Jesse C. Stewart Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology
Affiliated Scientist, Indiana University Center for Aging Research
Affiliated Research Scientist, Regenstrief Institute
Member, Indiana University Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases


1998 B.S., Psychology, University of Illinois
2000 M.S., Clinical Psychology, Ohio University
2003 Clinical Psychology Internship, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
2003 Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Ohio University
2006 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


2009-Present  Editorial Board Member, Annals of Behavioral Medicine
2010-Present  Editorial Board Member, Journal of Psychophysiology

Teaching Assignments

PSY-B 365: Health Psychology
PSY-B 433: Capstone Laboratory in Applied Psychology
PSY-I 666: Intervention II: Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions
PSY-I 618: Interventions in Health Psychology

Current Research

The aim of my program of research is to enhance our understanding of the influence of psychosocial factors (e.g., depression, anxiety, insomnia, and stressful life events) on health-related processes and outcomes, especially those relevant to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.  To achieve this goal, my students and I conduct several types of studies, including epidemiologic studies involving nationally representative samples, mechanistic investigations involving biomarkers (inflammatory markers and autonomic function indices), and randomized controlled trials involving psychological interventions (cognitive-behavioral and internet treatments) and pharmacologic interventions (anti-inflammatory and antidepressant medications).  Due to the interdisciplinary nature of my research, I collaborate with other health researchers, including physicians, sociologists, epidemiologists, and biostatisticians on the IUPUI campus (see and and at other research institutions.

My primary research area is cardiovascular behavioral medicine, a field concerned with relationships among psychosocial factors and cardiovascular health and disease.  Within this larger area, my main interest is emotional risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (see Figure 1 below), the leading cause of death of American men and women.  Despite the long history of research on the mind-heart connection, several key questions have yet to be answered.  This line of my research seeks to address the following questions: (1) Which components of negative emotional factors are the most cardiotoxic?, (2) Do positive emotional factors exert a cardioprotective effect?, (3) What physiological or behavioral mechanisms explain the effect of emotional factors on cardiovascular health?, and (4) Does treatment of negative emotional factors reduce risk of cardiovascular disease?  Click here to listen to an interview on WFYI’s Sound Medicine, and click the following links for information about ongoing clinical trials: NCT01605552 and NCT01625845.

My other research interests include:

  • Influence of psychosocial factors on systemic inflammation, autonomic function, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, periodontal disease, and insomnia
  • eHealth, especially internet interventions for depressive and insomina disorders
  • Systemic inflammation as a potential cause of depressive disorders
  • Depressive disorder subtypes (e.g., atypical depression) and symptom clusters (e.g., somatic symptoms)
  • Psychosocial predictors of medical adherence
  • Moderators of relationships between psychosocial factors and health-related processes and outcomes, including race/ethnicity
  • Ecological momentary assessment (i.e., the use of smartphones to provide real-time measures)
  • Cardiovascular and autonomic reactivity to and recovery from psychological stress

Click to see larger Figure 1

Dr. Stewart is currently accepting new students for enrollment in Fall 2017. 

Select Publications

#graduate student author in my lab

Stewart, J.C., Janicki, D.L., Muldoon, M.F., Sutton-Tyrrell, K., & Kamarck, T.W. (2007). Negative emotions and 3-year progression of subclinical atherosclerosis. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 225-233.

Stewart, J.C., Rand, K.L., Muldoon, M.F., & Kamarck, T.W. (2009). A prospective evaluation of the directionality of the depression-inflammation relationship. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 23, 936-944.

Stewart, J.C., #Zielke, D.J., #Hawkins, M.A.W., Williams, D. R., Carnethon, M.R., Knox, S.S., & Matthews, K.A. (2012). Depressive symptom clusters and 5-year incidence of coronary artery calcification: The CARDIA Study. Circulation, 126, 410-417.

Stewart, J.C., Perkins, A.J., & Callahan, C.M. (2014). Effect of collaborative care for depression on risk of cardiovascular events: Data from the IMPACT randomized controlled trial. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 29-37.

#Case, S.M., & Stewart, J.C. (2014). Race/ethnicity moderates the relationship between depressive symptom severity and C-reactive protein: 2005-2010 NHANES Data. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 41, 101-108.

#Hawkins, M.A.W., Miller, D.K., & Stewart, J.C. (2015). A 9-year, bidirectional prospective analysis of depressive symptoms and adiposity: The African American Health Study. Obesity, 23, 192-199.

#Vrany, E.A., #Berntson, J.M., #Khambaty, T., & Stewart, J.C. (2016). Depressive symptom clusters and insulin resistance: Race/ethnicity as a moderator in 2005-2010 NHANES Data. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50, 1-11.

Stewart, J.C. (2016). One effect size does not fit all: Is the depression-inflammation link missing in racial/ethnic minority individuals? JAMA Psychiatry, 73, 301-302.

Stewart, J.C., #Hawkins, M.A.W., #Khambaty, T., Perkins, A.J., & Callahan, C.M. (2016). Depression and anxiety screens as predictors of 8-year incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke in primary care patients. Psychosomatic Medicine, 78, 593-601.

#Khambaty, T., Callahan, C.M., Perkins, A.J., & Stewart, J.C. (in press). Depression and anxiety screens as simultaneous predictors of 10-year incidence of diabetes among older primary care patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

#Polanka, B.M., #Vrany, E.A., #Patel, J., & Stewart, J.C. (in press). Depressive disorder subtypes as predictors of incident obesity in U.S. adults: Moderation by race/ethnicity. American Journal of Epidemiology.

#Khambaty, T., Stewart, J.C., Gupta, S.K., Chang, C.H., Bedimo, R.J., Budoff, M.J., Butt, A.A., Crane, H., Gilbert, C.L., Leaf, D.A., Rimland, D., Tindle, H.A., So-Armah, K., Justice, A.C., Freiberg, M.S. (in press). Depressive disorders are associated with incident acute myocardial infarction in HIV-infected adults: Veterans Aging Cohort Study. JAMA Cardiology.