Decision-Making Center (d3c), Dr. Fresco has initiated clinical trials for treatment optimization and implementation utilizing adaptive intervention methodology (e.g., sequential multiple assignment randomized trials [SMART] & just-in-time adaptive interventions [JITAIs]).


Dr. Fresco has also joined and contributed to the Strong Minds and Enhanced Vision initiative at the Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan, led by Dr. Thiran Jayasundera, which aims to characterize and resolve the emotional distress experienced by vision patients as they confront the possibility and eventuality of vision loss.

Much of his current and recent NIH-funded research has focused on examining neurobehavioral mechanisms and efficacy of mindfulness-enriched treatments for chronic illnesses, and the role of emotion regulation strategies in everyday life to reduce distress.

Areas of Interest

  •  Elucidating neurobehavioral underpinnings of emotion, emotion regulation, and distress
  •  Development and evaluation of mindfulness-based interventions for chronic emotional and medical conditions complicated by distress
  •  Basic, translational, and treatment implications of metacognitive capacities (e.g., decentering)

Clinical Interests

  •  Emotion Regulation Therapy
  •  Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  •  Cognitive Behavior Therapy


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Adult Anxiety Clinic, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MA (Clinical Psychology), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BA (Psychology-Honors), Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Published Articles or Reviews