Donna  B. Jeffe, PhD

Donna B. Jeffe, PhD

Professor of Medicine


Dr. Jeffe is Professor of Medicine, Director of the Medical Education Research Unit (MERU) in the Office of Education at Washington University School of Medicine, and Director of the Health Behavior, Communication, and Outreach Core, an affiliated resource of the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) and Siteman Cancer Center with a component at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. Dr. Jeffe has expertise in survey development and validation, psychometrics, quantitative and qualitative research design and data analysis, and educational program evaluations.

She has been principal investigator (PI) or co-investigator of many federally funded research projects and has an active educational-outcomes research program, including institutional research (under the auspices of the Office of Education) and National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research focusing on the recruitment, retention and promotion of women and underrepresented minorities in science, biomedical-research, and academic-medicine careers. Since 2008, she has had continuous funding from the NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences as PI of a national cohort study of medical-school matriculants, examining interventions that promote the retention of women and underrepresented minorities in the research and academic-medicine career pipelines.

She also led national evaluations of NIH training programs focusing on increasing the diversity of the biomedical-research workforce. In addition to her work in Education, Dr. Jeffe studies social support, personal, and situational factors in relation to health-risk/health-promoting behaviors and emotional adjustment to disease. Her clinical research focuses on quality of life in cancer patients/survivors and cancer prevention and control in underserved groups. She was PI of a breast cancer cohort study funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Breast Cancer Stamp Fund.  She also led an NCI-funded randomized controlled trial as part of the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research (CECCR II) at Washington University, investigating the impact of African American breast cancer survivors’ stories on newly diagnosed patients’ quality of life and adherence to follow-up care.

Additional Titles

  • Director, Health Behavior, Communication and Outreach Core
  • Director, Medical Education Research Unit (MERU), Office of Education

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