Susan Brown, Ph.D.

Susan D. Brown, Ph.D.


Behavioral Medicine


Internal Medicine


  • Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine


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 multidisciplinary program of research focuses on behavior change interventions for diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention, particularly among racially and ethnically diverse women at high risk for 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 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 healthcare delivery systems to best support health promotion and risk reduction for diverse patients.

Dr. Brown is dedicated to supporting emerging research scholars. She was founding Assistant Director of the Early Stage Investigator Training Program at the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Among other roles, she serves as faculty in the HRSA-funded Quality, Safety, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training in Primary Care (QSCERT-PC) T32 postdoctoral fellowship program at UC Davis; and a mentor in the NIDDK-sponsored American Psychological Association Leadership and Education Advancement Program for Diverse Scholars.

For Dr. Brown's current research activities and funding, please click here.


General Medicine

Center/Program Affiliation

Bioethics Program


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

Certificate, Implementation Science, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 2019

B.A., Psychology, 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 2007-2010

Board Certifications

State of California Licensed Psychologist,

Professional Memberships

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Psychological Association (APA)

NIDDK Network of Minority Health Research Investigators

Society of Behavioral Medicine

Honors and Awards

Translational Science Abstract Award, NIH/NIDDK Network of Minority Health Research Investigators (NMRI) Annual Workshop, 2021

PLACE Post Tenure Start Up Award, Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities (CAMPSSAH), UC Davis, 2021

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

Scientific Leadership Award, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, 2014

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

NIH Loan Repayment Award, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 2012

Citation Abstract Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2010

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

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Duke University, 1999, 2000

Select Recent Publications

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

Jake-Schoffman DE, Brown SD, Baiocchi M, Bibeau JL, Daubenmier J, Ferrara A, Galarce MN, Hartogensis W, Hecht FM, Hedderson MM, Moran PJ, Pagoto SL, Tsai AL, Waring ME, Kiernan M. Methods-Motivational Interviewing Approach for Enhanced Retention and Attendance. Am J Prev Med. 2021 Oct;61(4):606-617. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2021.04.005. PMID:34544560.

Ferrara A, Hedderson MM, Brown SD, Ehrlich SF, Tsai AL, 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 Jun;8(6):490-500. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(20)30107-8. PMID:32445736.

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.

Brown SD, Hedderson MM, Ehrlich SF, Galarce MN, Tsai AL, Quesenberry CP, Ferrara A. Gestational weight gain and optimal wellness (GLOW): rationale and methods for a randomized controlled trial of a lifestyle intervention among pregnant women with overweight or obesity. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019 Apr 30;19(1):145. doi:10.1186/s12884-019-2293-8. PMID:31039753.

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.

Brown SD, Ehrlich SF, Kubo A, Tsai AL, Hedderson MM, Quesenberry CP Jr, Ferrara A. Lifestyle behaviors and ethnic identity among diverse women at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Soc Sci Med. 2016 Jul;160:87-93. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.05.024. Epub 2016 May 14. PMID:27214712.

Brown SD, Unger Hu KA, Mevi AA, Hedderson MM, Shan J, Quesenberry CP, Ferrara A. The multigroup ethnic identity measure-revised: measurement invariance across racial and ethnic groups. J Couns Psychol. 2014 Jan;61(1):154-161. doi:10.1037/a0034749. Epub 2013 Nov 4. PMID:24188656.

Brown SD, Lee K, Schoffman DE, King AC, Crawley LM, Kiernan M. Minority recruitment into clinical trials: experimental findings and practical implications. Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Jul;33(4):620-3. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Mar 16. PMID:22449836.