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, and Director of the UPenn Prevention Research Center, at the University of Pennsylvania. She is Associate Director for Community-Engaged Research and Program Co-Leader for the Cancer Control Program, at the Abramson Cancer Center at UPenn.
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 500 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 served on the US Task Force on Community Preventive Services for 10 years. 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 103 and was designated a Highly Cited Author by ISIHighlyCited.com, in the top 0.5% 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.
“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, now in its 5th edition, that has also been published in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Dr. Glanz has published more than 440 journal articles and book chapters. Thomson Reuters named her one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2015” in general social sciences, based on publishing the most highly cited papers from 2003 to 2013. The Institute for Scientific Information has named Dr. Glanz a Most Highly Cited Researcher.
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Glanz has received more than $40 million in research funding. Current studies range from a CDC-funded examination of media communication strategies for reducing ultraviolet exposure to prevent skin cancer to an NIH-funded study of the impact of healthy food marketing in supermarkets and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded evaluation of the impacts of the New Jersey Food Financing Initiative.
Leadership and Scholarship Across Disciplines
Penn recruited Dr. Glanz, who holds dual appointments in medicine and nursing, through Penn Integrates Knowledge, 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 part of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Perelman School of Medicine.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Penn’s Prevention Research Center, which serves as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research in chronic disease prevention and for advancing prevention research, was developed by Dr. Glanz and her colleagues. Launched in 2014 with a $4.35 million grant from the CDC, it’s one of 26 Prevention Research Centers nationwide. Dr. Glanz and Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, direct the center, through which faculty from medicine, business, and other fields, and researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, collaborate on research in cancer prevention, weight loss, the economic impact of clinical trials, and other areas.
Selected Career Highlights
- Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine (formerly named Institute 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
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.
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.
Glanz, K., Chung, A., Morales, K.H., Kwong, P.L., Wiebe, D., Giordano, D.P., Brensinger, C.M., Karpyn, A. (2020). The Healthy Food Marketing Strategies Study: Design, baseline characteristics and supermarket compliance. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 10(6),1266-1276.
Glanz, K., Fenoglio, C., Quinn, R., Karpyn, A., Giordano, D.P. (2020). Consumers’ ability to distinguish between milk types: Results of blind taste testing. Family and Community Health, 2020 Oct 9. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1097/FCH.000000000000028
Bleakley, A., Tam, V., Orchinik, J., Glanz, K. (2020). How individual and neighborhood characteristics relate to health topic awareness and information seeking. Social Science and Medicine – Population Health, (12):100657.
Glanz, K., Green, S., Avelis, J., Melvin, C.L. (2019). Putting Evidence Academies Into Action: Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Tobacco Control Science. Preventive Medicine, 129,105848.
Glanz, K., Shaw, P., Hoffer, K., Chung, A., Zhu, J., Wu, R., Huang, Q., Choi, J., Volpp, K. (2019). The Healthy Weigh Study of Lottery-based Incentives and Environmental Strategies for Weight Loss: Design and Baseline Characteristics. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 76, 24-30.
Glanz, K., Jordan, A., Lazovich, D.A., Bleakley, A. (2019). Frequent indoor tanners’ beliefs about indoor tanning and cessation. American Journal of Health Promotion, 33(2), 293-299.
Schnoll, R., Kelly, S., Miele, A., Glanz, K. (2018). Characterizing tobacco use in an American Cancer Center’s Catchment Area can help direct future research priorities. Journal Cancer Research and Therapy, 6(5), 32-36.
Saelens, B., Glanz, K., Frank, L., Couch, S., Zhou, C., Colburn, T., Sallis, J.F. (2018). Two-year changes in child weight status, diet, and activity by neighborhood nutrition and physical activity environment. Obesity, 26, 1338-1346.