Niloofar Afari, Ph.D.


Niloofar Afari, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UCSD
Program Co-Director, Behavioral Medicine, VASDHS
Director of Clinical Affairs, VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health
Associate Chief, Clinical Health and Neurosciences Unit of the VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health

Phone #: (858) 534-2670
Fax #: (858) 822-3777

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. She is an Associate Professor in Residence of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, Director of Clinical Affairs for the VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, and the Co-Director of the Behavioral Medicine program at the San Diego VA Psychology Service.

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.

Selected Publications
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.



University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0603 La Jolla, CA 92037-0603
Telephone: (858) 534-3684, Fax: (858) 534-7653, Electronic Mail: