Elissa Epel is an associate professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. She is also a faculty member in the Health Psychology Postdoctoral Program, the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Postdoctoral Scholars Program, and a leader of the new UCSF Center on Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment (COAST). She has longstanding interests in social and psychobiological stress mechanisms, and impact of stress physiology on food intake, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature aging at the cellular level. Her focus is on psychoneuroendocrine mediation — how stress-induced hormonal dysregulation may mediate relationships between stressor appraisal and metabolically-related outcomes (food ingestion, insulin resistance, visceral fat distribution, cell aging). Her primary study is on family caregivers, and attempts to understand, from a psychobiological and genetic perspective, why some people are vulnerable and others are resilient to the chronic stress of caregiving.