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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 uses science as a north star, guiding us in the context of other sources of contemplative wisdom. 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). 


Epel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, current President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and 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.  She enjoys leading science-based contemplative retreats at venues such as WEF/Davos, Esalen, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and 1440 Multiversity. 

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