Jesse C. Stewart Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology
Affiliated Scientist, Indiana University Center for Aging Research


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

Select Publications

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.

Stewart, J.C. & Rollman, B.R. (2014). Optimizing approaches to addressing depression in cardiac patients: A comment on O’Neil et al. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 48, 142-144.

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.

Khambaty, T., Stewart, J.C., Muldoon, M. F., & Kamarck, T. W. (2014). Depressive symptom clusters as predictors of 6-year increases in insulin resistance: Data from the Pittsburgh Healthy Heart Project. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 363-369.

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.

Hawkins, M.A.W., Callahan, C.M., Stump, T.E., & Stewart, J.C. (2014). Depressive symptom clusters as predictors of incident coronary artery disease events: A 15-year prospective study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 38-43.

Hickman, R.J., Khambaty, T., & Stewart, J.C. (2013). C-reactive protein is elevated in atypical but not nonatypical depression: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. [Epub ahead of print]

Hawkins, M.A.W., & Stewart, J.C. (2012). Do negative emotional factors have independent associations with excess adiposity? Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 73, 243-250.

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., 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., 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.