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Dr. Stefanick’s research focuses on chronic disease prevention, e.g. heart disease, cancer (especially breast, skin, and issues specific to survivors), osteoporosis, and dementia, in both women and men, primarily through physical activity, diet, and weight control. Professor Stefanick has a long-standing interest in sex hormones, physical activity, body composition, and human health outcomes, with graduate work in reproductive physiology and neuroendocrinology followed by multi-center clinical trials of menopausal hormones as PI or Co-PI, including the Postmenopausal Estrogen-progestin Interventions (PEPI) trial, the Heart and Estrogen-progestin Replacement Study (HERS), and the landmark Women’s Health Initiative (WHI hormone trials and postdoctoral and subsequent single center exercise, diet, and weight loss intervention trials focused on cardiovascular risk and multi-center trials as PI including the large, long-term WHI Diet Modification trial focusing on breast and colorectal cancer and Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) trial of women with early stage breast cancer.
As Chair of the Women’s Health Initiative, WHI, Steering Committee from 1998-2011, she played a major role in the largest study menopausal hormones ever conducted and is currently becoming an expert on aging. She also conducted, as PI, the WHI Calcium/Vitamin D trial and the multi-center Study of Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) and the MrOS Sleep Study, thereby acquiring expertise in bone endocrinology and in-home polysomnography based sleep research, and initiation into the role of vitamin D in health outcomes. As former Director of SPRC’s Lipoprotein and Biochemistry Laboratory she also have expertise in collection, processing and measurement of biomarkers. Dr. Stefanick earned her B.A. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (1974), worked at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, earned her PhD in Physiology at Stanford (1982), focusing on reproductive physiology, neuroendocrinology, and the relationship of hormones to behaviour, then did post-doctoral training in exercise physiology before joining the Stanford faculty.
Further information is available from her website.