Darlene D. Francis PhD

Associate Professor
Public Health; Neuroscience

Darlene D. Francis is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Neuroscience. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to how biological, psychological, and social processes interact to influence health.

Darlene D. Francis is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Neuroscience at UC Berkeley. Her research program explores how biological, psychological and social processes interact over a lifetime to influence health and vulnerability to disease. Her laboratory explores how these processes are causally related. The historic belief that information only flows in one direction, from the genome, is simply incorrect. The research demonstrates that genetically identical organisms can manifest dramatically different phenotypic profiles in response to different environmental and social conditions. The research is focused on exploring how social inequalities in health come to be. Francis optimistically focuses on identifying opportunities for intervention. This level of transdisciplinary research can only be conducted with multiple collaborations that span many disciplines (molecular epigenetics through to social epidemiology). In sum, her research explores how experience and social factors are transduced into biology.

  • PhD – Neurological Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, 2000
  • BS – Biology and Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1992
  • Biological Basis of Health Disparities
  • Developmental Programming
  • Stress
  • Environment X Gene Interactions
  • A Biopsychosocial Approach to Health and Well-Being
  • Animal Models
  • PH216A: Biological Embedding of Social Experiences
  • PSYCH112/IB139: The Biology of Stress
  • PH39G/PSYCH39J: Unnatural Causes…Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (American Cultures Course)