Laura Chyu, Assistant Professor, Population Health Sciences Department

Laura Chyu

Assistant Professor

Program Director • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-4746 Cowell 425


As a health demographer, Dr. Chyu studies how social factors and chronic stressors are embodied physiologically and shape women’s health over the life course. Her research examines the dynamic interplay of biological and social processes to better understand how chronic stress impacts health and aging trajectories. She is also interested in the effects of positive and adverse childhood experiences on physical and mental health later in life.

Program Director, Master of Public Health Program
Northwestern University, Cells to Society Center on Social Disparities and Health at the Institute for Policy Research, Postdoctoral Fellowship
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, PhD in Public Health
Stanford University, MA in Anthropological Sciences
Stanford University, BA in Human Biology
Women's health
Chronic and toxic stress
Women's health and aging over the life course
Stress biomarkers
Positive and adverse childhood experiences
Gender, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health
Selected Publications

Saxton, K., & Chyu, L. (2020). Early life adversity increases the salience of later life stress. An investigation of interactive effects in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 11(1):25-36. 

Burns, B. M., Merritt, J., Chyu, L., & Gil, R. (2019). The Implementation of Mindfulness-Based, Trauma-Informed Parent Education in an Underserved Latino Community: The Emergence of a Community Workforce. American Journal of Community Psychology, 63(3-4):338-354. 

Chyu, L., & Upchurch, D. M. (2018). A Longitudinal Analysis of Allostatic Load Among Midlife Women: Findings from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. Women’s Health Issues, 28(3):258-266.

Upchurch, D. M., Stein, J., Greendale, G. A., Chyu, L., Tseng, C. H., Huang M. H., … Seeman, T. (2015). A Longitudinal Investigation of Psychosocial Mediators of Allostatic Load in Midlife Women: Findings from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 77(4):402-412. 

Chyu, L., McDade, T. W., & Adam, E. K. (2011). Measured Blood Pressure and Hypertension Among Young Adults: A Comparison Between Two Nationally Representative Samples. Biodemography and Social Biology, 57(2):184-199. 

Chyu, L. & Upchurch, D. M. (2011). Racial and Ethnic Patterns of Allostatic Load Among Adult Women in the US: Findings from the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004. Journal of Women’s Health, 20(4):575-583.