Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Marcia L. Stefanick, Ph.D is a Professor of Medicine Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and by courtesy, Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Stefanick’s research focuses on chronic disease prevention (particularly, heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and dementia) in both women and men. She is currently the Principal Investigator the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Extension Study, having been the PI of the Stanford Clinical Center of the landmark WHI Clinical Trials and Observational Study since 1994 and Chair of the WHI Steering and Executive Committees from 1998-2011, as well as PI of the WHI Strong and Healthy (WHISH) Trial which is testing the hypothesis that a DHHS-based physical activity intervention, being delivered to a multi-ethnic cohort of about 24,000 WHI participants across the U.S., aged 68-99 when the trial started in 2015, will reduce major cardiovascular events over 8 years, compared to an equal number of “usual activity” controls. Dr. Stefanick is also PI of the Osteoporotic Study of Men (MrOS) which is continuing to conduct clinical assessments of bone and body composition in survivors of an original cohort of nearly 6000 men aged 65 and over in 2001. As founding Director of the Stanford Women’s Health and Sex Differences in Medicine (WHSDM, “wisdom”) Center, she plays a major role in promoting research and teaching on Sex and Gender in Human Physiology and Disease, Women’s Health and Queer Health and Medicine. Dr. Stefanick also plays major leadership roles at the Stanford School of Medicine, including as co-leader of the Population Sciences Program of the Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford’s NCI-funded comprehensive cancer center.
Dr. Stefanick obtained her B.A. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (1974), then pursued her interest in hormone and sex difference research at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, after which she obtained her PhD in Physiology at Stanford University, focusing on reproductive physiology and neuroendocrinology, with exercise physiology as a secondary focus. Her commitment to human research led to a post-doctoral fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, which has been her academic home for nearly 40 years.