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Kathi L. Heffner, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Fax: (585) 273-1384

Office: (585) 273-4786

Biography

Research

I am an Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and director of the Stress and Health Laboratory in the Rochester Center for Mind-Body Research. My research centers on understanding the psychoneuroimmunological links between stress and health. Broadly, I am interested in how social, psychological, and behavioral factors promote or impair physiological stress adaptation and immune/inflammatory regulation. My scientific contributions fall into three areas: (1) the role of social relationships in stress and health links, (2) implications of stress for healthy aging, and (3) the influence of sleep on stress physiology. Across these areas, I aim to understand how stress-related autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune changes ultimately affect well-being, including mood and anxiety, cognitive function, pain, and risk for chronic aging-related diseases. My work has been supported by multiple organizational, NIH- and other federally-funded grants. Over the years, I have evolved from a primary focus on human laboratory experiments to a complementary emphasis on clinical behavioral interventions as experimental manipulations to elucidate mechanisms. This approach has expanded my multi-disciplinary endeavors to include close collaboration with expert clinician researchers. Together, this research not only contributes to understanding basic mechanisms of stress and health, but also has potential for immediate translation to clinical intervention.

Credentials

Faculty Appointments

Education

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

2001
PhD | University of Nevada, Reno
Social Psychology

Awards

2015 - Present
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

10/2016
Devereux PG, Heffner KL, Doane MJ, Gosser B, Nolan M. "Identifying attentional deployment tactics in older adults' written narratives about emotionally upsetting events." Journal of health psychology.. 2016 Oct 0; 21(10):2247-58. Epub 2015 Mar 16.

6/2016
Lin F, Heffner KL, Ren P, Tivarus ME, Brasch J, Chen DG, Mapstone M, Porsteinsson AP, Tadin D. "Cognitive and Neural Effects of Vision-Based Speed-of-Processing Training in Older Adults with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.. 2016 Jun 0; 64(6):1293-8.

5/2016
Heffner KL, Crean HF, Kemp JE. "Meditation programs for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Aggregate findings from a multi-site evaluation." Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy.. 2016 May 0; 8(3):365-74. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

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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