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Adler, Nancy E.

Nancy E. Adler, Ph.D. is the Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Center for Health and Community. She is also the Lisa and John Pritzker Professor of Psychology, in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. She received a BA from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University. After serving as Assistant and Associate Professor at UC, Santa Cruz, she came to UCSF to initiate a graduate program in Health Psychology. She has served as director of that program, an NIMH-sponsored postdoctoral program in “Psychology and Medicine: Translational Research on Stress, Behavior and Disease,” and a postdoctoral “Health and Society Scholars Program” funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Adler is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society (APS) and the American Psychological Association (APA). She has served as President of the Division of Population and Environmental Psychology of the APA and received its Superior Service Award; she is also a member of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Adler has been awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Advancement of Women, the George Sarlo Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from UCSF, and the Outstanding Contribution to Health Psychology award from APA’s Division of Health Psychology and the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for the Application of Psychology. She has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine (IOM). She chaired an IOM committee on the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and currently chairs a committee on women’s health research. She served on the IOM Membership Committee and now serves on the Report Review Committee of the National Academies of Science and was named a National Associate of the National Academies. She recently completed a term on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH. Dr. Adler’s earlier research examined the utility of decision models for understanding health behaviors with particular focus on reproductive health. This work identified both determinants of consequences of unwanted pregnancy. Her current work examines the pathways from socioeconomic status (SES) to health. As director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on SES and Health, she coordinates research spanning social, psychological and biological mechanisms by which SES influences health. Within the network she has focused on the role of subjective social status in health.

Educational Expertise

Decision-making, social disparities in health, research methods and population health

Research Areas

Socioeconomic influences on health, reproductive health and population health

Publications on PubMed


University of California San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry is among the nation's foremost resources in the field of child, adolescent and adult mental health. Psychiatry faculty members are recognized for their leadership roles in state-of-the-art, comprehensive and compassionate patient care, pioneering research...


Altschuler, Andrea

Andrea Altschuler is Senior Consultant at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

Somkin, Carol

Carol Somkin, PhD is a sociologist and Senior Research Scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division...

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