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Kathi L. Heffner, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 273-4786

Fax: (585) 273-1384

Biography

Professional Background

Kathi Heffner is an Associate Professor of Nursing, Medicine, and Psychiatry, and the Associate Chief of Research in the Division of Geriatrics and Aging in the Department of Medicine. Her multidisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations and mentorship are aimed at supporting research initiatives that can ultimately foster individuals' health and well-being in later life.

Dr. Heffner's work has been supported by multiple organizational, NIH and other federally funded grants. Her growing leadership in aging research has been recognized locally and nationally, including as a selected scholar for the Tideswell UCSF Emerging Leaders in Aging Program. She is currently the Principal Investigator and Program Director for the Healthy Aging Research Program, supported by the UR Clinical Translational Science Institute, School of Nursing, and Department of Psychiatry.

Research

My research centers on understanding the links between stress and health in older adulthood. I am particularly interested in how stress affects the immune system, and how to promote stress resilience to keep the immune system healthy at older ages. My scientific contributions fall into three areas: (1) implications of stress, including older family caregivers' stress, for healthy immune aging, (2) the influence of sleep and insomnia on stress physiology and inflammation, and (3) the role of social relationships in older adults' stress and stress resilience.

Across these areas, my goal is to identify behavioral interventions that can affect multiple domains of older adults' well-being, including mood and anxiety, cognitive function, pain, and risk for chronic aging-related diseases.

Credentials

Faculty Appointments

Education

1994
BA | University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Psychology

2001
PhD | University of Nevada, Reno
Social Psychology

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

2001 - 2003
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychoneuroimmunology, The Ohio State University

Awards

2017 - 2018
UCSF Tideswell Emerging Leaders in Aging, Leadership Scholar in Research

2015 - 2016
W. G. Stuber Research Fellowship Award
Sponsor: Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

2014
Selected cohort member; Developing from Within
Sponsor: Mid-Level Academic Women's Leadership Program
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

2013
Excellence in Research Incentive Program Award
Sponsor: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

2009
Citation Poster
Sponsor: American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting

2009
Collier Research Award, First Place
Sponsor: Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester

2008
Citation Poster
Sponsor: American Psychosomatic Society, Annual Meeting

2008
Renewal award, National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program, Clinical Research Program
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health

2008
Invitation and Honorarium for attendance
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging
Location: Opportunities for Advancing Behavioral & Social Research Worksho

2006
Funding recipient, National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program, Clinical Research Program
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health

2006
University International Council, International Travel Award
Sponsor: Ohio University

2005
Faculty Development Award
Sponsor: College of Arts & Science, Ohio University

2000
Social Psychology Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program Competitive Travel Award
Sponsor: University of Nevada, Reno

2000
Graduate Student Association Annual Research Competition, Finalist
Sponsor: University of Nevada, Reno

1998
Graduate Student Association (GSA) Merit Scholarship
Sponsor: University of Nevada, Reno

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Publications

Journal Articles

12/2017
Gallegos AM, Crean HF, Pigeon WR, Heffner KL. "Meditation and yoga for posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials." Clinical psychology review.. 2017 Dec 0; 58:115-124.

11/15/2017
Lin F, Ren P, Wang X, Anthony M, Tadin D, Heffner KL. "Cortical thickness is associated with altered autonomic function in cognitively impaired and non-impaired older adults." The Journal of physiology.. 2017 Nov 15; 595(22):6969-6978. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

11/2017
Ren P, Heffner KL, Jacobs A, Lin F. "Acute Affective Reactivity and Quality of Life in Older Adults with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Functional MRI Study." The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.. 2017 Nov 0; 25(11):1225-1233. Epub 2017 Jun 27.

Books & Chapters

2014
Chapter Title: Stress and immune function in humans: A life-course perspective
Book Title: Handbook of Psychoneuroimmunology
Author List: Moynihan, J. A.; Heffner, K. L.; Caserta, M.; O'Connor, T.
Published By: Oxford: John Wiley & Sons2014

2009
Chapter Title: Psychoneuroimmunology
Book Title: The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology
Author List: Heffner, K. L.
Published By: Wiley-Blackwell2009

2009
Chapter Title: Isolation: Health effects
Book Title: The Encyclopedia of Human Relationships
Author List: Heffner, K. L.
Published By: Sage2009

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