DirectorDr. Rebecca Thurston is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds additional appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Epidemiology and at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Dr. Thurston received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her PhD from Duke University, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Thurston is the Principal Investigator of several National Institutes of Health research studies focused on midlife women’s reproductive and cardiovascular health. Dr. Thurston is recipient of the International Menopause Society’s Henry Burger Prize, the North American Menopause Society’s Vasomotor Symptoms Research Award, and is an elected fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.
Yue-Fang Chang, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of NeurosurgeryYue-Fang Chang, Ph.D, is a research assistant professor at the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh. She holds a doctoral degree in statistics and a master degree in epidemiology. She has worked in a variety of areas, such as women’s health, diabetes, health outcome, image study and injury epidemiology. In addition to the MSHeart study, she also serves as the statistician in several epidemiological studies including Cardiovascular Health Study, Women’s Health Initiative and Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.
Carey Mittermeier, MID, MPH
Research Project CoordinatorCarey has been with the lab since the fall of 2015. She holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of International Development from the University of Pittsburgh. She has over three years of experience working with various research projects.
Diana Buck, BA
Research Project AssistantDiana joins the Women’s Bio-Behavioral Health Lab after working with multiple research projects at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh over the past 30 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Chatham College and pursued graduate training in Counseling Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Diana has applied her training and experience to studies of women’s health including The Healthy Women Study and the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.
Research Project AssistantKat started with the lab in January of 2017. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration on pre-medical studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Kat has experience with research during her undergraduate education and has presented her work at the Association for Psychological Science’s annual research conference.
Holly Thomas,MD, MS
Assistant Professor of MedicineDr. Thomas seeks to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary, patient-centered clinical research that will improve the health and quality of life of women as they age. In particular, she is interested in understanding the physical and psychosocial factors that contribute to sexual dysfunction in midlife and older women. She uses this understanding to develop behavioral treatment options to improve the sexual health of midlife women.
Sara Nowakowski, PhD
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of TexasDr. Nowakowski received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University. She is a faculty member at University of Texas Medical Branch in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She specializes in Behavioral Sleep Medicine with a focus on women’s health. Dr. Nowakowski is Principal Investigator of an NIH career development (K23) award evaluating a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia tailored for menopausal women experiencing insomnia and nocturnal hot flashes.
Affliatied Collaborators and Trainees
Elissa Gretz, MD,
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Rhoda J. Conant, MD
Medical resident, Oklahoma University Medical Center, Department of obstetrics and gynecology
Natalie Suder, PhD
PhD candidate epidemiology
Carolyn Gibson, Ph.D.
Past Laboratory Members
Maya Lambaise, PhD Research Specialist