Dr. Mark Laudenslager

Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Lab

Welcome to the University of Colorado Denver Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Lab! 

The Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Laboratory has been active within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus for over 20 years. It is directed by Dr. Mark Laudenslager and is recognized as a Laboratory of Excellence by Salimetrics, Inc. The BIEL serves as a research laboratory and a core laboratory for a number of other investigators at UCD, as well as collaborators at several universities, hospitals, and other organizations. Some of the past and present collaborators with the BIEL include the Space Program at NASA, the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health and the Physiology and Medicine Nobel Prize winner Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and her colleague Elissa Epel. Funding for BIEL comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institutes (PCORI), and the Administration for Child and Families (ACF).  Our collaborations are due in large part to novel assessment of biomarkers including a unique saliva collection device and most recently assessment of cortisol levels in small quantities of hair.

This laboratory performs both immune and neuroendocrine assessments in a variety of subject populations that include both animal and human populations. Some of the studies include treatment approaches to mitigating distress in adult caregivers of cancer patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants in addition to parents of both healthy and medically ill children.
You can receive updates on the Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Laboratory through our online LinkedIn group or by sending an email to BIEL@ucdenver.edu. 


Why infant mortality is so much higher for African Americans (9News)

Studies show that African American babies have a higher chance of dying before they turn one than Hispanic and white infants do in Colorado.

Why do we sleep?

TED Talk: Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist. He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep?

Reducing cancer caregivers' stress

Cancer caregivers are stressed, potentially impacting the quality of the care they give. A CU Cancer Center clinical trial demonstrates how to help.

Astronaut doubles as 'guinea pig' (CNN)

CNN's John Zarrella follows wife, mom and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman ahead of her mission to the ISS.

Couple and cancer: Building partner efficacy in caring

The use of massage therapy techniques as a form of supportive or palliative care for the comfort of people with cancer.

New study targets caregiver distress, patient quality of life

Salimetrics: Center of Excellence Labs

A perspective of male caregivers

AARP Promotes Male Caregiving by Whipping Out the Big Guns: Danny Trejo

Recent Publications:

Pubmed: Laudenslager ML[author] (Link)

In press:

Ross R. G., Greco-Sanders L., Laudenslager M. L. (in press). An institutional postdoctoral research training program: Increasing productivity of postdoctoral trainees. Academic Psychiatry, in press.

Brewer, B.B., Sannes, T.S., Laudenslager, M.L., (in press). Caregivers of Patients with Cancer: An Often Hidden Casualty. G. Colditz, (Ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Cancer and Society, Second Edition. SAGE Publishing.

Wright, K, Hickman, R., Laudenslager, M.L. (in press) Hair cortisol analysis: a promising biomarker of HPA activation in older adults. The Gerontologist.


Mark Laudenslager, Ph.D. (1986-present)
Professor and Lab Director 
Director of the Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Laboratory

Benjamin Brewer, PsyD
Director, Clinical Psychology Services
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Kristin Kilbourn, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor 

Susan Mikulich-Gilbertson, PhD
Associate Professor

Teri Simoneau, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Teri Simoneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist at the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System in primary care mental health integration.  She worked in oncology and stem cell transplant for over eighteen years.  Her early career as a nurse directed her clinical and research interests in medical psychology and psychosocial oncology. Specific interests include coping with illness, support of caregivers through the illness process, family coping, quality of life issues when dealing with cancer and illness, and training issues for early career psychologists. She was a co-investigator (PI-Laudenslager) on an NIH-funded study assessing the effects of a psychoeducational stress management intervention for caregivers of blood or marrow transplant patients and currently is a co-investigator (PI-Laudenslager) on a PCORI-funded study assessing the effects of a caregiver stress management intervention on transplant patients’ outcomes.

Research Assistants: 

Crystal Natvig, MPH (2005-present)
​Research Complex II, Rm. 3241
Phone: 303-724-9278
Email: Crystal Natvig

Research Interestes:

Crystal Natvig has been with the Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Lab since 2005. Crystal received her Bachelors of Science in Biology and Psychology from ​Metropolitan State University of Denver and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Applied Biostatistics from the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She continued her work as a Professional Research Assistant. Crystal started with the collecting and recording behavioral observations. Today, she’s the Developmental Psycholobiology Research Group (DPRG) coordinator and website manager. She also designs and maintains research databases, assists in analyzing data, aids in the management of clinical trials, and process sample materials in the wet lab. Her research interest is in statistical analysis methodologies and interpretation as it relates to gene-environment interactions, particularly in psychiatric epigenetic research.

Robby Shelton, M.S. (2014-present)
Research Complex II, Rm. 3410
Phone: 303-724-9277

Research Interests:

Robby has a B.S. Degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Denver and a Master’s degree in Cancer Biology from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  His background is in Molecular Biology, DNA Sequencing, Cell Line Authentication, and Clinical lab work.  His goals include getting his ASCP certification in Molecular Biology and to become familiar with mass spectrometry for a new assay in the laboratory. 

Contact Us

Behavioral Immunology & Endocrinology Lab

12700 E. 19th Ave,

Building RC2

Aurora, CO 80045

Phone: (303)724-9278

Email: BIEL


Crystal Natvig


Phone: (303) 724-9278

Email: Crystal Natvig


Mark Laudenslager

Professor and Director

Phone: (303)724-9276

Email: Mark Laudenslager


Psychiatry (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 4003

Mail Stop F546

Aurora, CO 80045


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