Elissa Epel, PhD
University of california, San Francisco
Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, at University of California, San Francisco. She is the Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Lab, and the Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, & Treatment, (COAST), Associate Director of the Center for Health and Community, and Associate Director of the NIH-funded UCSF Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC). She studies psychological, social, and behavioral processes related to chronic psychological stress that accelerate biological aging, with a focus on the telomere/telomerase maintenance system. She also studies the interconnections between emotional processes, eating, and metabolism. With her collaborators, she is conducting clinical trials to examine the effect of self regulation and mindfulness training programs on cellular aging, weight (including during pregnancy), and parenting stress for parents of children with developmental disorders. She leads or co-leads studies funded by NIA and NHLBI, including a Stress Measurement Network, and a multicampus center on obesity funded by UC Office of the President. She is involved in National Institute of Aging initiatives on role of ‘stress’ in aging, and on reversibility of early life adversity. She is a fellow of the Association of Psychological Science and Mind and Life. She is one the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research Board, and the European Society of Preventive Medicine Board. Epel studied psychology and psychobiology at Stanford University (BA, 1990), and clinical and health psychology at Yale University (PhD, 1998). She completed a clinical internship at the Palo Alto Veterans Healthcare System and an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF. Epel has received several awards including the APA Early Career Award and Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research Neal Miller Young Investigator Award.