RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Clinical Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, Social Epidemiology, Health Psychology
Area(s) of Expertise:
Cardiovascular Disease in Women, Socioeconomic Disparities in Health, Midlife Aging/Menopause
Dr. Rebecca Thurston is Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Thurston is also the Director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at The University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Thurston completed her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from Duke University where she was a James B. Duke Fellow, and completed her fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Thurston’s interests concern sex, gender, and cardiovascular disease risk in women. One line of her research concerns women's cardiovascular health during the menopausal transition, including how menopausal symptoms, sleep problems, and hormonal changes may impact women's midlife cardiovascular health. Another line of her research focuses on gender differences in the relation between adverse social, contextual, and psychological experiences and cardiovascular risk, with a specific focus on gender-related exposures and stressors. In this research, Dr. Thurston integrates concepts and methods from health psychology, behavioral medicine, and social epidemiology. Dr. Thurston has been awarded the Henry Burger Prize from the International Menopause Society, the Vasomotor Symptoms Award from the North American Menopause Society, and is an elected member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.