Lorena Garcia, M.P.H., Dr.P.H.




Public Health Sciences-Division of Epidemiology

Locations and Contact

UC Davis

Public Health Sciences
Medical Sciences 1-C
Davis, CA 95616

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Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Lorena Garcia is a Professor of Epidemiology at the UC Davis School of Medicine. In the Department of Public Health Sciences, Dr. Garcia is the Director of Undergraduate Education where she is leading a public health sciences minor that she developed with a focus on social determinants of health for students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions.

Previously, Dr. Garcia served as the Chair of the Graduate Group in Epidemiology (GGE) from 2017-2020. The GGE is a professional degree program housed in the school of Veterinary Medicine that prepares graduate students in methodologic approaches to examining human and animal health. This Ph.D. and MS program trains graduate students in the principles and practice of epidemiology with an emphasis on quantitative analytic methods, and mentor’s trainees in the clinical and population application of epidemiologic methods.

Her research focuses on health disparities and social determinants of health in underresourced communities, in particular cardiovascular related health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes, and the health of immigrant communities. Dr. Garcia received her doctorate in public health from the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA and a master’s degree in public health from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Boston University.



Undergraduate School

B.A., California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach CA 1992

Other School

M.P.H., Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston MA 1995

Other School

Dr.P.H., Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles CA 2002


Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR-UC Davis), UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento CA 2012-2014


Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health, UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento CA 2007-2012

American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) MidCareer Fellowship. Selected by AAMC and nominated by UC Davis School of Medicine, 2018

Faculty Leadership Academy. Selected by UCD Academic Affairs, nominated by UC Davis School of Medicine, 2016

SACNAS Summer Leadership Institute. Competitive Selection by SACNAS, AAAS, and Stanford University. Menlo Park, California, 2018

Travel Grant Recipient. Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence among a sample of US-born versus foreign-born Latinas. 9th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion. Sponsored by the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Mexico, 2008

Student Award. Epidemiology Section, Congress of Epidemiology, 2001

Garcia L, Follis S, Thomson CA, Breathett K, Cené CW, Jimenez M, Kooperberg C, Masaki K, Paskett ED, Pettinger M, Aragaki A, Dilworth-Anderson P, Stefanick ML. Taking action to advance the study of race and ethnicity: the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). Womens Midlife Health. 2022 Jan 4;8(1):1. doi:10.1186/s40695-021-00071-6. PMID:34983682.

Younan D, Wang X, Gruenewald T, Gatz M, Serre ML, Vizuete W, Braskie MN, Woods NF, Kahe K, Garcia L, Lurmann F, Manson JE, Chui HC, Wallace RB, Espeland MA, Chen JC. Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Alzheimer's Disease Risk: Role of Exposure to Ambient Fine Particles. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 Aug 12:glab231. doi:10.1093/gerona/glab231. Epub ahead of print. PMID:34383042.

Miao Jonasson J, Hendryx M, Shadyab AH, Kelley E, Johnson KC, Kroenke CH, Garcia L, Lawesson S, Santosa A, Sealy-Jefferson S, Lin X, Cene CW, Liu S, Valdiviezo C, Luo J. Social Support, Social Network Size, Social Strain, Stressful Life Events, and Coronary Heart Disease in Women With Type 2 Diabetes: A Cohort Study Based on the Women's Health Initiative. Diabetes Care. 2020 Aug;43(8):1759-1766. doi:10.2337/dc19-2065. Epub 2020 Jun 4. PMID:32499383.

Shikany JM, Manson JE, Shadyab AH, Garcia L, Lewis CE, Neuhouser ML, Tinker LF, Beasley JM, Beresford SAA, Zaslavsky O, Vitolins MZ, Sealy-Jefferson S, Bae S. Associations of social, physical, and financial factors with diet quality among older, community-dwelling women. Menopause. 2020 Jul;27(7):756-762. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001528. PMID:32132442.

Cordola Hsu AR, Ames SL, Xie B, Peterson DV, Garcia L, Going SB, Wong ND, Anton-Culver H. Sociodemographic and metabolic risk characteristics associated with metabolic weight categories in the Women's Health Initiative. Cardiovasc Endocrinol Metab. 2020 May 15;9(2):42-48. doi:10.1097/XCE.0000000000000194. PMID:32537564.

Banack HR, Bea JW, Stokes A, Kroenke CH, Stefanick ML, Beresford SA, Bird CE, Garcia L, Wallace R, Wild RA, Caan B, Wactawski-Wende J. It's Absolutely Relative: The Effect of Age on the BMI-Mortality Relationship in Postmenopausal Women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Jan;28(1):171-177. doi:10.1002/oby.22662. Epub 2019 Dec 4. PMID:31799808.

Hedlin H, Weitlauf J, Crandall CJ, Nassir R, Cauley JA, Garcia L, Brunner R, Robinson J, Stefanick ML, Robbins J. Development of a comprehensive health-risk prediction tool for postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2019 Dec;26(12):1385-1394. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001411. PMID:31567871.

Banack HR, Bea JW, Kaufman JS, Stokes A, Kroenke CH, Stefanick ML, Beresford SA, Bird CE, Garcia L, Wallace R, Wild RA, Caan B, Wactawski-Wende J. The Effects of Reverse Causality and Selective Attrition on the Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Mortality in Postmenopausal Women. Am J Epidemiol. 2019 Oct 1;188(10):1838-1848. doi:10.1093/aje/kwz160. PMID:31274146.

Garcia L, Lee A, Zeki Al Hazzouri A, Neuhaus JM, Moyce S, Aiello A, Elfassy T, Haan MN. Influence of neighbourhood socioeconomic position on the transition to type II diabetes in older Mexican Americans: the Sacramento Area Longitudinal Study on Aging. BMJ Open. 2016 Aug 11;6(8):e010905. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010905. PMID:27515749.

Cené CW, Dilworth-Anderson P, Leng I, Garcia L, Benavente V, Rosal M, Vaughan L, Coker LH, Corbie-Smith G, Kim M, Bell CL, Robinson JG, Manson JE, Cochrane B. Correlates of Successful Aging in Racial and Ethnic Minority Women Age 80 Years and Older: Findings from the Women's Health Initiative. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Mar;71 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S87-99. doi:10.1093/gerona/glv099. PMID:26858329.