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Dr. Summer   Mengelkoch

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA

Dr. Summer Mengelkoch is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory for stress assessment and research at UCLA, where she works with Dr. George Slavich. She is currently serving a visiting postdoctoral scholar appointment in the department of genetics within the school of medicine at Stanford University and co-chairs the community partnerships workgroup within the Cal Star Network. She earned her PhD from Texas Christian University in 2022 in experimental social psychology. Summer seeks to better understand the biological underpinnings of stress, health, and resilience. To do so, she investigates relationships between early-life stress, biological factors (including hormones, gene expression, and immune function), and health, resilience, decision-making, and well-being. She has a special interest in better understanding women's stress responses. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing board games, traveling, aerial silks, crocheting, and playing with dogs.



  • Slavich, G. M., Mengelkoch, S., & Cole, S. Social Genomics. In Press at Lifestyle Medicine.

  • Slavich, G. M., Mengelkoch, S., Webb, C., Roos, L. G., Shattuck, E. C., Alley, J. C., Moriarity, D. P. Social Safety Theory: Conceptual Foundation and Future Directions. In Press at Health Psychology Review.

  • Hill, S. E & Mengelkoch, S. (2022). Moving Beyond the Mean: Promising Pathways for Research to Support a Precision Medicine Approach to Hormonal Contraception. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 101042

  • Mengelkoch, S., Gassen, J., Prokosch, M.L., Boehm, G. W., & Hill, S. E. (2022). More than just a pretty face? Relationship between attractiveness and health Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 289(1969), 20212476.

  • Cunningham, K., Mengelkoch, S., Gassen, J., & Hill, S. E. (2022). Early Life Adversity, Inflammation, and Immune Function: A Critical Test of Adaptive Response Models of Immunological Programming. Development and Psychopathology, 34(2), 539-555.

  • Mengelkoch, S., Gassen, J., Corrigan, E. K., & Hill, S. E. (2022). Exploring the links between personality and immune function. Personality and Individual Differences, 184, 111179.

  • Bradshaw, H. K., Mengelkoch, S., Espinosa, M., Darrell, A., & Hill, S. E. (2021). You are what you (are willing to) eat: Willingness to try new foods impacts perceptions of sexual unrestrictedness and desirability. Personality and Individual Differences, 182, 111082.

  • Gassen, J., White, J. D., Peterman, J. L., Mengelkoch, S., Leyva, R. P. P., Prokosch, M. L., Eimerbrink, M. J., Brice, K., Cheek, D. J., Boehm, G.W. & Hill, S. E. (2021). Sex differences in the impact of childhood socioeconomic status on immune function. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-10.

  • Leyva, R. P. P., Mengelkoch, S., Gassen, J., Ellis, B. J., Russell, E. M., & Hill, S. E. (2020). Low socioeconomic status and eating in the absence of hunger in children aged 3–14. Appetite, 104755.

  • Gassen, J., Mengelkoch, S., Bradshaw, H. K., & Hill, S. E. (2020). Does the Punishment Fit the Crime (and Immune System)? A Potential Role for the Immune System in Regulating Punishment Sensitivity. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.

  • Bradshaw, H. K., Mengelkoch S., & Hill, S. E. (2020). Hormonal Contraceptive Use Predicts Decreased Perseverance and Performance on Simple and Cognitively Taxing Tasks. Hormones and Behavior. 119, 104652.

  • Mengelkoch, S. & Hill, S. E. (2020). Early Life Disadvantage, Phenotypic Programming, and Health Disparities. Current Opinion in Psychology.  32, 32-37.

  • Gassen, J., Proffitt Leyva, R.P., Mengelkoch, S., White, J., Peterman, J., Prokosch, M.L., Bradshaw, H.K., Eimerbrink, M., Cheek, D. J., Boehm, G.W., & Hill, S.E. (2019). Day length predicts investment in human immune function: Shorter days yield greater investment. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 107, 141-147.

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