Susan Brown, Ph.D.

Susan D. Brown, Ph.D.


Behavioral Medicine


Internal Medicine


  • Associate Professor


Patient Support Services Building

4150 V St.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Phone: 916-734-7005
Fax: 916-734-2674



Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Brown’s research focuses on behavior change interventions for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease prevention, particularly among racially and ethnically diverse women who bear disproportionate burdens of chronic disease. Her work focuses on developing and rigorously testing novel interventions to promote meaningful patient engagement in (1) life-long healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management behaviors; (2) preventive healthcare services, such as recommended diabetes screening and healthy lifestyle programs; and (3) clinical research, such as strategies to improve the representation of racial and ethnic minorities in randomized clinical trials. Dr. Brown is especially interested in leveraging the resources and infrastructure of healthcare delivery systems to best support health promotion and risk reduction for diverse patients. 

Dr. Brown is dedicated to supporting emerging research scholars. She has served as founding Assistant Director of the Early Stage Investigator Training Program at the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California; Co-Chair of the Training Subcommittee for the Society of Behavioral Medicine special interest group in Women’s Health; and volunteer mentor for the American Psychological Association Leadership and Education Advancement Program for Diverse Scholars.

Dr. Brown's multidisciplinary research program as a Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator, and her advanced training in research methods, have been sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD); National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), among others.


General Medicine


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Boston University, Boston MA 2008

B.A., Duke University, Durham NC 2000

Internship: Clinical Psychology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco CA 2006-2007


Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford CA 2007-2009

Board Certifications

Certificate, UC San Francisco in Implementation Science,

State of California Licensed Psychologist,

Professional Memberships

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Psychological Association (APA)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Network of Minority Health Research Investigators

Society of Behavioral Medicine

Honors and Awards

Population Health Sciences Outstanding Abstract Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2018

Division of Research Scientific Leadership Award, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, 2014

Health Equity Early Stage Investigator Abstract Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2014

Citation Abstract Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2010

Meritorious Abstract Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2010

Clara Mayo Memorial Fellowship, Boston University, 2010

Henzl-Gabor Travel Fellowship, Stanford University, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship, Boston University, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Duke University, 1998, 1999, 2000

Select Recent Publications

To see a full list of Dr. Brown's publications, please click here.

Brown SD, Fotuhi O, Grijalva CS, Tsai A, Quesenberry CP, Ritchie JL, Cohen GL*, Ferrara A*. A randomized study of values affirmation to promote interest in diabetes prevention among women with a history of gestational diabetes. Medical Care. 2019 Jul;57(7):528-535. doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000001133 M. PMID: 31107396. [*Co-senior authors.] 

Hedderson MM*, Brown SD*, Ehrlich SF, Quesenberry CP, Tsai A, Crites Y, Ferrara A. A tailored letter based on electronic health record data improves gestational weight gain among women with gestational diabetes: The Gestational Diabetes’ Effects on Moms (GEM) cluster randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2018;1370-1377. doi: 10.2337/dc17-1133. PMID: 29669736. [*Co-first authors]

Ferrara A, Hedderson MM, Brown SD, Ehrlich SF, Tsai A, Feng J, Galarce M, Marcovina S, Catalano P, Quesenberry CP. A telehealth lifestyle intervention to reduce excess gestational weight gain in pregnant women with overweight or obesity (GLOW): A randomised, parallel-group, controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2020;8(6):490-500. doi: PMID: 32445736.

Brown SD, Ehrlich SF, Kubo A, Tsai A, Hedderson MM, Quesenberry CP, Ferrara A. Lifestyle behaviors and ethnic identity among women at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Soc Sci Med. 2016;160:87-93. PMID: 27214712.