Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH

Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH
Senior Fellow

George A. Weiss University Professor, Perelman School of Medicine and School of Nursing

Public Health Interests

Built Environment, Community/Population Health, Epidemiology, Health Behavior



Current Public-Health Related Activities

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. A globally influential public health scholar whose work spans psychology, epidemiology, nutrition and other disciplines, her research in community and healthcare settings focuses on obesity, nutrition, and the built environment; reducing health disparities; and health communication technologies. Her research, funded for over $40 million over the past 25 years, focuses on cancer prevention and control, theories of health behavior, obesity and the built environment, social and health policy, and new health communication technologies. Her research and publications about understanding, measuring and improving healthy food environments, beginning in the 1980’s, has been widely recognized and replicated. She is a member of the NHLBI Advisory Council and served on the US Task Force on Community Preventive Services for 10 years. Dr. Glanz was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences [now the National Academy of Medicine] in 2013. She was designated a Highly Cited Author by ISIHighlyCited.com, in the top 0.5% of authors in her field over a 20-year period, and was named a Highly Cited Author from 2007 to 2017 and was designated as one of The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2015 by Thomson Reuters. Some of her current public health related activities include: 1) Working across disciplines to develop and study policies and interventions for better health and safety in the communities we live in, funded by The Fels Policy Research Initiative. 2) Directing the UPenn Prevention Research Center (PRC) which includes a core center grant and 7 supplementary grants (2 led by Karen Glanz) studying the effects of incentives and environmental change on weight loss in obese employees, mostly blue collar. As one example, Dr. Glanz leads a skin cancer communication study, with Amy Bleakley and Amy Jordan, is testing messages to reduce UV radiation related risk. 3) Researching the impact of healthy food marketing strategies in supermarkets and, with support from the NIDDK (NIH), looking to see if they improve the diet and food environment of low-income residents.

Select Publications:

Alber J, Green SH, Glanz K.  Perceived and Observed Food Environments, Eating Behaviors, and Body Mass Index.  In Press, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2017.

Ho R, Glanz K.  Sudden death during triathlons:  the heart of the swim.”  Annals of Internal Medicine, 2017;167(8):589-590.

Glanz K, Johnson L, Yaroch A, Phillips M, Ayala G, Davis E.  Measures of Retail Food Store Environments and Sales:   Review and Implications for Healthy Eating Initiatives. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 48: 280-288, 2016.  Recognized as one of the “most read/downloaded” JNEB articles, second quarter 2016.

Harkins KA, Kullgren JT, Bellamy SL, Karlawish J, Glanz K. A trial of financial and social incentives to increase older adults' walking.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2017; 52(5): e123-e130.