Charles Raison, M.D., clinical director of the Emory Mind-Body Program, and his colleagues study how meditation can reduce inflammation and stress, which are linked to serious illnesses including depression, cancer, and heart disease. One type of meditation, called focused meditation, aims to refine and enhance attention and calm the mind by focusing on one object such as the breath. Compassion meditation, as its name suggests, is designed to cultivate compassion — that is, enhancing one’s ability to empathize with the anguish, distress, and suffering of others.
Dr. Raison attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha and won the Missouri State Medical Association Award. He completed his residency at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital in Los Angeles. Dr. Raison served as director of emergency psychiatric services and associate director of consultation and evaluation services at UCLA before joining the Emory faculty.