Marcia Stefanick, PhD
Director and Co-Founder, Stanford WSDM Center (Women & Sex Differences in Medicine)
Marcia Stefanick, renowned women’s health researcher who chaired both the executive and steering committees of the Women’s Health Initiative (the largest study of women ever done in the United States), has been involved in the Women’s Health at Stanford program since its inception, in 2001.
Dr. Stefanick’s research, which has been widely disseminated nationally and internationally, has emphasized the role of lifestyle — especially exercise, diet, weight control, and menopausal hormone therapy — on chronic disease prevention, particularly heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and more recently, dementia. Her primary academic interests include sex/gender differences and the influence of sex hormones on human physiology and disease, menopause, and health promotion over the life course, including healthy aging.
In addition, she is an experienced and active mentor of junior faculty, and teaches courses to both medical students and undergraduates on the role of sex differences in physiology and disease, and current topics in women’s health.
Danusia Szumowski, MPH
Assistant Director, Research and Education, Stanford WSDM Center (Women & Sex Differences in Medicine)
Danusia started her career at Stanford many years ago in the Physiology Department, studying hormones and behavior. She switched her focus to public health, and went on to receive her Masters in International Public Health from Columbia University with an emphasis on maternal and child health care. She then joined the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and Program for the Introduction and Adaptation of Contraceptive Technology (PIACT), where she worked overseas on USAID and UNFPA-funded projects. She returned to Palo Alto and headed up market research and new product development at Alza, a drug delivery company. It was during this time that she saw firsthand the limited approach taken in clinical trial design that often excluded women. Next, Danusia started her own market research consulting firm where she worked with over 100 companies worldwide on the development and commercialization of new technologies and services. After taking a sabbatical from consulting, she decided to return to academia – her career coming full-circle with the WSDM team.
Terri Oppelt ("TO") Preising, JD, MaEd
Assistant Director, Operations - Stanford WSDM Center (Women & Sex Differences in Medicine)
TO’s career has included teaching at the secondary education level and practicing law as a litigation attorney with a focus on labor and employment discrimination matters.
She has served in organizational leadership roles in multiple community support groups, including the board of the Irvine chapter of the National Charity League, several PTA boards and the Girl Scouts of America.
TO began her career at Stanford in the Residential Education Department engaging Resident Fellows and their student Resident Advisors to develop and deliver a variety of programs to the dormitory residents. More recently, she supported several faculty members in the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Design Group and managed the Design Group’s course database of more than 200 active classes.
A graduate of Stanford with a BA in Political Science and a MA in Education, she holds a secondary teaching credential. TO received her JD from UCLA, where she was on the UCLA Law Review, and is a member of the California Bar.