Charles Raison, M.D.

Dr. Raison (Ray-zahn) is a Professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Department within the School of Human Ecology and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  Prior to moving to the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2015, Dr. Raison was a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. Prior to his work at the University of Arizona, Dr. Raison was an Associate Professor at Emory University. Dr. Raison received his medical degree from Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha and won the Missouri State Medical Association Award. He completed residency training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital in Los Angeles. In addition to his medical training, Dr. Raison obtained his Masters of English from the University of Denver.

Dr. Raison has written and published over 100  scientific papers as well over 20 review papers and editorials. Chapters he has written have been featured in over 30 books, and he has written three full-length books. Some of the most influential scientific journals he’s published in include JAMA Psychiatry, Neuropsychopharmacology, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Biological Psychiatry, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Clinical Neuropsychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Neuropsychobiology, Psychiatric Epidemiology and Molecular Psychiatry.

Dr. Raison's publications have been cited over 10,000 times in prestigious journals in the United States and abroad. His on-going work continues to enrich the body of scientific literature that provides an empirical base for the emerging connection between inflammation, the immune system and depression, thereby leading the way towards the development of novel treatments based on peripheral deep brain stimulation mechanisms. 

The recipient of several teaching awards, Dr. Raison has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His visionary work focuses on the treatment of depression in response to illness and stress, translating neurobiological findings into novel interventions.  In addition to his activities at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Raison is the mental health expert for


Angelica Medrano,   BA, CCRP

Angelica Medrano, BA, CCRP

Angelica has been a research coordinator in the Raison Research Group since 2013. She received a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from the University of Arizona in 2012. She received SOCRA certification in the spring of 2016 and is a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP). Angelica joined the group to gain more experience in clinical research before continuing her education. Her primary area of interest is schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. She is planning to apply to a Clinical Psychology PhD program in 2018 and hopes to research prevention and treatment of factors that decrease quality of life and contribute to disability in schizophrenia (negative symptoms, cognitive function and difficulty with activities of daily living).

                   William Palmer, B.S.

                  William Palmer, B.S.

Will is a native of Tucson, AZ. In 2015, Will received a bachelor’s of science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of Arizona. He served as a undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Raison’s lab, in the Department of Psychiatry within the School of Medicine; which primarily focused on bidirectional feedback between the brain and body in overcoming clinical disorders and sustaining long-term healthy mental states. Will worked on two pilot studies, both of which investigated the impact of the proliferation of gut flora (i.e. microbiota) on physical and psychological well-being using novel nonpharmacological interventions (i.e. heat and animal exposure). Following the completion of his degree, he joined clinical psychologist, Dr. William “Scott” Killgore’s Social, Cognitive, Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) laboratory, also in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona. While here, he worked on a R01 grant that investigated an experimental nonpharmacological light-therapy treatment for adults suffering from PTSD. After spending one year as a research technician in the SCAN lab, he has rejoined Dr. Raison’s team, making the move up to Madison, WI to study human development and well-being with Dr. Charles Raison and his lab in the School of Human Ecology at UW-Madison.

Will’s primary research interests lie in multidimensional health promotion, using meditative cognitive processes to strengthen resilience and promote prosocial behavior and well-being. Additionally, he is interested in the relationship between physical activity/exercise, higher-order cognition, skill development and well-being. He is currently collaborating on a project that investigates how time-limited exposure to a traditional farming environment affects executive functioning and attention in children and adolescents, much like natural urban green spaces are proving to do.

             Anny Ortiz, B.A.

             Anny Ortiz, B.A.

Anny joined the Raison Research Group in September 2016. She will be starting a PhD program at the School of Human Ecology within the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the department of Human Development and Family Studies in September 2017. 

For the past 15 years Anny had the opportunity to work in a variety of therapeutic programs where she gained valuable experience working with individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance abuse and more recently, addiction. She looks forward to embarking on graduate work in the fall of 2017 and trusts this will be an enriching experience that will broaden her perspectives and inspire her to find new ways of supporting struggling individuals and their families, helping them turn towards holistic well-being and sustained positive long-term change.