Director of the Stress Research Institute is professor Göran Kecklund.

Previous directors are
Professor Hugo Westerlund, 2013–2019
Professor Torbjorn Åkerstedt, 2007–2013

The history of the Stress Research Institute tracks back to the mid-sixties.The Institute's activities were previously at the Institute for Psychosocial Medicine ( IPM), a research agency, established in 1980 under the Ministry of Social Affairs . In June 2007, the Swedish Riksdag adopted the IPM would be phased out as an authority and the business transferred to the higher education sector with SU as the new principal. The transition changed IPM name to Stress Research, which better represents the new business tasks and focus.
 
The background to the IPM's settlement was the government's intention to streamline government operations where research will be competitive and not conducted under government authority . The Government also considered that the psychosocial research no longer needs the special protection as an official organization does , but that it can be pursued within the framework of the traditional research community.
 
National Institute for Psychosocial Environmental Medicine, which IPM was originally called , was established in 1980 following an initiative by Professor Lennart Levi, who since the 1950s had led Stress Research Laboratory at the Karolinska Institute (KI) . Levi said that the psychosocial issues were special and that they demanded a separate agency for not disappear in the toxicological and physical environment . He became IPM's first director from its inception to 1995 when Professor Töres Theorell succeeded him as superintendent. 2006 was Louise Nordenskiöld . The Administrator of IPM , appointed superintendent until then to IPM subsumed by the Stress Research Institute of Stockholm Universitas .
 
The Stress Research Laboratory at Karolinska Institutet was founded a research tradition that was an unusual combination of basic and applied research . This combination has since been passed in IPM and later Stressforskningsistitutet , which means that today there is a strong interdisciplinary tradition with elements of both medical and physiological stress research as psychological and social science research.
 
IPM / Stress Research over the past twenty-five years has been a key player in the production of knowledge about stress and psychosocial factors , and said to be Swedish traditional stress research excellence . Here, much of the current thinking about the models of work-related stress-related illness developed and introduced , such as demand / control model as well as models for social support and health. IPM has also established his sleep as a central factor in the development of stress disorders, and knowledge of the importance of working for long-term health. Furthermore, the central knowledge about trauma and vulnerability of children has been developed , and methods for psychosocial care of refugees , in particular with regard to stress-related conditions . Even when it comes to other issues, such as stress treatment of stress-related fatigue state and mechanisms surrounding the recovery from stress have knowledge production within the IPM / Stress Research has played a major role.
 
Stress Research Institute also houses since 2009 " Stockholm Stress Center " which is an interdisciplinary center for research on occupational stress and health. The center consists of six collaborating research from the Stress Research Institute and Department of Psychology , Stockholm University and the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Department of Public Health Sciences , Karolinska Institutet. Within the framework of this cooperation, the aim is to build a center of excellence with outstanding research in the field of work, stress and health , and with a quality that can compete internationally. The center is funded by FAS funding of 50 million over ten years.