Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH
Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH is George A. Weiss University Professor, Professor in the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. She is the Program Co-Leader for the Cancer Control Program at the Abramson Cancer Center at UPenn, where she also served as Associate Director for Community Engaged Research from 2018-2022.
Her research in community and healthcare settings focuses on obesity, nutrition, and the built environment; reducing health disparities; and health communication technologies. She has published over 540 articles and chapters, and is lead Editor on five editions of the widely used text, Health Behavior: Theory, Research and Practice (Jossey-Bass/Wiley: 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, 2015). Her research and publications about understanding, measuring and improving healthy food environments, beginning in the 1980’s, have been widely recognized and replicated.
She served on the NHLBI Advisory Council from 2017-2021 and on the US Task Force on Community Preventive Services from 2006-2016. Dr. Glanz was elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (previously known as the Institute of Medicine) in 2013. She has an H-index of 112 and was designated a Highly Cited Author by ISIHighlyCited.com, in the top 1% of authors in her field over a 20-year period, from 2006 to the present. She was designated as one of The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2015 by Thomson Reuters. In 2022 she was recognized as a Top Female Scientist, and in 2023 a Top Scientist by Research.com.
“My research, policy work, and teaching focus on improving the health of communities and creating environments that help people make healthy decisions.”
- PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1979
- MPH, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1977
- BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1974
Dr. Glanz teaches graduate seminar courses covering topics such as measuring behavior and psychosocial factors. She mentors students studying nursing, medicine, arts and sciences, communication, and business, engaging them in data analysis and writing journal articles.
Dr. Glanz is senior editor of Health Behavior: Theory, Research, and Practice, a widely used text, soon to be in its 6th edition, that has also been published in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Over the past 25 years has received more than $40 million in research funding as Principal Investigator. Current studies include an NHLBI funded research study about increasing physical activity among families in the Philadelphia area, to a study evaluating the effects of a sunscreen ingredients ban in Hawaii. She also is collaborating on a study to increase colorectal cancer screening and on a trial to ‘de-implement’ overuse of cervical cancer screening.
Leadership and Scholarship Across Disciplines
Penn recruited Dr. Glanz, who holds dual appointments in the schools of medicine and nursing, through the Penn Integrates Knowledge program, which brings in eminent scholars whose work draws from multiple academic disciplines and whose achievements demonstrate a rare ability to thrive at the intersection of multiple fields.
Dr. Glanz is director of Penn’s Center for Health Behavior Research, which facilitates university-wide collaboration among faculty, fellows, and students on health behavior research, and advancing measurement of health behaviors and the use of health behavior theory. The Center for Health Behavior Research is housed within the Perelman School of Medicine.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
From 2014-2019, Penn’s Prevention Research Center (UPenn PRC), developed by Dr. Glanz and her colleagues, served as a hub for interdisciplinary chronic disease prevention research, training, and dissemination at the University of Pennsylvania. It received $4.35 million in grant funding for the Center from the CDC and was one of 26 Prevention Research Centers nationwide. The UPenn PRC also received another $ 4 million for supplementary research led by faculty at several schools and CHOP, to study community leadership training in the Promise Zone, communication about cognitive dysfunction, long-term impact of childhood cancer clinical trials, and more. The UPenn PRC continues to collaborate with partners, with the common goal to prevent chronic disease and reduce health disparities in the Southeaster Pennsylvania region.
In 2022, Dr. Glanz and co-PI’s from - Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and ox Chase Cancer Centerreceived PCORI funding to establish a city-wide collaborative. Philadelphia Communities Conquering Cancer (PC3) serves to reduce cancer disparities through community engagement, resource alignment, information sharing, research, and prevention.
Selected Career Highlights
- Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine
- Best Practices in Distance Learning Program – Bronze Award, U.S. Distance Learning Association
- Fellow, Society for Behavioral Medicine
- Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award
McKeon, T.P., Hwang, W-T., Ding, Z., Tam, V., Wileyto, P., Glanz, K., Penning, T.M. (2021). Environmental exposomics and lung cancer risk assessment in the Philadelphia metropolitan area using ZIP code-level hazard indices. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12884-z
Glanz K, Avelis J, Kwong PL, Holmes JH. (2022). Correlates of attitudes toward COVID-19-related public health policies and prevention practices in six states. Journal of Public Health Research. 11(2).
Heckman, C.J., Riley, M., Khavjou, O., Ohman-Strickland, P., Manne, S.L., Yaroch, A.L, Bhurosy, T., Coups, E.J., Glanz, K. (2021). Cost, Reach, Enrollment, and Representativeness of Recruitment Efforts for an Online Skin Cancer Risk Reduction Intervention Trial for Young Adults. Translational Behavioral Medicine, in press.
Glanz K, Kwong PL, Avelis J, Cassel K. (2022). Development of a Survey of Sunscreen Use and Attitudes among Adults in Two Coastal States, 2019. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 19(5): 2677.
Glanz, K., Metcalfe, J.J., Folta, S.C., Brown, A., Fiese, B. (2021). Diet and health benefits associated with in-home eating and sharing meals at home: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4),1577.
George, M., Bruzzese, J.M., Sommers, M.S., Pantalon, M.V., Haomiao, J., Chittams, J., Norful, A., Chung, A., Coleman, D., Glanz, K. (2021). Group-randomized pilot trial of tailored brief shared decision-making to improve asthma control in urban black adults. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77(3), 1501-1517.
Musicus, A., Hua, S.V., Schwartz, M.B., Block, J.P., Barg, F.K., Economos, C.D., Glanz, K., Krieger, J, W., Roberto, C.A. (2021). Messages promoting healthy kids’ meals: A randomized controlled online trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, in press.
Guerra, C.E., Kelly, S., Redlinger, C., Hernandez, P., Glanz, K. (2021). Pancreatic cancer treatment trials accrual: A closer look at participation rates. American Journal of Clinical Oncology, in press.
Bejarano, C.M.6, Carlson, J.A., Conway, T.L., Saelens, B.E., Glanz, K., Couch, S.C., Cain, K.L., Sallis, J.F. (2021). Physical activity, sedentary time, and diet as mediators of the relationship between TV time and BMI in youth. American Journal of Health Promotion. Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1177/0890117120984943
Scheffey K, Avelis J, Patel M, Oon AL, Evans C, Glanz K. (2022). Use of Community Engagement Studios to Adapt a Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Study of Social Incentives and Physical Activity for the STEP Together Study. Health Promotion Practice. Online ahead of print DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/15248399221113863