Margaret Chesney, PhD

Board of Directors


Margaret Chesney is a Professor of Medicine in Residence in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. From 2010 to 2015, she served as director of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Osher Foundation Distinguished Professor of Integrative Medicine. While on the faculty at UCSF, she served as a Senior Policy Fellow in Washington DC, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundations.  From 2001 to 2003, she served as a Senior Scientific Advisor to the Office for Research on Women’s Health at National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2003, she was named the first Deputy Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at NIH. In 2010, she returned to UCSF to join the Osher Center as director and now as a Professor in Residence.

Professionally, Margaret is engaged in clinical practice and research in the areas of stress, mind-body interactions, and health. She is also very interested in the area of health policy and translating research into practice. Much of her work underscores the role that lifestyle and behavior play in health, and involves development and evaluation of programs to enhance health and wellbeing, even in the face of health challenges such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a grant from the NIH to investigate meditative breathing and identify the biological pathways by which this core element of many interventions may affect health. She is the Associate Editor of Psychology, Health and Medicine and the author or co-author of over 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Margaret is the Immediate Past Chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health which includes 69 leading integrative health centers throughout North America including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and UCSF. She has also been President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (ABMR), President of the American Psychosomatic Society and President of the Society for Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association. She received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine in 2011, the Director’s Award for work in Mind-Body Medicine from the National Institutes of Health in 2005, the Charles Shepard Science Award, from the Centers for Disease Control in 1999, and the President’s Award from the ABMR in 1987.  In 2001, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Health and Medicine Division, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine.


Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington
BA, Psychology and Sociology  (1971)

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 
MS, Psychology (1973)

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 
PhD, Psychology (1975)

Temple University, Philadelphia, School of Medicine
Fellow (1976)