Elissa S. Epel, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and a faculty member of the Health Psychology Training program and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Her research examines relationships between chronic stress with eating, insulin resistance, obesity, and aging. Her focus is on psychoneuroendocrine mediation--such as how stress-induced hormonal dysregulation may mediate relationships between stress appraisal and depression on the one hand, and metabolically-related outcomes (food ingestion and visceral fat), on the other hand. Her primary study is on family caregivers, and attempts to understand how genetic, psychological and physiological factors make some people vulnerable and others resilient to the chronic stress of caregiving.
Epel received a BA in psychology from Stanford University, and a PhD in clinical psychology from Yale University, with a focus on health psychology. She completed a clinical internship in Behavioral Medicine at the Palo Alto VA Hospital.