Kirstin Aschbacher, PhD

Associate Professor
Medicine
+1 415 502-3145

FOCUS: Dr. Kirstin Aschbacher is an Associate Professor and Data Scientist in the Division of Cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Aschbacher is passionate about “digital lifestyle medicine” – i.e., using technology to help people prevent and manage disease through healthy lifestyle change.

CLINCIAL TRAINING: She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Joint Doctoral Program between San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego with specialized expertise in Behavioral Medicine. She is also a licensed Clinical Psychologist.

DATA SCIENCE TRAINING: Dr. Aschbacher received specialized training in Data Science and mathematical modeling through her Postdoctoral work at UCSF, by completing the Data Insight Fellows Program, and through working at a Silicon Valley health start-up (Jawbone) as a Data Scientist for over a year. At Jawbone, Dr. Aschbacher helped design, build and test interventions to help users make positive changes in their diet, activity, sleep, and weight.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Dr. Aschbacher’s research has focused on how psychological stress and diet both contribute to the risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. She is interested in the question – How do we help people learn and practice the skills they need to become more resilient to stress, make healthy lifestyle changes, and reduce the burden of disease? Going forward, she is focused on applying these interests in the context of digital therapeutics and the Health eHeart study.

RELATED WEB SITES:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstinaschbacher
https://tiih.org/who/people/scholars-and-fellows/kirstin-aschbacher/
http://ucsfbeelab.org/people/
http://www.amecenter.ucsf.edu/kristen-aschbacher/

IN THE NEWS:

Sound Sleep may help Curb Calories
https://jawbone.com/blog/sound-sleep-may-help-curb-calories-3/

Dr. Aschbacher Featured in the Jawbone Blog
https://jawbone.com/get-up-together/story/kirstin-aschbacher

Stress & Poor Diet work Synergistically to Augment Metabolic Risk
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/01/caregiving-stress-junk-food-_n_...

Chronic Stress may Impair Cells that Help Repair Blood Vessel Linings
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-09-mothers-children-autism-chronic-s...

The Art and Science of Storytelling through Data
https://blog.insightdatascience.com/the-art-and-science-of-storytelling-...

Publications: 

Feasibility of continuous fever monitoring using wearable devices.

Scientific reports

Smarr BL, Aschbacher K, Fisher SM, Chowdhary A, Dilchert S, Puldon K, Rao A, Hecht FM, Mason AE

A digital biomarker of diabetes from smartphone-based vascular signals.

Nature medicine

Avram R, Olgin JE, Kuhar P, Hughes JW, Marcus GM, Pletcher MJ, Aschbacher K, Tison GH

Characterization of Cortisol Dysregulation in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes: A State-Space Approach.

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering

Pednekar DD, Amin MR, Fekri Azgomi H, Aschbacher K, Crofford LJ, Faghih RT

A System Theoretic Investigation of Cortisol Dysregulation in Fibromyalgia Patients with Chronic Fatigue.

Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference

Pednekar DD, Amin MR, Azgomi HF, Aschbacher K, Crofford LJ, Faghih RT

Real-world heart rate norms in the Health eHeart study.

NPJ digital medicine

Avram R, Tison GH, Aschbacher K, Kuhar P, Vittinghoff E, Butzner M, Runge R, Wu N, Pletcher MJ, Marcus GM, Olgin J

Does cannabis legalisation change healthcare utilisation? A population-based study using the healthcare cost and utilisation project in Colorado, USA.

BMJ open

Delling FN, Vittinghoff E, Dewland TA, Pletcher MJ, Olgin JE, Nah G, Aschbacher K, Fang CD, Lee ES, Fan SM, Kazi DS, Marcus GM

Sweet cognition: The differential effects of glucose consumption on attentional food bias in individuals of lean and obese status.

Physiology & behavior

Mason AE, Jhaveri K, Schleicher S, Almeida C, Hartman A, Wackerly A, Alba D, Koliwad SK, Epel ES, Aschbacher K

Temporal patterns of self-weighing behavior and weight changes assessed by consumer purchased scales in the Health eHeart Study.

Journal of behavioral medicine

Zheng Y, Sereika SM, Burke LE, Olgin JE, Marcus GM, Aschbacher K, Tison GH, Pletcher MJ

Stress Resilience: Narrative Identity May Buffer the Longitudinal Effects of Chronic Caregiving Stress on Mental Health and Telomere Shortening.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Mason AE, Adler JM, Puterman E, Lakmazaheri A, Brucker M, Aschbacher K, Epel ES

Posttraumatic stress disorder, symptoms, and white matter abnormalities among combat-exposed veterans.

Brain imaging and behavior

Aschbacher K, Mellon SH, Wolkowitz OM, Henn-Haase C, Yehuda R, Flory JD, Bierer LM, Abu-Amara D, Marmar CR, Mueller SG

When anger expression might be beneficial for African Americans: The moderating role of chronic discrimination.

Cultural diversity & ethnic minority psychology

Park J, Flores AJ, Aschbacher K, Mendes WB

Chronic Stress and Impulsive Risk-Taking Predict Increases in Visceral Fat over 18 Months.

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Mason AE, Schleicher S, Coccia M, Epel ES, Aschbacher K

A Mitochondrial Health Index Sensitive to Mood and Caregiving Stress.

Biological psychiatry

Picard M, Prather AA, Puterman E, Cuillerier A, Coccia M, Aschbacher K, Burelle Y, Epel ES

Increased circulating blood cell counts in combat-related PTSD: Associations with inflammation and PTSD severity.

Psychiatry research

Lindqvist D, Mellon SH, Dhabhar FS, Yehuda R, Grenon SM, Flory JD, Bierer LM, Abu-Amara D, Coy M, Makotkine I, Reus VI, Aschbacher K, Bersani FS, Marmar CR, Wolkowitz OM

Return to work after work-related stress: a randomized controlled trial of a work-focused cognitive behavioral intervention.

Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health

Dalgaard VL, Aschbacher K, Andersen JH, Glasscock DJ, Willert MV, Carstensen O, Biering K

Chronic stress is associated with reduced circulating hematopoietic progenitor cell number: A maternal caregiving model.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Aschbacher K, Milush JM, Gilbert A, Almeida C, Sinclair E, Epling L, Grenon SM, Marco EJ, Puterman E, Epel E

A population of atypical CD56(-)CD16(+) natural killer cells is expanded in PTSD and is associated with symptom severity.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Bersani FS, Wolkowitz OM, Milush JM, Sinclair E, Eppling L, Aschbacher K, Lindqvist D, Yehuda R, Flory J, Bierer LM, Matokine I, Abu-Amara D, Reus VI, Coy M, Hough CM, Marmar CR, Mellon SH

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Is Associated With Worse Endothelial Function Among Veterans.

Journal of the American Heart Association

Grenon SM, Owens CD, Alley H, Perez S, Whooley MA, Neylan TC, Aschbacher K, Gasper WJ, Hilton JF, Cohen BE

Circulating angiogenic cell function is inhibited by cortisol in vitro and associated with psychological stress and cortisol in vivo.

Psychoneuroendocrinology

Aschbacher K, Derakhshandeh R, Flores AJ, Narayan S, Mendes WB, Springer ML

Systematic and Cell Type-Specific Telomere Length Changes in Subsets of Lymphocytes.

Journal of immunology research

Lin J, Cheon J, Brown R, Coccia M, Puterman E, Aschbacher K, Sinclair E, Epel E, Blackburn EH

Reduced reward-driven eating accounts for the impact of a mindfulness-based diet and exercise intervention on weight loss: Data from the SHINE randomized controlled trial.

Appetite

Mason AE, Epel ES, Aschbacher K, Lustig RH, Acree M, Kristeller J, Cohn M, Dallman M, Moran PJ, Bacchetti P, Laraia B, Hecht FM, Daubenmier J

Overexpression of Nitric Oxide Synthase Restores Circulating Angiogenic Cell Function in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease: Implications for Autologous Cell Therapy for Myocardial Infarction.

Journal of the American Heart Association

Chen Q, Varga M, Wang X, Haddad DJ, An S, Medzikovic L, Derakhshandeh R, Kostyushev DS, Zhang Y, Clifford BT, Luu E, Danforth OM, Rafikov R, Gong W, Black SM, Suchkov SV, Fineman JR, Heiss C, Aschbacher K, Yeghiazarians Y, Springer ML

Anger is associated with increased IL-6 stress reactivity in women, but only among those low in social support.

International journal of behavioral medicine

Puterman E, Epel ES, O'Donovan A, Prather AA, Aschbacher K, Dhabhar FS

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-leptin axis and metabolic health: a systems approach to resilience, robustness and control.

Interface focus

Aschbacher K, Rodriguez-Fernandez M, van Wietmarschen H, Tomiyama AJ, Jain S, Epel E, Doyle FJ, van der Greef J

Chronic stress increases vulnerability to diet-related abdominal fat, oxidative stress, and metabolic risk.

Psychoneuroendocrinology

Aschbacher K, Kornfeld S, Picard M, Puterman E, Havel PJ, Stanhope K, Lustig RH, Epel E

Brief exposure to secondhand smoke reversibly impairs endothelial vasodilatory function.

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Pinnamaneni K, Sievers RE, Sharma R, Selchau AM, Gutierrez G, Nordsieck EJ, Su R, An S, Chen Q, Wang X, Derakhshandeh R, Aschbacher K, Heiss C, Glantz SA, Schick SF, Springer ML

Good stress, bad stress and oxidative stress: insights from anticipatory cortisol reactivity.

Psychoneuroendocrinology

Aschbacher K, O'Donovan A, Wolkowitz OM, Dhabhar FS, Su Y, Epel E

Linking disease symptoms and subtypes with personalized systems-based phenotypes: a proof of concept study.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Aschbacher K, Adam EK, Crofford LJ, Kemeny ME, Demitrack MA, Ben-Zvi A

Maintenance of a positive outlook during acute stress protects against pro-inflammatory reactivity and future depressive symptoms.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Aschbacher K, Epel E, Wolkowitz OM, Prather AA, Puterman E, Dhabhar FS

Higher fasting glucose levels are associated with reduced circulating angiogenic cell migratory capacity among healthy individuals.

American journal of cardiovascular disease

Aschbacher K, Chen Q, Varga M, Haddad DJ, Yeghiazarians Y, Epel E, Wolkowitz OM, Springer ML

Int. J. of Advanced Mechatronic Systems

Asymptotic parameter sensitivity for polynomial dynamical systems

Ben-Zvi, A., Aschbacher, K.

New directions in linking the dynamics of affective and stress-arousal systems.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Aschbacher K, Kemeny ME

Effects of Alzheimer caregiving on allostatic load.

Journal of health psychology

Roepke SK, Mausbach BT, Patterson TL, Von Känel R, Ancoli-Israel S, Harmell AL, Dimsdale JE, Aschbacher K, Mills PJ, Ziegler MG, Allison M, Grant I

The moderating role of personal mastery on the relationship between caregiving status and multiple dimensions of fatigue.

International journal of geriatric psychiatry

Roepke SK, Mausbach BT, von Känel R, Ancoli-Israel S, Harmell AL, Dimsdale JE, Aschbacher K, Mills PJ, Patterson TL, Grant I

Longitudinal platelet reactivity to acute psychological stress among older men and women.

Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Aschbacher K, von Känel R, Mills PJ, Roepke SK, Hong S, Dimsdale JE, Mausbach BT, Patterson TL, Ziegler MG, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Persistent versus transient depressive symptoms in relation to platelet hyperactivation: a longitudinal analysis of dementia caregivers.

Journal of affective disorders

Aschbacher K, Roepke SK, von Känel R, Mills PJ, Mausbach BT, Patterson TL, Dimsdale JE, Ziegler MG, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Effects of faith/assurance on cortisol levels are enhanced by a spiritual mantram intervention in adults with HIV: a randomized trial.

Journal of psychosomatic research

Bormann JE, Aschbacher K, Wetherell JL, Roesch S, Redwine L

Yoga for veterans with chronic low-back pain.

Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)

Groessl EJ, Weingart KR, Aschbacher K, Pada L, Baxi S

Effects of gender and dementia severity on Alzheimer's disease caregivers' sleep and biomarkers of coagulation and inflammation.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Mills PJ, Ancoli-Israel S, von Känel R, Mausbach BT, Aschbacher K, Patterson TL, Ziegler MG, Dimsdale JE, Grant I

A 5-year longitudinal study of the relationships between stress, coping, and immune cell beta(2)-adrenergic receptor sensitivity.

Psychiatry research

Mausbach BT, Aschbacher K, Mills PJ, Roepke SK, von Känel R, Patterson TL, Dimsdale JE, Ziegler MG, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Personal mastery is associated with reduced sympathetic arousal in stressed Alzheimer caregivers.

The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Roepke SK, Mausbach BT, Aschbacher K, Ziegler MG, Dimsdale JE, Mills PJ, von Känel R, Ancoli-Israel S, Patterson TL, Grant I

The moderating effect of personal mastery and the relations between stress and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) antigen.

Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association

Mausbach BT, von Känel R, Patterson TL, Dimsdale JE, Depp CA, Aschbacher K, Mills PJ, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Increased Framingham Coronary Heart Disease Risk Score in dementia caregivers relative to non-caregiving controls.

Gerontology

von Känel R, Mausbach BT, Patterson TL, Dimsdale JE, Aschbacher K, Mills PJ, Ziegler MG, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Effects of depressive and anxious symptoms on norepinephrine and platelet P-selectin responses to acute psychological stress among elderly caregivers.

Brain, behavior, and immunity

Aschbacher K, Mills PJ, von Känel R, Hong S, Mausbach BT, Roepke SK, Dimsdale JE, Patterson TL, Ziegler MG, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Combination of caregiving stress and hormone replacement therapy is associated with prolonged platelet activation to acute stress among postmenopausal women.

Psychosomatic medicine

Aschbacher K, von Känel R, Mills PJ, Hong S, Roepke SK, Mausbach BT, Patterson TL, Ziegler MG, Dimsdale JE, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Spousal caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease show longitudinal increases in plasma level of tissue-type plasminogen activator antigen.

Psychosomatic medicine

Mausbach BT, von Känel R, Aschbacher K, Roepke SK, Dimsdale JE, Ziegler MG, Mills PJ, Patterson TL, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Effects of placement and bereavement on psychological well-being and cardiovascular risk in Alzheimer's caregivers: a longitudinal analysis.

Journal of psychosomatic research

Mausbach BT, Aschbacher K, Patterson TL, von Känel R, Dimsdale JE, Mills PJ, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Knowledge, attitudes and sources of information regarding HIV/AIDS in Iranian adolescents.

AIDS care

Yazdi CA, Aschbacher K, Arvantaj A, Naser HM, Abdollahi E, Asadi A, Mousavi M, Narmani MR, Kianpishe M, Nicfallah F, Moghadam AK

Stress-related reduction in personal mastery is associated with reduced immune cell beta2-adrenergic receptor sensitivity.

International psychogeriatrics

Mausbach BT, Mills PJ, Patterson TL, Aschbacher K, Dimsdale JE, Ancoli-Israel S, von Känel R, Grant I

Sleep disturbance, norepinephrine, and D-dimer are all related in elderly caregivers of people with Alzheimer disease.

Sleep

Mausbach BT, Ancoli-Israel S, von Känel R, Patterson TL, Aschbacher K, Mills PJ, Ziegler MG, Dimsdale JE, Calleran S, Grant I

Dementia severity of the care receiver predicts procoagulant response in Alzheimer caregivers.

The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Aschbacher K, von Känel R, Dimsdale JE, Patterson TL, Mills PJ, Mausbach BT, Allison MA, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I

Altered blood coagulation in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Psychosomatic medicine

von Känel R, Hepp U, Buddeberg C, Keel M, Mica L, Aschbacher K, Schnyder U

Avoidant coping partially mediates the relationship between patient problem behaviors and depressive symptoms in spousal Alzheimer caregivers.

The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Mausbach BT, Aschbacher K, Patterson TL, Ancoli-Israel S, von Känel R, Mills PJ, Dimsdale JE, Grant I

Coping processes and hemostatic reactivity to acute stress in dementia caregivers.

Psychosomatic medicine

Aschbacher K, Patterson TL, von Känel R, Dimsdale JE, Mills PJ, Adler KA, Ancoli-Israel S, Grant I