Research

SPRC investigators conduct interdisciplinary, problem-focused research, using mainly experimental methods, to test and disseminate disease prevention and control programs. This research involves collaboration among an array of health professionals and social and behavioral scientists who share a public health or population-level perspective in planning and conducting research.

Some SPRC research projects are “clinical trials” or studies that involve testing an intervention for effectiveness. These studies appear on the Stanford Medical School clinical trials web site. To see those studies, click here. For more information about all SPRC studies that are recruiting participants, click here.

  • Wesley F. Alles. Dr. Alles is Director of the Stanford Health Improvement Program (HIP) and the Stanford Health Promotion Network. His research interests include community and worksite health promotion, behavior change, and Type A behavior modification.
  • Christopher D. Gardner. Dr. Gardner’s research interests include the role of nutrition and preventive medicine, particularly plant-based diets and phytochemicals, cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention, weight loss diets, and clinical trials and epidemiology. For more detail on his research see The Stanford Nutrition Studies Program and his Research Interests and Publications.
  • William L. Haskell. Dr. Haskell’s major research interests and activities over the next several years will focus on the development and evaluation of the objective measurement of physical activity in free-living populations using a variety of sensing devices and mobile phones for data collection and processing. Sensing devices include wireless accelerometers and altimeters and heart rate, skin temperature/heat flux and breathing rate monitors. This research is being conducted in collaboration with scientists at MIT. He will continue to direct the Stanford Heart Network, an internet-based patient and health professional support system, with the major mission being to assist community-based CVD prevention/treatment programs implement more effective heart attack and stroke prevention programs. Also, he will continue to collaborate with colleagues on studies promoting energy balance and successful aging. See Research Interests and Publications.
  • Catherine A. Heaney. Dr. Heaney investigates psychosocial factors at the worksite (e.g., occupational stress, organizational justice, social support) that are associated with health and disease; developing and evaluating occupational safety and health interventions that address psychosocial and behavioral risk factors; bridging the gaps between theory, research, and practice in worksite health education. For more information see Publications.
  • Lisa A. Henriksen. Dr. Henriksen studies environmental influences on adolescent tobacco use, particularly the role of tobacco marketing in smoking initiation and maintenance. For more information see the Tobacco Treatment and Prevention page and Research Interests and Publications.
  • John P.A. Ioannidis. Dr. Ioannidis is working on the interface of evidence-based medicine with the challenges of current clinical and molecular investigation, personalized medicine and population health. He is a leading investigator on the theory and empirical study of the credibility of biomedical research and is working on ways to systematically improve the reproducibility and validity of research designs. He is also leading several initiatives on generation of large-scale evidence, including randomized trials, meta-analyses, and international consortia in diverse fields of community, clinical, molecular, and genomic investigation. For more information see Research Interests and Publications.
  • Michaela S. Kiernan. Dr. Kiernan develops theory-based interventions for long-term behavior change in the areas of weight management, dietary change, and physical activity, as well as studying methodological improvements for the design, delivery, and analysis of randomized trials. For more information see Publications.
  • Abby C. King. Dr. King is Director of SPRC’s Healthy Aging Studies (HAS) program. Among the goals of HAS research are the prevention and control of chronic diseases and conditions of aging through research aimed at promoting healthful lifestyles and health-enhancing environments. Research directions include applications of state-of-the-art communication techniques in promoting healthful lifestyles among diverse groups of older adults, exploring the potential impacts of the built environment on physical activity and other health-enhancing behaviors, and exploring the best methods for tailoring and disseminating evidence-based health promotion interventions throughout the U.S. and internationally. Cynthia Castro, PhD, is Intervention Director and Leslie Pruitt, PhD, is Evaluation Director of the Healthy Aging Studies program. For more information see Healthy Aging, Research Interests and Publications.
  • David Maron. Dr. Maron’s research interests include primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. As a fellow at SPRC he was introduced to clinical research as a member of the team that conducted the Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project. He applied lessons learned from that experience to the design of the landmark COURAGE trial, for which he served as the chairman of the optimal medical therapy committee. He is currently the co-chair of the ISCHEMIA trial, an NIH-funded study comparing the effectiveness of two initial management strategies – conservative (optimal medical therapy alone) versus invasive (optimal medical therapy plus cardiac catheterization and revascularization) – in approximately 5,000 patients with stable coronary artery disease and at least moderate ischemia.
  • Donna M. Matheson. Dr. Matheson’s research focuses on the prevention of pediatric obesity through family based nutrition interventions, particularly in low-income, minority populations. Specifically, she is interested in children’s dietary intakes, community health advising interventions and the effects of food insecurity on children’s health. Dr. Matheson has conducted numerous obesity prevention interventions with low-income Mexican American families of preschool and school aged children in East San Jose. She is also interested in measuring food and nutrient intakes and has examined children’s ability to estimate food portion sizes. For more information, see Solutions Science.
  • Thomas N. Robinson. Dr. Robinson focuses on "solution-oriented" research, developing and evaluating effective health promotion and disease prevention interventions for children and adolescents and their families. His research is largely experimental, conducting school-, family- and community-based randomized controlled trials to test the efficacy and/or effectiveness of theory-driven behavioral, social and environmental interventions. For more information see Solutions Science, Research Interests and Publications and the Center for Healthy Weight, which Dr. Robinson directs.
  • Randall S. Stafford. Dr. Stafford is a Director of the SPRC’s Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices (PPOP). The mission of the PPOP is to improve population health outcomes through research that both informs the development and fosters the dissemination of effective, efficient, innovative, and evidence-based prevention strategies. In addition, we seek to train future leaders in prevention research and to communicate broadly the critical value of a population health perspective. Rebecca Drieling, MMQ, is Research Director of PPOP, as well as coordinator of SPRC’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program. For more information see Research Interests and Publications.
  • Marcia L. Stefanick. Dr. Stefanick’s research interests include women’s health, exercise, cancer prevention, menopause, hormone therapy, and osteoporosis. She is Principal Investigator for Stanford’s Women’s Health Initiative Center and serves as Chair of the national WHI PI committee. Dr. Stefanick is also the director of the Stanford WSDM Center (“wisdom” or the Stanford Center for Health Research on Women and Sex Differences),  and is Co-Director of Women’s HeartHealth at Stanford, part of Stanford's Cardiovascular Institute. She is also Leader for the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Stanford Cancer Center. For more information see Women’s Health, Research Interests and Publications.
  • Marilyn A. Winkleby. Dr. Winkleby is a Professor of Medicine and Faculty Director of the Office of Community Health. Her research and teaching combine epidemiologic studies with intervention research to further the understanding of the social determinants of health. Her work has a broad public health focus where socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health are viewed as having behavioral, social, cultural, and economic explanations that are amenable to change. Her research is congruent with a number of public service activities, including the 20-year-old Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, a summer residential program that she helped found that has reached over 450 low-income high school students historically underrepresented in higher education and prepared them for science and health professional careers. For further information, click here.