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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Epel To Speak on Emotional Well-Being and Eating Behaviors, June 23

Dr. Epel

Dr. Elissa Epel

Dr. Elissa Epel, professor and vice chair in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), will present “Advancing Research on Emotional Well-Being and Regulation of Eating” on Thursday, June 23 from noon to 1 p.m. ET. The event is part of NCCIH’s Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series. Registration is not required and NIH staff and the public are welcome. 

Given the rising levels of global stress, including from the Covid-19 pandemic, loneliness and mental health problems are on the rise, adding to the burden of chronic diseases. Most health-oriented research takes a harm-reduction approach, i.e., identifying and mitigating problems to reduce disease burden. Understanding and promoting emotional well-being (EWB) may yield another important strategy to accomplish this and significantly improve people’s health. 

Epel is principal investigator of a new, NIH-funded research network to develop resources and a multidisciplinary community of scholars focused on researching EWB. She will discuss this work and, in addition, how stress and compulsive eating are interrelated (a longtime research focus for her). Her team has developed interventions in this area such as mindfulness-based training modules. 

At UCSF, Epel is also director of the Aging, Metabolism and Emotions Center and the Consortium for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment. She holds a Ph.D. in clinical and health psychology from Yale University. Epel has coauthored a bestselling book, The Telomere Effect, with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn. 

The lecture will be streamed live and archived on NIH Videocast and NCCIH Facebook. More information is at

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