Arpana Gupta, PhD

Assistant Professor, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Gupta is an Assistant Professor, currently at the UCLA Oppenheimer Center of Neurobiological Stress and Resilience (CNSR), where she specializes in research that investigates the interactions between environmental and biological factors in shaping neurobiological phenotypes associated with stress and pain-based diseases such as functional gastroenterological disorders (FGIDs) [irritable bowel syndrome], vulvodynia, and obesity. Her current program of research broadly defined is based on developing a model that aims to understand the bidirectional interaction of the brain with those in the periphery (immune cells, gut microbiota-related metabolites), and the modification of these interactions by vulnerability psychosocial and environmental factors (adverse life events, sex, race, socioeconomic status [SES]) in stress and pain-based disorders. 

She recently received a K23 from NIDDK titled "The Role of Inflammatory Processes in Reward Network Alterations in Obesity.” She has also been the  principal  investigator (PI) of four grant supported studies targeting (1) Influence of microbiota on brain signatures in obese individuals; (2) Neural responses associated with racial discrimination; (3) Functional consequences of intimate partner violence among South Asian women; (4) Mental and Physical health outcomes associated with HIV/AIDS among South Asian women. 

The focus of her research has been on acquiring skill sets associated with analyzing complex data sets generated by psychophysiological, psychosocial, neuroimaging, metabolomic,  and genetic studies. She has learned to design and efficiently manage patient-based research projects, and develop a broad range of practical research and analytical skills in the areas of psychology, physiology, and multimodal neuroimaging. In the past few years she has served as a research investigator on various grants for Drs. Mayer, Labus, and Rapkin. In this capacity, she has been responsible for running all data analyses and for manuscript preparation and submissions.