About the Center

Obesity is at an all-time record high. Almost half of all American adults have at least one chronic illness. One out of five adults still smokes cigarettes. And millions of dollars are spent every year on unproven and even hazardous health practices and inefficient or unnecessary health care.

Despite a barrage of expert advice, good health remains elusive for many. Health needs are diverse, complex, and evolving, and society continues to struggle with a fundamental question: What really works?

The Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC) is a consortium of renowned experts who are world leaders in investigating ways to prevent disease and promote health. Their work is focused on identifying the most practical, science-based solutions for addressing some of society’s most pervasive—and preventable—health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions and to raise the standards of scientific investigation that matters for health. SPRC investigators are collaborating on numerous, long-term projects designed to translate research into effective ways to promote well-being at every stage of life.

Since the center was established in 1972, its researchers have initiated groundbreaking studies to identify and modify the factors that can lead to disease and have designed workable solutions that can be adapted by individuals, families, and communities.

Over the years they have set the standard for scientific analysis, applying cutting-edge technology to shed light on the lifestyle, behavioral, social, environmental, and genomic factors that can influence good health and healthy behavior. Their work has made a tremendous impact on both public policy and our day-to-day lives, from enforcing laws about selling tobacco to minors to evaluating the effectiveness of weight-loss diets and promoting physical activity among seniors – even shaping the standards of conducting, reporting, appraising, and implementing sound research on health and medicine.

The Center’s researchers come from diverse disciplines and design scientifically grounded multidisciplinary studies to evaluate medical data and to apply innovative tools to implement change. They have established long-standing partnerships with local communities to assess and track at-risk populations, analyze multiple factors, and design interventions that really work. Their work also addresses far-reaching global concerns, including population studies and ways to diminish inequalities within and across com.munities.

The center maintains an ongoing tradition of education, preparing the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. Undergraduates, graduate students, and medical students collaborate with established SPRC faculty, and a vibrant postdoctoral fellowship program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health enables young scientists to initiate and evaluate studies and to become future leaders in improving the health of individuals and populations.

The scientific investigations taking place throughout SPRC have set the groundwork for effective, efficient, innovative, and evidence-based interventions that have made a real and measureable difference in healthy living.

Click on the images below to download a PDF about our specific research programs.

Overview of the Center, our Programs, and all Faculty Bios

Reversing Childhood Obesity

Global Health

Stanford Health 4 All

Health Inequities Studies

Health Improvement Program

Meta Research

Nutrition Studies

Prevention Outcomes & Practices

Predictive Health

Solution Science

Technology for Health Aging

The WELLness Living Laboratory

WELL-China Initiative

Women's Health

Women and Sex Differences in Medicine