Dr. Thurston is recognized nationally as a leader in the field of women’s health, particularly in the areas of menopause and the risk for cardiovascular disease in women.
Her innovative research focuses 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.
Some of her recent work examines hot flashes as a potential midlife marker of underlying risk for CVD, the leading cause of death in women. She also conducts research on psychosocial predictors of CVD, including how depression, loneliness, and low socioeconomic status may uniquely impact women’s cardiovascular health. In fact, Dr. Thurston was the first to publish findings indicating that the relationship between socioeconomic status and heart disease was stronger for women than men.
Dr. Thurston has presented her research findings at numerous scientific meetings throughout the United States and abroad. She is frequently called upon to present her work as well as share her expertise as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals and granting agencies.
Dr. Thurston received both her Master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical health psychology from Duke University. Following a clinical internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2003, she went on to complete a two-year fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Harvard University before joining the Department of Psychiatry faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Thurston also holds secondary appointments at Pitt in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Psychology, and in 2011 was awarded membership on the University’s graduate faculty.