Faculty and Academic Staff

Michaela Kiernan, PhD

Michaela Kiernan, PhD, is a senior research scientist at the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC). She received her BA in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and her PhD in social/health psychology from Yale University. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention at SPRC.

Dr. Kiernan’s research focuses on the design of behavioral interventions that promote long-term lifestyle changes and weight management among subgroups at risk. Her recent successful clinical trial demonstrated that overweight/obese women who learned a set of novel ‘stability skills’ first (i.e., before losing weight) were twice as likely to maintain a weight loss as women following a traditional approach. Dr. Kiernan’s research also focused on methodological and statistical innovations that improve the design, delivery, and analysis of randomized clinical trials including the recruitment of ethnic minorities into clinical trials.

Dr. Kiernan is an accomplished teacher and mentor of undergraduates, medical students and postdoctoral fellows. In 2002 and 2007, she was awarded the SPRC/Department of Medicine Divisional Teaching Award. She is currently a member of the University Committee on Postdoctoral Scholars. In 2009, she was awarded the Stanford University Postdoctoral Association Excellence in Mentoring Award, and in 2012, awarded the Stanford University Postdoctoral Association Recognition Award for Extraordinary Service for the Advancement of Postdoctoral Fellows.