I am trained in cardiovascular psychophysiology, behavioral medicine, stress mechanisms of disease, neuropsychology, and cardiovascular and social epidemiology. I study the influence of psychosocial stressors on cardiovascular disease risk, including stroke and diabetes, and explores biobehavioral and physiological mechanisms that underlie these associations. My research also explores the role of psychosocial risk factors in health disparities and vulnerable populations. Her most recent work investigates whether mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions can be used to effectively manage chronic disease conditions and promote healthier lifestyles in diverse settings. I have over 20 years’ experience as an NIH-funded investigator, including on several large epidemiologic cohort studies (e.g., the Alameda County Study, the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, the Chicago Health and Aging Project, and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis). Across these studies, my work has examined how chronic stress, psychosocial characteristics, such as depression, hopelessness, anger and hostility, social relationships, and socioeconomic factors contribute to disease risk in diverse samples of middle-aged and older men and women.
Associate Director, Program in Health Disparities Research
MPC Primary Research Areas