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What I Do

As a social health psychologist, my overarching goal is to investigate how fundamental human experiences (love and loss) contribute to mental and physical health as we age. 

To advance this area of research, I take a lifespan-oriented, psychoneuroimmunology perspective on social loss. I study how stress-response processes, particularly during vulnerable periods of social loss, inform our understanding of social contributions to healthy aging. 

In addition to research on social loss, I also work with:

  1. Viral illness and vaccination models

  2.  Studies of chronic social stress (e.g., caregiving)

  3. Experimental manipulations to identify the positive effects of acute stress (i.e., hormetic stress = stress that is mild and manageable but may promote healthier future cellular responses to stress).

Areas of Interest: Psychoneuroimmunology, Close Relationships and Health, Lifespan Development, Affective Science, Women's Health, Stress Interventions

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