Niloofar Afari, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor
Division Co-Director, Mental Health Integrative and Consultative Services, VA San Diego Healthcare System
Director of Clinical Research, VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health

 

Contact Information

T: (858) 642-3387
nafari@ucsd.edu

Biography

Dr. Niloofar Afari received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1996. She completed a predoctoral internship and postdoctoral training at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington, where she also was a faculty member from 2000-2006. Dr. Afari’s interdisciplinary research, funded by NIH and Department of Veterans Affairs, involves twin studies to examine genetic and environmental influences on unexplained clinical condition; treatment studies of health conditions using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; and implementation of eHealth technology for evidence-based screening and outcomes monitoring of mental health symptoms. Dr. Afari also is a faculty member in the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Psychology and has leadership roles at the Mental Health Service of the VA San Diego Healthcare System and VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health. 

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Afari’s interdisciplinary research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, involves twin studies to examine genetic and environmental influences on unexplained clinical conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic pelvic pain as well as the relationship between psychological trauma and health-related outcomes. Other research areas of interest include the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in medical populations.

Clinical Focus


Dr. Afari is responsible for the Behavioral Medicine Service at the Mission Valley outpatient clinic of the VA San Diego Healthcare System. This Service provides intervention for behaviors and psychological symptoms that have a negative impact on the health of primary care patients.

Publications

  • Afari, N., Wen, G., Buchwald, D., Goldberg, J., & Plesh, O. (2008). The association between post-traumatic stress symptoms and temporomandibular pain: Findings from a community-based twin registry. Journal of Orofacial Pain, 22, 41-49.
  • Schur, E. A., Afari, N., Furberg, H., Olarte, M., Goldberg, J., Sullivan, P. F., & Buchwald, D. (2007). Feeling bad in more ways than one: Comorbidity patterns of medically unexplained and psychiatric conditions. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 22, 818-821.
  • Afari, N., Noonan, C., Goldberg, J., Edwards, K., Gadepalli, K., Osterman, B., Evanoff, C., & Buchwald, D. (2006). University of Washington Twin Registry: Construction and characteristics of a community-based twin registry. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9, 1023-1029.
  • Arguelles, L. M., Afari, N., Buchwald, D., Clauw, D., Furner, S., & Goldberg, J. (2006). A twin study of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and chronic widespread pain. Pain, 124, 150-157.