Idan Shalev

 Idan Shalev

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Contact Information

223 Biobehavioral Health Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802



Ph.D. Hebrew University, 2010

Teaching Interests

Genetics and behavior; Stress and aging; Psychoneuroendocrinology

Research Interests

The focus of my research is to identify mechanisms underpinning the biological embedding of stress and its effect on biological aging. Specifically, to test the effects of stress from early childhood on change in telomere length and other biomarkers of aging across the life course, and the consequences of change in these biomarkers for physical and mental health problems.

The Shalev Lab Web Pages


July 2009: Science Daily: How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress Traced to Genetic Differences.

April 2012: Exposure to Violence During Childhood is Associated with Telomere Erosion from 5 to 10 Years of Age: A Longitudinal Study.
Shalev I, Moffitt TE, Sugden K, Williams B, Houts RM, Danese A, Mill J, Arseneault L, and Caspi, A. 2012 Molecular Psychiatry.
USA Today, Science Daily, WebMD, LiveScience, Science, Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times

May 2012: 24th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), Chicago, USA. Convention Video Blog: Violence Exposure During Childhood Is Associated With Telomere Erosion

December 2012: America Now Video – Child abuse accelerates aging process

June 2013: APS press release: Blood Vessels in the Eye Linked with IQ, Cognitive Function, Science Daily

July 2013: WPSU Radio interview: The Network on Child Protection and Well-Being, The Pennsylvania State University.

January 2014: Penn State Daily Newswire: New faculty member focuses on stress and its effects on aging

Selected Publications

Shalev I, Moffitt TE, Braithwaite AW, Danese A, Fleming NI, Goldman-Mellor S, Harrington H, Houts RM, Israel S, Poulton R, Robertson SP, Sugden K, Williams B, Caspi A. Internalizing disorders and leukocyte telomere erosion: a prospective study of depression, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, advance online publication, January 14, 2014; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.183.

Shalev I and Ebstein RP. Frontiers in Oxytocin Science: From Basic to Practice (editorial). Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2013 Dec; 7:250. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00250.

Meier M,* Shalev I*, Moffitt TE, Kapur S, Keefe R, Wong T, Belsky DW, Harrington H, Hogan S, Houts R, Caspi A, Poulton R. Retinal Imaging Reveals Microvascular Abnormalities in Schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2013 Sep. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.
13020234. *These authors contributed equally to this work. 

Shalev I, Entringer S, Wadhwa PD, Wolkowitz OM, Puterman E, Lin J, Epel ES. Stress and Telomere Biology: A Lifespan Perspective. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Apr. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.03.010. 

Shalev I, Moffitt TE, Wong TY, Meier MH, Houts RM, Ding J, Cheung CYL, Ikram MK, Caspi A, Poulton R. Retinal vessel caliber and lifelong neuropsychological functioning: an investigative tool for cognitive epidemiology. Psychological Science. 2013 Jul 1;24(7):1198-207. doi: 10.1177/0956797612470959. 

Edelman S*, Shalev I*, Uzefovsky F, Israel S, Knafo A, Kremer I, Kaitz M, Ebstein RP. Epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor predicts gender-sensitive differences in salivary cortisol following a threat to the social self. PLoS ONE. 2012 Nov. 7(11): e48597. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048597. *These authors contributed equally to this work. 

Shalev I. Early life stress and telomere shortening: investigating the connection and possible mechanisms: A critical survey of the evidence base, research methodology and basic biology. BioEssays 2012 Sep 19. 34(11):943-52. doi: 10.1002/bies.201200084. 

Shalev I, Moffitt TE, Sugden K, Williams B, Houts RM, Danese A, Mill J, Arseneault L, Caspi A. Exposure to violence during childhood is associated with telomere erosion from 5 to 10 years of age: a longitudinal study. Molecular Psychiatry (2013) 18, 576-581. doi:10.1038/mp.2012.32 

Shalev I, Israel S, Uzefovsky F, Gritsenko I, Kaitz M, Ebstein RP. Vasopressin needs an audience: neuropeptide elicited stress responses are contingent upon perceived social evaluative threats. Hormones and Behavior. 2011 Jun;60(1):121-7. 

Shalev I, Lerer E, Israel S, Uzefovsky F, Gritsenko I, Mankuta D, Ebstein RP, Kaitz M. BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with HPA axis reactivity to psychological stress characterized by genotype and gender interactions. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2009 Apr;34(3):382-8.

Courses Taught

BBH 597C Stress and Health across the Lifespan: From Cells to Behavior
view BBH 597C syllabus

BBH 432 Biobehavioral Aspects of Stress
view BBH 432 syllabus

Curriculum Vitae

Idan Shalev vitae

Strategic Themes

  • Human Development
  • Domains of Health and Behavior
  • Methodology