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David Black, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine
Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
SSB 302D 2001 N. Soto Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 8223


Dr. David S. Black is an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and faculty member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research focuses on the delivery and evaluation of mind-body medicine modalities, specifically mindfulness training, in order to modify psychological stress and other mental/physical health symptoms and states. He is broadly interested in how mind-body approaches impact stress biology, specifically neuroendocrine and immune system function in humans. His studies incorporate both observational and experimental methodology with measurements quantified by survey, brain imaging, gene expression, and biomarker (from saliva and blood) research.

Research topics of interest include the impact of mind-body approaches on: 1) cortisol and inflammatory markers, 2) brain and biokinetic function, and 3) alleviating symptomatology. The overall goal of this work is to elucidate the harmonious interactions between mind and body, and to inform how these interactions can be harnessed for the prevention and treatment of psychological suffering and disease states in order to promote health and wellness.


NIH - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Clinical LRP Award, 2014-2016

Society of Behavioral Medicine: SBM Citation Award, 2014

University of Southern California: Medical Innovation Program finalist, 2013

NIH - National Institute on Drug Abuse: RTI International Travel Award, 2012

NIH - National Institute of Mental Health: Postdoctoral Research Fellow , 2011-2013

Charlotte Resnick Memorial Scholarship


Black DS, Li MJ, Ihenacho U, Nguyen NT, de Fatima Reyes M, Milam J, Pentz MA, Figueiredo JC. Shared health characteristics in Hispanic colorectal cancer patients and their primary social support person following primary diagnosis. Psychooncology. 2016 Sep; 25(9):1028-35. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Slavich GM. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Jun; 1373(1):13-24. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Lam CN, Nguyen NT, Ihenacho U, Figueiredo JC. Complementary and Integrative Health Practices Among Hispanics Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer: Utilization and Communication with Physicians. J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Jun; 22(6):473-9. View in: PubMed

Black DS. Mental resilience training modulates stress physiology of active duty marines preparing for deployment. Evid Based Ment Health. 2015 May; 18(2):61. View in: PubMed

Black DS, O'Reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Apr 1; 175(4):494-501. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Fernando R. Mindfulness Training and Classroom Behavior Among Lower-Income and Ethnic Minority Elementary School Children. J Child Fam Stud. 2014 Oct; 23(7):1242-1246. View in: PubMed

Black DS, O'Reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Mindfulness-based intervention for prodromal sleep disturbances in older adults: Design and methodology of a randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Sep; 39(1):22-7. View in: PubMed

Galla BM, O'Reilly GA, Kitil MJ, Smalley SL, Black DS. Community-Based Mindfulness Program for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Targeting Stress Reduction. Am J Health Promot. 2014 Aug 27. View in: PubMed

O'Reilly GA, Cook L, Spruijt-Metz D, Black DS. Mindfulness-based interventions for obesity-related eating behaviours: a literature review. Obes Rev. 2014 Jun; 15(6):453-61. View in: PubMed

Amaro H, Spear S, Vallejo Z, Conron K, Black DS. Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a mindfulness-based relapse prevention intervention for culturally-diverse, low-income women in substance use disorder treatment. Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Apr; 49(5):547-59. View in: PubMed

Garland EL, Black DS. Mindfulness for chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse: novel mechanisms and unresolved issues. Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Apr; 49(5):608-11. View in: PubMed

Peltz L, Black DS. The thinking mind as addiction: mindfulness as antidote. Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Apr; 49(5):605-7. View in: PubMed

Witkiewitz K, Black DS. Unresolved issues in the application of mindfulness-based interventions for substance use disorders. Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Apr; 49(5):601-4. View in: PubMed

Black DS. Mindfulness-based interventions: an antidote to suffering in the context of substance use, misuse, and addiction. Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Apr; 49(5):487-91. View in: PubMed

Hanley A, Garland EL, Black DS. Use of mindful reappraisal coping among meditation practitioners. J Clin Psychol. 2014 Mar; 70(3):294-301. View in: PubMed

Riggs NR, Black DS, Ritt-Olson A. Applying neurodevelopmental theory to school-based drug misuse prevention during adolescence. New Dir Youth Dev. 2014; 2014(141):33-43, 9-10. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Ji E, Crabb Breen E, Motivala SJ. Tai Chi Meditation Effects on Nuclear Factor-?B Signaling in Lonely Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Psychother Psychosom. 2014; 83(5):315-7. View in: PubMed

Kurth F, Luders E, Wu B, Black DS. Brain Gray Matter Changes Associated with Mindfulness Meditation in Older Adults: An Exploratory Pilot Study using Voxel-based Morphometry. Neuro. 2014; 1(1):23-26. View in: PubMed

Sussman S, Milam J, Arpawong TE, Tsai J, Black DS, Wills TA. Spirituality in addictions treatment: wisdom to know…what it is. Subst Use Misuse. 2013 Sep; 48(12):1203-17. View in: PubMed

Pokhrel P, Herzog TA, Black DS, Zaman A, Riggs NR, Sussman S. Adolescent neurocognitive development, self-regulation, and school-based drug use prevention. Prev Sci. 2013 Jun; 14(3):218-28. View in: PubMed

Roosta N, Black DS, Rea TH. A comparison of stigma among patients with leprosy in rural Tanzania and urban United States: a role for public health in dermatology. Int J Dermatol. 2013 Apr; 52(4):432-40. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Cole SW, Irwin MR, Breen E, St Cyr NM, Nazarian N, Khalsa DS, Lavretsky H. Yogic meditation reverses NF-?B and IRF-related transcriptome dynamics in leukocytes of family dementia caregivers in a randomized controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Mar; 38(3):348-55. View in: PubMed

Roosta N, Black DS, Wong MK, Woodley DT. Assessing hairdressers' knowledge of scalp and neck melanoma and their willingness to detect lesions and make referrals to dermatologists. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Jan; 68(1):183-5. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Sussman S, Johnson CA, Milam J. Trait mindfulness helps shield decision-making from translating into health-risk behavior. J Adolesc Health. 2012 Dec; 51(6):588-92. View in: PubMed

SeyedAlinaghi S, Jam S, Foroughi M, Imani A, Mohraz M, Djavid GE, Black DS. Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction delivered to human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients in Iran: effects on CD4? T lymphocyte count and medical and psychological symptoms. Psychosom Med. 2012 Jul-Aug; 74(6):620-7. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Sussman S, Johnson CA, Milam J. Psychometric Assessment of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) Among Chinese Adolescents. Assessment. 2012 Mar; 19(1):42-52. View in: PubMed

Black DS. Mindfulness and substance use intervention. Subst Use Misuse. 2012 Feb; 47(3):199-201. View in: PubMed

Black DS. Incorporating mindfulness within established theories of health behavior. Complementary Health Practice Review. 2012; 2(15):108-109. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Milam J, Sussman S, Johnson CA. Testing the indirect effect of trait mindfulness on adolescent cigarette smoking through negative affect and perceived stress mediators. J Subst Use. 2012; 17(5-6):417-429. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Semple RJ, Pokhrel P, Grenard JL. Component Processes of Executive Function-Mindfulness, Self-control, and Working Memory-and Their Relationships with Mental and Behavioral Health. Mindfulness (N Y). 2011 Sep; 2(3):179-185. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Sun P, Rohrbach LA, Sussman S. Decision-making style and gender moderation of the self-efficacy-condom use link among adolescents and young adults: informing targeted STI/HIV prevention programs. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Apr; 165(4):320-5. View in: PubMed

Soto C, Unger JB, Ritt-Olson A, Soto DW, Black DS, Baezconde-Garbanati L. Cultural values associated with substance use among Hispanic adolescents in southern California. Subst Use Misuse. 2011; 46(10):1223-33. View in: PubMed

Roosta N, Black DS, Peng D, Riley LW. Skin disease and stigma in emerging adulthood: impact on healthy development. J Cutan Med Surg. 2010 Nov-Dec; 14(6):285-90. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Grenard JL, Sussman S, Rohrbach LA. The influence of school-based natural mentoring relationships on school attachment and subsequent adolescent risk behaviors. Health Educ Res. 2010 Oct; 25(5):892-902. View in: PubMed

Black DS. Mindfulness Research Guide: a New Paradigm for Managing Empirical Health Information. Mindfulness (N Y). 2010 Sep 1; 1(3):174-176. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Sussman S, Unger J, Pokhrel P, Sun P. Gender differences in body consciousness and substance use among high-risk adolescents. Subst Use Misuse. 2010 Aug; 45(10):1623-35. View in: PubMed

Grana RA, Black D, Sun P, Rohrbach LA, Gunning M, Sussman S. School disrepair and substance use among regular and alternative high school students. J Sch Health. 2010 Aug; 80(8):387-93. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Sussman S, Unger JB. A further look at the intergenerational transmission of violence: witnessing interparental violence in emerging adulthood. J Interpers Violence. 2010 Jun; 25(6):1022-42. View in: PubMed

Pokhrel P, Sussman S, Black D, Sun P. Peer group self-identification as a predictor of relational and physical aggression among high school students. J Sch Health. 2010 May; 80(5):249-58. View in: PubMed

Sussman S, Black DS, Rohrbach LA. A concise history of school-based smoking prevention research: a pendulum effect case study. J Drug Educ. 2010; 40(3):217-26. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Milam J, Sussman S. Sitting-meditation interventions among youth: a review of treatment efficacy. Pediatrics. 2009 Sep; 124(3):e532-41. View in: PubMed

Sussman S, Black DS. Substitute addiction: a concern for researchers and practitioners. J Drug Educ. 2008; 38(2):167-80. View in: PubMed

Sussman S, Pokhrel P, Black D, Kohrman M, Hamann S, Vateesatokit P, Nsimba SE. Tobacco control in developing countries: Tanzania, Nepal, China, and Thailand as examples. Nicotine Tob Res. 2007 Sep; 9 Suppl 3:S447-57. View in: PubMed

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