Karen A. Matthews

University of Pittsburgh
James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award

Karen Matthews is renowned for her many and multi-faceted contributions to the formation and growth of health psychology as a discipline. Her research accomplishments have included seminal work on childhood antecedents of coronary heart disease risk, women’s health and menopause, and the effects of socioeconomic status on health.

Early in her career, Matthews helped set the stage for future educational and training models through her participation in the landmark National Working Group on Education and Training in Health Psychology. At the University of Pittsburgh, she initiated an innovative Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine training program that provided multidisciplinary training to many individuals who later became leaders in the health psychology field. She was the Director of the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center, a joint center of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Matthews has represented the health psychology field in numerous high profile leadership positions. She served as one of the first women presidents of the American Psychosomatic Society. She represented the health psychology and behavioral medicine fields as a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and as part of the Advisory Board for the NIH Center for Scientific Research. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine. In all of these positions, she paved the way for acceptance of the field of health psychology by members of other disciplines in the behavioral and biomedical sciences.

Matthews’s scientific contributions to health psychology have been broad ranging and nothing short of groundbreaking.

Look for Karen A. Matthews's reflection on "Matters of the Heart: Advancing Psychological Perspectives on Cardiovascular Diseases" in the November issue of  Perspectives on Psychological Science.

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