The Cardiac Psychology Research Lab at East Carolina University

The primary aim of the Cardiac Psychology Research Lab is to evaluate the cardiac patient experience of cutting-edge technologies in terms of psychosocial and quality of life endpoints.

Beginning in 1995 at the University of Florida, Dr. Sears investigated a host of technologies including: coronary stent technologies, enhanced external counter pulsation (EECP), cardiac transplantation, and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

In the Fall of 2007, the Cardiac Psychology Research Lab at East Carolina University was established, and Dr. Melissa Matchett joined Dr. Sears to initiate the research efforts. Cardiac psychology research at East Carolina has flourished over the past decade due to the extensive collaborations with cardiologists and doctoral students in the lab. The cardiac psychology research lab has garnered well over $1 million in research grants and nearly 100 publications in medicine and psychology. Research collaborations continue around the world and at the major medical institutions in the United States.

About Dr. Sears

Samuel F. Sears, Ph.D., is a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Cardiovascular Sciences at East Carolina University. He also serves as the Director of Doctoral Studies in the Department of Psychology and the Associate Director of the ECU Cardiology Fellowship.

Dr. Sears is considered by many as the world authority on the psychological care and quality of life outcomes of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients.  He has published well over 150 articles in the medicine and psychology research literatures and provides lectures all over the world on a regular basis.  Dr. Sears also serves as an Associate Editor for both journals in cardiology and health psychology including:  PACE, Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, and Health Psychology.

Dr. Sears was awarded the O. Max Gardner Award in 2013.  This annual award is given by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system to the faculty member who “has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race” in the past year.  The award is considered the highest honor bestowed to a faculty member in the UNC system.