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Dr. Rebecca Thurston Promoted

Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca Thurston on her promotion to the rank of Professor of Psychiatry by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Thurston also holds secondary appointments at Pitt in Epidemiology and Psychology, and Clinical and Translational Science.

Dr. Thurston earned her Master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical health psychology from Duke University.  She completed a clinical internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a two-year fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Harvard University.  In 2005, Dr. Thurston was recruited to the Department of Psychiatry faculty, where she has established a research program focusing on menopause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, two prevalent and inter-related health issues that can have a profound impact on women’s lives.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Thurston has made significant contributions to two interrelated lines of women’s health research: 1) hot flashes and their disruptive effects on quality of life, and 2) determinants of women’s cardiovascular disease (CVD), which continues to be the leading cause of death in women.  Her work is important to the development and implementation of new methods to manage hot flashes and in terms of challenging conventional thinking about the benign nature of this midlife symptom.  She is the Principal Investigator for multiple grants funded by foundations and the National Institutes of Health, including her current R01 focusing on Mechanisms Linking Hot Flashes to Cardiovascular Risk and a K24 award to support Interdisciplinary Mentoring and Research in Women’s Cardiovascular Health.  A gifted writer, Dr. Thurston’s research has produced a portfolio of 98 peer reviewed articles in important scientific and medical journals including the American Journal of Psychiatry and the American Journal of Epidemiology, as well as book chapters, invited reviews, and other publications.  Her reputation as a nationally recognized leader in the field of women’s health has led to numerous invitations for her to present her work at scientific and medical conferences in the United States and abroad, and to share her expertise as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals and granting agencies. 

In addition to her significant research activities, Dr. Thurston is dedicated to teaching and the training of the next generation of academic researchers.   Her teaching activities over the years have encompassed undergraduate, medical student, resident, and post-doctoral training.  She is a member of the teaching faculty of five NIH T32 training grants, and has directly mentored and advised learners at all stages of their academic and professional careers. Dr. Thurston is also actively engaged in service to the University and UPMC communities.  

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Thurston on this career milestone. We look forward to her future contributions to the Department and the field.