Dr. Esther Sternberg is internationally recognized for her discoveries in the science of the mind-body interaction in illness and healing, and the role of place in wellbeing. She is a pioneer and major force in collaborative initiatives on mind-body-stress-wellness and environment interrelationships. A dynamic speaker, she engages her audience with passion for her subject and compassion as a physician. Through stories, she provides listeners with many take-home tips to help them cope with stress and thrive, and to create wellbeing spaces wherever they work or live.
Dr. Sternberg’s three popular highly readable, informative, and scientifically based books are inspirations for lay persons and professionals alike, seeking answers to the complexities and 21st century frontiers of stress, place, healing, and wellness. Her award-winning book, WELL at WORK: Creating Wellbeing in Any Workspace (Little, Brown Spark, 2023) was named a Top Ten Lifestyle Book for Fall 2023 by Publishers Weekly and received the OWL (Outstanding Works of Literature) Longlist Award. Her two previous science-for-the-lay public books, Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being and The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, are landmarks in their fields. Healing Spaces was recognized by the President of the American Institute of Architects as an inspiration for launching the AIA’s Design and Health Initiative and has inspired implementation of healing spaces in hospitals across the country and around the world.
Currently Research Director, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine and Founding Director of the University of Arizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance, she holds the Inaugural Andrew Weil Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine and is Research Professor of Medicine with joint appointments as Professor in Psychology, Architecture, and Planning & Landscape Architecture, and in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness. As Senior Scientist and Section Chief, National Institutes of Health (1986-2012), she directed the NIH Integrative Neural Immune Program, Co-Chaired the NIH Intramural Program on Research on Women’s Health, and chaired a sub-committee of the NIH Central Tenure Committee.
Dr. Sternberg has advised the World Health Organization; the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine; the International WELL Building Institute; the Royal Society, London; the Vatican, where she was presented to Pope Benedict XVI; and has briefed high level U.S. Federal Government officials including the Surgeon General, National Institutes of Health leadership, and the Department of Defense. Her two decades-long research with the U.S. General Services Administration, using wearable devices to track health and wellbeing in the built office environment, is informing healthy design standards and COVID re-entry across the federal government and the private sector.
Among other honors, she moderated a panel with the Dalai Lama, was recognized by the National Library of Medicine as one of the women who “Changed the Face of Medicine,” served as member and Chair of NLM’s Board of Regents, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from Trinity College, Dublin on its 300th Anniversary. She has authored over 240 scholarly articles, edited 10 technical books on the topic of brain-immune connections and design and health, and writes a monthly blog for Psychology Today, which has garnered tens of thousands of readers on subjects including stress and illness, gratitude and wellness, and place and wellbeing. She co-created and hosted the PBS Television Special, The Science of Healing with Dr. Esther Sternberg, and is frequently interviewed in the lay press and media, including NPR, BBC, CBC radio; PBS, ABC, CBS 60 Minutes Overtime television; the Washington Post, LA Times, U.S. News and World Report, Reader’s Digest, Prevention Magazine, The Oprah Magazine, and numerous podcasts, among others. She received her M.D. from McGill University, and trained in rheumatology at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada.Learn More