Mary-Frances O’Connor, Ph.D.
Associate professor of psychology and director of the Grief, Loss and Social Stress (GLASS) Lab, University of Arizona
Mary-Frances O’Connor, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, where she directs the Grief, Loss and Social Stress (GLASS) Lab, which investigates the effects of grief on the brain and the body. She is the author of the 2022 book The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss.
Prof. O’Connor’s research focuses on the physiological correlates of emotion, in particular the wide range of physical and emotional responses during bereavement, including yearning and isolation. She believes that a clinical science approach toward the experience and mechanisms of grieving can improve interventions for prolonged grief disorder, newly included in the revised DSM-5.
Prof. O’Connor earned a doctorate from the University of Arizona in 2004 and completed a fellowship at UCLA. Following a faculty appointment at UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, she returned to the University of Arizona in 2012. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, and Psychological Science, and featured in Newsweek, the New York Times, and The Washington Post.