Collaborators and Community Partnerships

Dr. Gawrysiak and his research team collaborate with several community partners to investigate a variety of topics relevant to the BRAIN-MAP’s research initiatives. These topic areas reflect the interests of Dr. Gawrysiak, his lab, and the spirit of collaboration on projects aiming to reduce suffering and promote well-being.

Gaudenzia West Chester House

Gaudenzia is the largest nonprofit provider of substance use and co-occurring disorder programming in the Mid-Atlantic region. The agency serves approximately 20,000 clients each year. Dr. Gawrysiak and his team are partnering with Gaudenzia to complete a clinical trial examining the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for residents with opioid use disorder (OUD) who use medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

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The 3 Doors Compassion Project

The 3 Doors is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming lives through meditation.  Founded in 2010 by Tibetan meditation master Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, The 3 Doors is a vibrant, ever-expanding practitioner community committed to supporting one’s desire to serve the well-being of others. Dr. Gawrysiak’s partnership with the 3 Doors aims to investigate the benefits of this meditation programming on health and well-being.

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Ligmincha International

Ligmincha is a global community of meditators and practitioners of the ancient Bön spiritual tradition of Tibet.  Geshe Tenzin Wangyal is the founder and spiritual director. The Bön teachings demonstrate how to embrace the joys, sorrows, and challenges of life with an open heart. In addition to promoting a greater connection to one’s self in a manner that supports the ability to live life more fully. Dr. Gawrysiak has partnered with Ligmincha to conduct empirical studies on mental health benefits of participating in meditation programming offered by Ligmincha.

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Unite for HER

Unite for HER (UFH) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to enrich the health and well-being of those diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancers by funding and delivering integrative therapies. Established in 2009, UFH is committed to helping women diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer navigate through treatment by providing complementary therapies designed to promote physical and emotional wellness. UFH also functions as a continued resource and support system for those affected by breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Gawrysiak has partnered with UFH to examine which aspects of UFH services are most beneficial.

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The Penn Program for Mindfulness 

The Penn Program for Mindfulness (PPM) provides powerful tools for personal growth and coping with life’s challenges. Combining modern cognitive science with ancient mindfulness techniques, PPM teaches participants to change the way that they experience themselves and their world. PPM offers various training programs in mindfulness meditation aimed at helping individuals better manage distress. Dr. Gawrysiak has taught with PPM for several years and has been consulted on various research-related endeavors aiming to understand the psychological mechanisms underlying the benefits of mindfulness meditation. 

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Center for Studies of Addiction 

The mission of the Center for Studies of Addiction (CSA) is to advance the knowledge of addiction and treatment. Our research is translational in two directions. We apply knowledge from the preclinical laboratory to clinical trials in a university setting and we translate knowledge learned from those clinical trials to the practitioners in the community. Thus, the medications and behavioral treatments discovered or refined in our research can have an impact on the care received by patients all over the world. Dr. Gawrysiak completed his postdoctoral fellowship training under the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Director of the Brain-Behavioral Vulnerabilities Division within the CSA. Dr. Gawrysiak maintains active collaborative relationships with Dr. Childress and the CSA and is coordinating research endeavors focused on the neural substrates of mindfulness and cocaine-use disorder. 

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Of Substance

Of Substance is a nonprofit film company that uses the power of engaging, short movies to create awareness and help start important conversations around the crisis of addiction. Dr. Gawrysiak has partnered with President Brian Gallagher to coordinate community outreach efforts aimed to mitigate public stigma surrounding substance use disorders with the intention of promoting greater treatment engagement for those that need it. 

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