OUR PEOPLE

Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH

Professor
School of Medicine
490 Illinois Street
San Francisco, CA 94158
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Education and Training

University of California, Berkeley, DrPH Cand. - Public Health

University of California, Berkeley, PhD - 1999 Sociology

University of California, San Francisco, - 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion Training

Overview
Laura A. Schmidt, PhD, is a Professor of Health Policy in the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. She holds a joint appointment in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine. Dr. Schmidt is also Co-Director of the Community Engagement and Health Policy Program for UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. She received her PhD training in sociology at UC Berkeley and while there, completed doctoral coursework in public health, and also holds a masters degree in clinical social work.

Dr. Schmidt's central goal is to bridge the worlds of biomedical research, clinical practice and population health in ways that help us better understand some of the most pressing issues in health and health care today: the widening of health disparities and the societal of regulation risk factors in chronic disease. Substantive areas of her research include addiction, poverty, obesity-related metabolic disease—all burdens that are profoundly influenced by the organization of care and the social environment. A hallmark of her research is blended methodologies: she incorporates historical-archival, ethnographic and quantitative methods into most of her studies as a way to cross-validate findings and better interpret their meaning. Since its inception, her research program has been stably funded through awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in combination with funding from private foundations, including the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Commonwealth Fund, Atlantic Philanthropies and Crossfit Foundation.