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Afternoon Light



Elissa Epel, Ph.D, (pronunciation) is an international expert on stress, well-being, and optimal aging and a best-selling author.  She is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is Vice Chair of Psychology and directs the Aging Metabolism Emotions Center.  She studies the environmental, psychological, behavioral, and social factors that impact cellular aging (such as telomeres, inflammation, and mitochondria), and is also focusing on climate wellness.

She studies how self-care practices such as meditation and positive stress can promote psychological and physiological thriving and is interested in large-scale interventions for communal well-being and health equity. She co-wrote the New York Times best-seller “The Telomere Effect: A revolutionary approach to living younger, longer” with Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn (translated into 30 languages) and the new “Stress Prescription,” an independent bookstore best seller and being translated into 15 languages. She enjoys leading science-based meditation retreats.

Epel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, past President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and past co-chair of the Mind & Life Institute Steering Council.  She has served as a consultant to NIH, CDC, Facebook, Apple, United Health, and UC campus-wide initiatives on stress and health.  Epel’s research has been featured in venues such as TEDMED, Wisdom 2.0, NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Morning Show, 60 minutes, National Public Radio, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and science documentaries. In 2022, she was named as a highly cited researcher, among the  top .1% of researchers globally (for publication impact).

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