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Jennifer Keller

Academic Appointments

Key Documents

Contact Information

  • Clinical Offices
    Psychiatry Department 401 Quarry Rd MC 5723 Stanford, CA 94305
    Tel Work (650) 724-0070 Fax (650) 723-8331
  • Contact Information
    Personal Information
    Email Tel (650) 724-0070
    Not for medical emergencies or patient use

Professional Overview

Clinical Focus

  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Research Professor, Palo Alto University (2009 - present)
  • Board Member, No Means No Worldwide (2013 - present)
  • Advisor, WOMEN SV (2012 - present)

Professional Education

Internship: VA Medical Center Palo Alto CA (2000)
Fellowship: Stanford University School of Medicine CA (2001)
Medical Education: University of Illinois Department of Psychology IL (1999)
Ph.D.: U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Clinical Psychology (1999)

Scientific Focus

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My current work focuses on the prevention and intervention of interpersonal violence and abuse in women. Recent research from the CDC (2011) finds that 1 in 5 women in the U.S. experience rape in their lifetime and more than 1 in 3 women experience violence from a partner. Recent estimates put the cost of childhood violence on par with medical conditions such as diabetes and stroke (Fang, 2012). Much of this abuse is preventable. The toll of interpersonal violence on women includes reduced psychological, interpersonal, physical, occupational, and economic functioning; all of which reduce her quality of life. We are researching an adjunctive therapeutic class which provides psychoeducation, psychological skill development, and physical empowerment training to women who have a history of interpersonal trauma. In addition, we are piloting a program to promote positive health behaviors, personal safety, and empowerment for adolescent girls, partnering with a local high school.

The plight of women is even more severe in other parts of the world. Over the last few years, I have been developing several collaborations with researchers and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in South Asia, including India and Pakistan. I have begun working with a non-profit in Kenya to examined the efficacy of their girls empowerment program as well. Collectively, our vision is to improve the status of women in these countries, focusing on womenÂ’s mental health and the prevention of violence.

I am also very interested in the biological links between interpersonal trauma and depression. Several studies have suggested relationships between dysfunctional hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) activity and trauma, as well as distinct links between HPA dysfunction and depression. Previous research suggests that early life stress makes the HPA axis more stress reactive and therefore leads to dysfunction in cognition, cortisol, and even brain volume. We are examining these relationships between trauma, depression, cognition, and biological factors, including HPA activity, genetic expression, and brain structure and function.


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