Vernon A. Barnes, PhD
Phone: (706) 721-2195
Fax: (706) 721-7150
Education and Training
Maharishi University of Management, IA 1996
Maharishi International University, IA 1993
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Maharishi European Research University, IA 1981
Science of Creative Intelligence
University of Calgary, CAN 1973
My present research interests involves examining the impact of interventions
in the areas of behavior and complementary and alternative medicine. I have over 15
years of experience conducting interventions to evaluate the effectiveness of stress
reduction in treatment of elevated blood pressure and associated pre-clinical markers
of cardiovascular disease in youth and adolescents. I have received funding as principal
investigator from the American Heart Association, the NIH NHLBI and the Georgia Health
Contributed to studies with mind-body medicine:
A review article on stress, stress reduction and hypertension included mortality
findings published in the Journal of the National Medical Association. The mortality
findings presented to the American Heart Association in 1996 were the basis for a
later study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.
The mechanism of blood pressure lowering effects with Transcendental Meditation
was proposed based on findings with adults. This study was followed up in a school-based
study with prehypertensive African American adolescents, that reported and improved
school behavior, reduced resting and ambulatory blood pressure and reduced cardiovascular
reactivity and left ventricular mass in adolescents at risk for hypertension practicing
the Transcendental Meditation program. We were able to demonstrate that a school-based
meditation program could be successful in lowering blood pressure in normotensive
12 year-olds. A later study with prehypertensive adolescents reported reduced blood
pressure and sodium retention and the importance of family influences on meditation
Studies on childhood obesity:
Our studies with childhood obesity reported findings on the association of adiposity
and cardiovascular reactivity in adolescents that was published in the International
Journal of Obesity. These findings were followed up with a school-based mindfulness-based
eating awareness training for overweight adolescents that showed improved diet and
exercise habits. A later study examined ethnicity and socioeconomic status on cardiovascular
reactivity in youth.
We were the first to measure stress levels and hemodynamics in adolescents with
family members deployed in the Iraq War and the first to report on anger, anxiety
and blood pressure changes with a school-based anger management program for adolescents.
We recently reported on an in-patient program to increase bicycle helmet use in youth
for prevention of traumatic brain injury.
Co-Investigator (Current) “Effectiveness of AVAPRO in the treatment of salt sensitivity
in young African Americans” NHLBI. 5P01HL069999-07. PI: Harshfield
Co-Investigator (Current) “Epigenetic basis of obesity induced cardiovascular disease and type 2
diabetes.” NHLBI. 1R01HL105689-01 PI: Wang
Barnes, V.A., Kapuku, G., and Treiber, F.A. Impact of Transcendental Meditation® on Left Ventricular
Mass in African American Adolescents. eCAM. 2012. article ID 923153. doi:10.1155/2012/923153. 6 pages.
Barnes VA, Orme-Johnson DA. Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Adolescents
and Adults through the Transcendental Meditation Program®: A Research Review Update.
Current Hypertension Reviews 2012 8(3). 8(3) 227-242.
Barnes VA, Johnson MH, Williams RB, et al. Impact of Williams Lifeskills Training on Anger,
Anxiety and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Adolescents. Translational Behav Med. 2012. DOI: 10.1007/s13142-012-0162-3.
Jerath R, Barnes VA, Dillard-Wright DB, et al. Dynamic change of awareness during mind-body techniques—neural
correlates and physiology. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2012. Vol. 6, article 131, 1-4.
Barnes VA, Gregoski MJ, Tingen M, & Treiber FA. Family Environmental Influences of Meditation
Efficacy On Hemodynamic Function Among African American Adolescents. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. 2010. Vol 7, issue 1, article 25.
Barnes VA, Davis HC, Treiber FA: Perceived stress, heart rate and blood pressure among adolescents
with family members deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Military Medicine 2007, 172(1) 40-43.
Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Johnson MH. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on ambulatory blood pressure
in African American adolescents. American Journal of Hypertension, 2004, 17:366-369.
Barnes VA, Bauza LB, Treiber FA. Impact of stress reduction on negative school behavior in adolescents.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2003, 1:1-7.
Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Musante L, Turner JR, Davis H, Strong WB. Ethnicity and socioeconomic
status: Impact on cardiovascular activity at rest and during stress in youth with
a family history of hypertension. Ethnicity and Disease, 10(1):4-16, 2000.
Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Turner JR, Davis H, Strong WB. Acute effects of Transcendental Meditation
on hemodynamic functioning in middle aged adults. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64(1) 525-531, 1999
Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Davis H, Kelley T, Strong WB. Central adiposity and hemodynamic functioning
at rest and during stress in adolescents. International Journal of Obesity, 22(11):1079-1083, 1998.
Barnes VA, Schneider RH, Alexander CN, Staggers F. Stress, stress reduction and hypertension
in African Americans: an updated review. Journal of the National Medical Association, 89(7):464-476, 1997.
2008 - Society of Behavioral Medicine Complementary and Alternative Medicine Special Interest
Group Investigator Research Award
2003 - Present: Director of Education Research, Williams LifeSkills, Inc, Durham NC
2002 - Blue Ribbon Award, International Society of Hypertension in Blacks
1999 - Scholar Award, American Psychosomatic Society