Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a Professor, and Vice Chair, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at University of California, San Francisco. She studies psychological, social, and behavioral pathways underlying chronic psychological stress and stress resilience that impact cellular aging and metabolic health, as well as how contemplative and biobehavioral interventions can promote stress and social resilience.  She co-leads the UCSF Climate and Mental Health Task Force, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine Presidential subgroup focusing on Climate and Health Inequities. She is President of Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, member of National Academy of Medicine.

Elissa helps lead the UCSF Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center, the NIH Stress Measurement Network and the new NIH Emotional Well Being network. Elissa serves as the co-chair of the Mind & Life Steering Council and is a Mind & Life Fellow. She currently serves as co-chair of the 2021 Summer Research Institute (“The Mind, the Human-Earth Connection, and the Climate Crisis”) and previously served as the co-chair of the 2019 Summer Research Institute (“Exploring Mental Habits: Contemplative Practices and Interventions for Individual and Social Flourishing”) and the 2017 Summer Research Institute (“Intersubjectivity and Social Connectivity”). She is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Telomere Effect.

Elissa Epel served on the Mind & Life Steering Council from Spring 2016 to Spring 2022.

This profile was last updated on June 6, 2021

Mind & Life Connections


2021 Summer Research Institute Session

Panel Discussion: Science Forum: The Science of Social Change for Sustainability

Moderators: Elissa Epel
Panel: Christine Wamsler, Ed Maibach, Karen O' Brien, Elissa Epel

Topics: Environment | Interconnection | Mindfulness | Social Change


2019 Summer Research Institute Session

Interdisciplinary Panel: Translating Neuroscience

Moderators: Andrew Dreitcer, Elissa Epel
Panel: Anil Seth, Clifford Saron, Daniel Siegel, Lawrence Barsalou, Yoona Kang, Norman Farb, Elissa Epel, Andrew Dreitcer

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Education


2017 Summer Research Institute Session

Interdisciplinary Panel Social Networks: Intersubjectivity, Connectivity and Technology

Moderators: Elissa Epel
Panel: Pete Fleming, David Sbarra, Tania Singer, Elissa Epel

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Interconnection | Self & Other