Fadel Zeidan PhD

Director, Brain Mechanisms of Pain & Health Lab, UC San Diego

Fadel Zeidan, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology. He currently holds leadership positions in the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, UCSD Center for Integrative Health, UCSD Psychedelic Research Health Initiative, and the Mind and Life Institute. Fadel’s current research is focused on determining the psychological, physiological and neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between self-regulatory practices and health. Specifically, Fadel’s work examines the mechanisms of action supporting mindfulness meditation on pain. To date, he and his team have demonstrated that mindfulness meditation is mechanistically distinct from and more effective than placebo, distraction, and relaxation.

His research is currently funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to conduct placebo controlled clinical trials to assess if and how mindfulness affects chronic pain. His research program has expanded to investigate the effect and mechanisms involved in the modulation of pain and health by natural products. His team is currently conducting studies to identify how mental training can cultivate behavioral and neural mechanisms supporting compassion and empathy in patients, law enforcement officers, and community dwellers. He is an active mentor of more than 20 undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral trainees. His work has also been featured in traditional media outreach (CNN; NPR; Time Magazine, CBS and others), Tedx and recently personally presented his work to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in Mongolia. Fadel was also awarded the National Institutes of Health Mitchell Max Award for Research Excellence and is principle investigator on numerous NIH grants examining the effects of mental training on well-being.