Faculty Detail

Kathi L. Heffner, PhD

Associate Professor
Kathi L. Heffner

Contact Information

255 Crittenden Blvd. Box SON Rochester, NY 14642
Work: 273-4786


PhD, 2001. University of Nevada, Reno, NV, US

BA, 1994. State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, US


Faculty Appointments: 2016 - Current. Associate Professor. University of Rochester, School of Nursing (Primary Appointment). Rochester, NY, US.

Faculty Appointments: 2014 - Current. Associate Professor. University of Rochester, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Dentistry (Secondary Appointment). Rochester, NY, US.

Faculty Appointments: 2008 - 2014. Assistant Professor. University of Rochester, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Dentistry. Rochester, NY, US.

Faculty Appointments: 2008 - 2010. Adjunct Professor. Ohio University, Department of Psychology. Athens, OH, US.

Faculty Appointments: 2003 - 2008. Assistant Professor. Ohio University, Department of Psychology. Athens, OH, US.

Fellowship (Post Doctoral): 2001 - 2003. . The Ohio State University (NIH/NIMH, T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychoneuroimmunology). Columbus, OH, US.


Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients. 2016 - Current. NIH/NIA.

Cognitive Training to Protect Immune Systems of Older Caregivers. 2016 - Current. NIH/NIA.

Neurophysiological Aspects of Vision-based Speed of Processing Cognitive Training in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment. 2015 - Current. NIH/NINR.

Managing Sleep Symptoms and Modifying Mechanisms of Traumatic Stress. 2012 - 2016. NIH/NINR.

Feasibility and Effectiveness of Meditation Programs for Veterans with PTSD. 2014 - 2016. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Differentiating Neurophysiological Stress Regulation in Alzheimer Disease. 2014 - Current. Alzheimer's Association.

Integrative Physiology of Gulf War Illness: Role of Autonomic Functioning, Central Neural Processing, and Sleep. 2011 - 2012. Department of Defense.

The Rochester Center for Mind-Body Research. 2007 - 2011. NIH/NIA.

Psychophysiological Correlates of Aging Stereotypes and Personal Aging Beliefs. 2007 - 2010. NIH/NIA.

Population Impact of Raising Perceptions of Heritable Risk. 2007 - 2010. NIH/NHGRI.

Writing and Health in Older Adults. 2001 - 2003. NIH/NIA.


Lin F, Heffner KL, Ren P, Tadin D.. (2017). A role of the parasympathetic nervous system in cognitive training. Curr Alzheimer Res, 14 (7), 784-789.

Ren, P; Heffner, KL; Jacobs, A; Lin, F. (2017). Acute Affective Reactivity and Quality of Life in Older Adults with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Functional MRI Study [epub ahead of print]. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry.

Ren, P. Anthony, M. Chapman, B. P. Heffner, K. Lin, F.. (2017). Amygdala functional connectivity is associated with locus of control in the context of cognitive aging., 199-206.

Heffner, K. L., Crean, H. F., & Kemp, J. E.. (2016). Meditation programs for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Aggregate findings from a multi-site evaluation. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy (8), 365-374.

Lin, F., Heffner, K., Ren, P., Tivarus, M., Brasch, J., Chen, D., Mapstone, M., Porsteinsson, A., & Tadin D.. (2016). Cognitive and neural effects of vision-based speed of processing training in older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment: A pilot study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 64 (6), 1293-8.

Lin, F., Ren, P., Cotton, K., Porsteinsson, A., Mapstone, M. & Heffner, K. L.. (2016). Mental fatigability and heart rate variability in mild cognitive impairment. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (24), 374-378.

Pigeon, W. R., Heffner, K. L., Crean, H. F., Gallegos, A. M., Walsh, P., Seehuus, M., Cerulli, C.. (2015). Responding to the need for sleep among survivors of interpersonal violence: A randomized controlled trial of a cognitive-behavioral insomnia intervention followed by PTSD treatment. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 45, 252-260.

Devereux, P. G., Heffner, K. L., Doane, M. J., Gosser, B., Nolan, M. (2015). Identifying attentional deployment tactics in older adults narratives about emotionally upsetting events. Journal of Health Psychology.

Lin. F, Roiland, R., Heffner, K., Johnson, M., Chen, DG., & Mapstone, M.. (2014). Evaluation of objective and perceived mental fatigability in older adults with vascular risk. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 76, 458-464.

Lin, F., Suhr, J., Diebold, S., & Heffner, K. L.. (2014). Associations between depressive symptoms and memory deficits vary as a function of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels in healthy older adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 42, 118-123.

Heffner, K. L., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Glaser, R., Malarkey, W. B., & Marshall, G. D.. (2014). Stress and anxiety effects on positive skin test responses in young adults with allergic rhinitis. Annals of Allergy and Immunology, 113, 13-18.

Lin, F., Heffner, K. L., Mapstone, M., Chen, D.G., Porsteinsson, A.. (2014). Frequency of mentally stimulating activities modifies the relationship between cardiovascular reactivity and executive function in old age. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22, 1210-1221.

Heffner, K. L., Devereux, P. G., Ng, M. H.*, Borchardt, A. R.* & Quigley, K. S.. (2013). Older adults hemodynamic responses to an acute emotional stressor: short report. Experimental Aging Research, 39, 162-178.

Poleshuck, E. L., Talbot, N. L., Moynihan, J. A., Chapman, B. P., Heffner, K. L.. (2013). Depressive symptoms, pain, chronic medical morbidity, and interleukin-6 among primary care patients. Pain Medicine, 39, 162-178.

Heffner, K. L., Ng, H. M.*, Suhr, J. A., France, C. R, Marshall, G. D., Pigeon, W. R., & Moynihan, J. A.. (2012). Sleep disturbance and older adults inflammatory responses to acute stress. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 744-752.

Heffner, K. L., Waring, M. E., Roberts, M. B., Eaton, C. B., & Gramling, R.. (2011). Social isolation, C-reactive protein, and coronary heart disease mortality among community dwelling adults. Social Science and Medicine, 72 (9), 1482-1488.

Heffner, K. L.. (2011). Neuroendocrine effects of stress on immunity in the elderly: Implications for inflammatory disease. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, 31, 95-108.

Rethhorst, C., Moynihan, J., Lyness, J., Heffner, K. L., & Chapman, B.. (2011). Moderating effects of moderate-intensity physical activity in the relationship between depressive symptoms and interleukin-6 in primary care patients. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73, 265-269.

Pigeon, W. R., Heffner, K., Duberstein, P., Fiscella, K., Moynihan, J., & Chapman, B.P.. (2011). Elevated sleep disturbance among blacks in an urban family medicine practice. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 24, 161-168.

Heffner, K. L., France, C. R., Trost, Z., Ng, H. M.*, & Pigeon, W. R.. (2011). Chronic low back pain, sleep disturbance, and interleukin-6. Clinical Journal of Pain, 27, 35-41.

Suhr, J.A., Patterson, S. M., Austin, A. W., & Heffner, K. L.. (2010). The relation of hydration status to declarative memory and working memory in older adults. The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 14, 840-843.

Gramling, R., Heffner, K. L., Klein, W.M.P., Zajac, L. E., Roberts, M., & Eaton, C. B.. (2010). Is the association between optimistic cardiovascular risk perceptions and lower rates of cardiovascular disease mortality explained by biomarkers of systemic inflammation or endothelial function? A case-cohort study. BioPsychoSocial Medicine, 4, 11.

Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Heffner, K. L., Glaser, R., Malarkey, W. B., Porter, K., Atkinson, C., Laskowski, B. S., Lemeshow, S., & Marshall, G. M.. (2009). How stress and anxiety can alter immediate and late phase skin test responses in allergic rhinitis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34, 670-680.

Suhr, J., Demireva, P., & Heffner, K.. (2008). The relation of salivary cortisol to patterns of performance on a word list learning task in healthy older adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 33, 1293-1296.

Heffner, K. L., Loving, T. J., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Himawan, L. K., Glaser, R., & Malarkey, W. M.. (2006). Older spouses cortisol responses to marital conflict: Associations with demand/withdraw communication patterns. Journal of Behavioral Medicin, 29, 317-325.

McGuire, L., Heffner, K., Glaser, R., Needleman, B., Malarkey, W., Dickinson, S., Lemeshow, S., Cook, C., Muscarella, P., Melvin, W., Ellison, E., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J.. (2006). Pain and wound healing in surgical patients. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 31, 317-325.

Heffner, K. L., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Loving, T.J., Glaser, R., & Malarkey, W. B.. (2004). Spousal support satisfaction as a modifier of physiological responses to marital conflict in younger and older couples. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27, 233-254.

Loving, T. J., Heffner, K. L., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Glaser, R., & Malarkey, W. B.. (2004). Stress hormone changes and marital conflict: Spouses relative power makes a difference. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 595-612.

Heffner, K. L., Loving, T. J., Robles, T., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K.. (2003). Examining psychosocial factors related to cancer incidence and progression: In search of the silver lining. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 17 (4), 109-111.

Heffner, K. L., Ginsburg, G. P., & Hartley, T. R.. (2002). Appraisals and impression management opportunities: Person and situation influences on cardiovascular reactivity. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 4 (2), 165-175.

Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Robles, T. R., Heffner, K. L., Loving, T. J. & Glaser, R.. (2002). Psycho-oncology and cancer: Psychoneuroimmunology and cancer. Annals of Oncology, 13, 165-169.

Hartley, T. R., Ginsburg, G. P., & Heffner, K.. (1999). Self-presentation and cardiovascular reactivity. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 32 (1), 77-85.


Sleep improvement in older adults with osteoarthritis is associated with lower inflammatory response to laboratory pain and improved clinical pain.
Psychoneuroimmunological Research Society,

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia for survivors of interpersonal violence who subsequently receive cognitive processing therapy.
29th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies,

Sleep quality moderates the stress buffering effects of social support on salivary alpha amylase levels.
Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society,

The Influence of Sleep Quality on the Stress Buffering Effects of Social Connectedness.
The Next Frontier in Social Support and Health Research: Clarifying the Micro-Level Mechanisms, Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting

Mind-Body Relationships: Implications for Wound Healing.
The Wounded Psyche: The Brain-Wound Continuum, The Wounded Psyche: The Brain-Wound Continuum

Pain in older men is associated with interleukin (IL)-6 change across time following a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention.
Annual Meeting of the Associated Psychoneuroimmunological Research Society,

Autonomic Cardiac Control and Relationships to Negative Affect, Neuroendocrine, and Inflammatory Responses to Acute Stress.
Sweating the Small Stuff? Emotion, Stress and Health in Everyday Life, American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting

Depression and objectively measured physical activity in US older adults.
The American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting,

Aging Stereotype Effects on Physiological Reactivity to Cognitive Tasks.
Emerging Perspectives in the Social and Affective Neuroscience of Aging, National Institute on Aging (NIA)-Sponsored Symposium


W.G. Stuber Research Fellowship Award.
University of Rochester, 2015

Selected cohort member, Women's Leadership Program.
University of Rochester, 2014

Excellence in Research Incentive Program Award.
University of Rochester, 2013

Collier Research Award, First Place.
University of Rochester, 2009

Citation Poster, Annual Meeting.
American Psychosomatic Society, 2009

Citation Poster, Annual Meeting.
American Psychosomatic Society, 2008

Invitation and Honorarium, Psychological Scientists Workshop.
National Institute on Aging, 2008

International Travel Award.
Ohio University, 2006

Faculty Development Award.
Ohio University, 2005


American Psychosomatic Society

Health Psychology (Division 38), American Psychological Association

Gerontological Society of America

Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society