Elissa Epel
San Francisco
United States

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 Center (www.amecenter.ucsf.edu), 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 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 has been involved in National Institute of Aging initiatives on role of ‘stress’ in aging, and on reversibility of early life adversity, and now on Science of Behavior Change. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the Association of Psychological Science, and Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. She is on the scientific advisory boards for the Mind and Life Institute, and on the European Society of Preventive Medicine Board.  Epel has co-written a book for the public with Elizabeth Blackburn, nobel laureate, which covers the biological, social, psychological, environmental and nutritional factors shaping telomere length and rate of aging.  The book is called “The Telomere Effect: The new science of living younger.”