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Research at NCIRE

NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Aoife O'Donovan, BA, MPsychSc, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, SFVAHCS & UCSF
Society in Science: Branco Weiss Fellow

Psychological Stress and Accelerated Biological Aging

Dr. O’Donovan’s research focuses on elucidating the pathway from psychological stress to increased risk for diseases of aging. She aims to uncover how psychological stress “gets under the skin,” and more precisely, into cells, to accelerate the biological aging process. To this end, she examines the effects of specific kinds of psychological stress on threat-related information processing and on indices and mechanisms of biological aging, including telomere shortening, oxidative stress, and inflammatory activity. Her work to date suggests that exaggerated threat sensitivity may be a central psychological mechanism linking various forms of psychological stress with accelerated biological aging as indexed by telomere length.

To see Dr. O'Donovan on Pub Med, click here.