Meet the people behind FAST Lab!

Eli Puterman, PhD

Asssistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry

I am an Assistant Professor at University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Fitness, Aging, and Stress Laboratory, starting July 1, 2013. I completed undergraduate degrees in Physiology and Psychology in Montreal, Quebec, my MA in Clinical Psychology and PhD in Health Psychology at The University of British Columbia.

Since my arrival at UCSF, I have been  involved in health psychology research at the Department of Psychiatry and Center for Health and Community. My research program aims to explore the psychological and biological benefits of physical activity to individuals experiencing chronic stress in their daily lives. My research employs varied methodologies to examine these questions, from studies with prospective, nationally representative samples to randomized controlled intervention trials. I am currently preparing a 6-month exercise intervention for highly stressed adult caregivers who provide informal daily care to family members with Alzheimer's disease.

This research will expand the understanding of whether physical activity can protect chronically stressed individuals from accelerated biological aging and development of psychiatric problems. This research holds the promise of developing future home-based and widespread interventions for those experiencing elevated stress in their lives. 

You can view my completed Curriculum Vitae here
You can also visit my UCSF Profile Page here.

Samantha Schilf

Lab Manager/Study Coordinator

Samantha is the manager of the FAST Laboratory and the Projector Coordinator of the Fitness, Aging, and Stress (FAST) Study. Since completing her B.A. in Psychology at San Francisco State University in 2012, she has coordinated several clinical trials that examine the relationship between psychological stress, mindfulness, physical activity, and biological markers of health and aging. She is interested in exploring novel methods to promote health and reduce stress in underserved populations as well as developing interventions that utilize technology, media, and the arts to address public health issues.



Sai-Wing Chan

Medical Student

Sai is currently a fourth-year medical student and a Clinical & Translational Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology and East Asian Studies at Oberlin College, and will be pursuing a career in Obstetrics & Gynecology upon completing medical school. His research with the FAST Lab examines the relationships between physical performance and multi system metabolic risk profiles. In addition, he also conducts research on fertility preservation in reproductive-age women diagnosed with cancer. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing music, and keeping Dr. Puterman on his toes. 


Emily Nauman

Volunteer Research Assistant

Emily graduated from Oberlin College in 2013, with a BA in Psychology and French Studies. She is currently completing a post-baccalaureate program in preparation for medical school. Emily is captivated by the reciprocal influences of psychology and biology, and hopes to practice integrative medicne one day. Her primary interests include the psychological and biological impact of mindfulness, empathy, compassion, mindful movement, and mindful eating. 


Lindsey Fox

Fitness coach/ Research associate

Lindsey Fox is a fitness coach and research associate in the FAST Lab. She has been a personal trainer for the past 5 years, working with clients from ages 9-75, including special needs (Autism, Downs Syndrome) clients, with goals of weight loss, strength training, and rehabilitation. She has been trained in motivational coaching, and is highly driven to help people lead healthy lives. She is currently working towards becoming a physical therapist.



NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

TRX Instructor Certified

CPR/AED certified 


Ruth Sie

Fitness coach/ Research assistant

Ruth Sie is a fitness coach and research assistant in the FAST Lab. Ruth moved to the Bay Area from Seattle to pursue a degree in Health Psychology, transitioning from a career of 10 years in enterprise marketing management. She is particularly interested in exploring integrative nutrition systems for the development of a comprehensive, systematic, and holistic nutritional approach to achieve optimal emotional and biological wellbeing. Her research interests include nutritional therapy interventions using guiding principles of ancient Eastern medicine philosophies, supported by modern science, and disseminated through public health systems. She applies her skills in team leadership, motivational coaching, and passion for healing to inspire people lead health lives.


Amanda Gilbert

Staff Research Assistant

Amanda Gilbert is a true believer in medical prevention through exercise, meditation and healthy behaviors as a way of living. She has been working in the Integrative Medical Field in the Bay Area for several years, has a Bachelors in Holistic Health and Sustainable Community Development and is currently in a Pre-Med Program. Her personal and professional interests are in meditation, medicine, science, mindfulness, happiness, and conscious living.


Past FAST LAB Interns:


Ashley Yee
Nicholas Kenji Harsch
Andrew Kim
Kai Proschen
Riley Rearden
Olivia Sacks
Roger Rothenberg
Jacqueline Diggs