RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Psychology, Health Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychobiology, Neuroscience, Psychoneuroimmunology
Area(s) of Expertise:
Social Neuroscience, Psychoneuroimmunology, Psychology, Stress, Social Rejection
Keely A. Muscatell is a social neuroscientist whose research focuses on elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms that link the social environment and health. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, as she employs theory and methods from social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychoneuroimmunology. Keely’s dissertation explored the neural processes that are engaged when we experience social stress, and how those neural systems link with stress-induced changes in pro-inflammatory cytokine activity and gene expression. She has also examined how social status affects neural processes related to understanding others and perceiving threat in the environment. As an RWJF Health & Society Scholar, Keely will investigate how other social-environmental factors, such as experiencing discrimination or being of low socioeconomic status, are represented by the brain and translated into physiological changes that affect health. She will explore the neural mechanisms by which biobehavioral risk factors affect disease progression and quality of life in breast and ovarian cancer. Keely received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in June 2013, an MA in Psychology from UCLA in 2009, and a BA in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Oregon in 2006. When not in the lab, Keely can be found reading Dave Eggers, visiting microbreweries with family at home in the Pacific Northwest, or watching college football.