Research Integration

Lynn Underwood photo

About Lynn Underwood

Link to Lynn Underwood Home Page:

Mail to: lynnunderwood[at]


Originally trained in medicine at the University of Iowa, she then moved to research in Epidemiology, receiving her Ph.D. in Cancer Epidemiology from Queen's University in the United Kingdom. Her dissertation research involved identifying a pattern of late diagnosis of melanoma, linking it to the histopathology of the disease, and designing and implementing a professional health intervention that significantly improved survival. She spent ten years doing cancer and public health research in the U.K., while teaching at the medical school.


     Elected Fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, she was a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Rehabilitation Research of the NIH, a member of a working group on the Stigma of Mental Illness with the National Institute of Mental Health, and Behavioral Factors and Health with the National Science Foundation, and recently selected for a Liberty Fund project on Human Freedom and Neurosurgery. Awarded a Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship, and a member of the Templeton Advisory Board for many years, she has been a member of the European Research Network, contributing work on the Nature of the Human Person in Dire Circumstances, which addressed neurological, psychological and spiritual issues in that context.

     While serving as Vice President at an endowed operating foundation, she initiated and developed a research program over 13 years to support research on the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of health, and other research areas such as pain and suffering and compassionate love. She worked with the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of health, and other foundations, and conducted and facilitated research, especially interested in bringing together researchers and others despite disciplinary divisions. Dr. Underwood is on review and advisory boards for the National Institutes of Health and for private foundations, and various journals and professional organizations.

     Currently doing research, writing, and strategic and assessment consulting for academic presses, governmental organizations, foundations, non-profits and journals, she is also involved in some long-term writing and research projects. She is the Inamori Senior Research Associate at the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University, and Adjunct Staff at the Cleveland Clinic. Previously she was Professor of Biomedical Humanities at Hiram College, and has taught in the department of epidemiology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, the Honors College at Western Michigan University and at John Carroll University.

Publications and Research (click link for full list):

          She has co-edited The Science of Compassionate Love: Theory, Research and Applications (Wiley-Blackwell 2009), Measuring Stress: A Guide for Health and Social Scientists (Oxford University Press, 1997); Social Support Measurement and Intervention: A Guide for Health and Social Scientists (Oxford, 2000); Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue (Oxford, 2002) and Relational Processes and DSM-V: Neuroscience, Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment (2006). Recent articles include an article on the doctor-patient relationship, a qualitative study of compassionate love in Christian monks, a publication on the methodology of self-report in the social sciences, and an article on the complex nature of time in clinical medicine. She developed a scale of Daily Spiritual Experiences (the DSES) that is being widely used in studies worldwide. She helped with a Chinese translation of it that has been used in a large study of burnout in health-care professionals in Hong Kong, and is refining the Urdu translation. The DSES was placed on the US General Social Survey and has been translated into over 40 languages and used in over 200 published studies, with hundreds of studies ongoing internationally.

Other Interests:

        Always having a keen interest in the arts, over the years she has studied drawing at the University of Iowa, Belfast Institute of Technology, and the Art Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She particularly enjoys doing pen, ink and wash drawings of faces and studies of animals, plants and other natural objects as well as more abstract watercolor work. She designed and painted a nine foot long mural for a public space in Ireland and did the cover art for The Science of Compassionate Love and for Spiritual Connection in Daily Life. While in medical school she studied creative writing at the University of Iowa Writers workshop.