Dr. Afari has held an appointment at the VA San Diego Healthcare System since 2006 where she is currently the Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health. She also is Vice Chair of Veterans Affairs and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Along with her administrative responsibilities, Dr. Afari also conducts research and mentors and supervises undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students. Dr. Afari received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1996. She completed a pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral training at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington, where she was a faculty member from 2000-2006.
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. Her VA-funded research includes the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in medical populations and the use of eHealth technology for evidence-based screening and outcomes monitoring of mental health symptoms.
Dr. Afari’s clinical focus is on evidence-based screening of veterans for mental and physical health symptoms. Her intervention work focuses on behaviors and psychological symptoms that have a negative impact on the physical health of primary care patients.
- Doran, N., Brikmanis, K., Pittman, J., Floto, E., & Afari, N. (2017). Predictors of suicide risk in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Military Behavioral Health. doi: 10.1080/21635781.2017.1379453.
- Buttner, M. M., Godfrey, K. M., Floto, E., Pittman, J., Lindamer, L., & Afari, N. (2017). Combat exposure and pain in male and female Afghanistan and Iraq veterans: The role of mediators and moderators. Psychiatry Research, 257, 7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.07.001.
- Colvonen, P. J., Glassman, L. H., Crocker, L. D., Buttner, M. M., Orff, H., Schiehser, D. M., Norman, S. B., & Afari, N. (2017). Pretreatment Biomarkers Predicting PTSD Psychotherapy Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 75, 140-156. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.01.027.
- Gasperi, M., Herbert, M., Schur, E., Buchwald, D., & Afari, N. (2017). Genetic and environment influences on sleep, pain, and depression symptoms in a community sample of twins. Psychosomatic Medicine, 79 (6), 646-654. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000456.
- Pittman, J. O. E., Floto, E. A., Lindamer, L., Baker, D. G., Lohr, J. B., Afari, N. (2017). VA eScreening Program: Technology to improve care for Post 9/11 Veterans. Psychological Services, 14 (1), 23-33. doi: 10.1037/ser0000125.