Rebecca Thurston

Professional Background

Clinical Internship, University of Washington
Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar, Harvard University

I am currently Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. I hold secondary appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology, Psychology, and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh. After receiving my BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, and my PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from Duke University, I completed postdoctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Harvard University. My research interests focus on menopause, psychosocial risk, and the development of cardiovascular disease in women. I enjoy serving as Principal Investigator on current studies investigating the role of menopausal experiences on women’s cardiovascular and neurocognitive health. In addition to my research, I enjoy my clinical roles, and as such direct a clinical service housed within a gynecology setting to address the behavioral health needs of midlife women. I Chair the Research Affairs Committee of the North American Menopause Society, sit on the Editorial Board of Menopause, and enjoy continuing interface with my Duke colleagues as a fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.

How has being a P&N graduate helped shape your professional success?

Duke provided an exceptional foundation for my career. I gained a very strong training in cardiovascular physiology and behavioral medicine under the mentorship of James Blumenthal and Andrew Sherwood. This training has launched my current program of research in women’s health, menopause, cardiovascular physiology. My clinical training provided an exceptional experience at the interface between psychology and medicine, helping form the basis of my endeavors to bring behavioral healthcare into traditional gynecology settings. Finally, the connections I formed at Duke with my colleagues and classmates have formed a community of friends and scholars that I continue to enjoy well over a decade later.   

Year & Degree: 
2003, PhD
Professional Title: 
Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory
Employer: 
University of Pittsburgh