Chloe Boyle is a biobehavioral research scientist with interdisciplinary training in health psychology, clinical psychology, and psychoneuroimmunology. She received her Ph.D in Health Psychology from UCLA in 2018 under the mentorship of Dr. Julie Bower, and her MS in Clinical Psychology at Cal State Fullerton under the mentorship of Dr. Iris Blandón-Gitlin. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the UCLA Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), with Dr. Michael Irwin as her primary mentor.
Broadly, her research aims to characterize psychobiological mechanisms underlying risk and resilience to onset and recurrence of depressive disorders. She is particularly interested in how inflammatory signaling can induce dysregulation in the reward system to cause the symptom of anhedonia, or loss of interest or pleasure. In collaboration with colleagues and mentors at UCLA, she has used a variety of methodological approaches to manipulate peripheral inflammation, including acute psychosocial stress induction, a mindfulness meditation intervention, and administration of the influenza vaccine. She has also used integrative analysis of reward processing to begin to elucidate how elevated inflammation may alter specific dimensions of reward processing (e.g., motivation vs. pleasure) at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., subjective, behavioral, or neural reward dysregulation.) A complete list of publications can be found at: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=E8rs840AAAAJ&hl=en
As a Cousins Center PNI Fellow, she has been using an experimental model to examine effects of an exogenous inflammatory challenge on anhedonic symptoms in pre- and post-menopausal women to better understand sex and age differences in depression prevalence. In support of this project, she has received a Cousins Center Seed Grant Award, an NIH/ORWH administrative supplement, and a 2021 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant. The next step in her program of research is to study effects of inflammation on anhedonia in older adults with anxiety, a well-known risk factor for depression, and to interrogate the neural systems that may underlie these effects. She has received support for this work as a Friends of the Semel Institute Research Scholar and a competitively scored application for a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award through the National Institute on Aging. The results gathered from this study are designed to facilitate identification of vulnerable individuals prior to onset of depression, and to inform the development of more precise and targeted interventions for depression treatment.