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Kathleen Sturgeon, PhD, MTR

Kathleen Sturgeon, PhD, MTR

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Division of Epidemiology
Scientific Program:Cancer Control

Research Interests

Dr. Kathleen Sturgeon's research has focused on elucidating the mechanisms of exercise-induced protection against chronic diseases. It is well known that exercise is beneficial and that sedentary behavior is associated with many common chronic health problems. However, it is not well understood what molecular changes are induced by physical activity or how they improve the function of different tissues and organs in the body. Projects in the Sturgeon lab are vertically translational from animal models to clinical trials and community based programs and are also transdisciplinary across exercise physiology, cardiology, oncology and immunology.

  • Exercise
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • African Americans
  • Cancer Survivors
  • Neoplasms
  • Blood Pressure
  • Therapeutics
  • Inflammation
  • Biomarkers
  • Drug Therapy
  • Diet
  • Health

Clinical Trials

CUFF Study: Characterization of Upper Limb Function following Mastectomy and Reconstruction for Breast Cancer
Women In Steady Exercise Research - Window of Opportunity for Exercise and Tumor Biology (WISER-Win)
Trial Assessing Light-Intensity Exercise on the Health of Older Breast Cancer Survivors (TALIE-HO Breast Cancer Survivors)

Recent Publications


Potiaumpai, M, Schleicher, EA, Wang, M, Campbell, KL, Sturgeon, K & Schmitz, K 2023, 'Exercise during chemotherapy: Friend or foe?', Cancer medicine.
Sturgeon, KM, Brown, JC, Sears, DD, Sarwer, DB & Schmitz, KH 2023, 'WISER Survivor Trial: Combined Effect of Exercise and Weight Loss Interventions on Inflammation in Breast Cancer Survivors', Medicine and science in sports and exercise, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 209-215.


Demissei, BG, Lv, WJ, Wilcox, NS, Sheline, K, Smith, AM, Sturgeon, KM, McDermott-Roe, C, Musunuru, K, Lefebvre, B, Domchek, SM, Shah, P & Ky, B 2022, 'BRCA1/2 Mutations and Cardiovascular Function in Breast Cancer Survivors', Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, vol. 9, 833171.
Sturgeon, KM, Smith, AM, Federici, EH, Kodali, N, Kessler, R, Wyluda, E, Cream, LV, Ky, B & Schmitz, KH 2022, 'Feasibility of a tailored home-based exercise intervention during neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients', BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 14, no. 1, 31.
Gordon, BR, Caru, M, Blair, CK, Bluethmann, SM, Conroy, DE, Doerksen, SE, Hakun, JG, Sturgeon, KM, Potiaumpai, M, Sciamanna, CN & Schmitz, KH 2022, 'Light-intensity and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity among older adult breast cancer survivors with obesity: A narrative review', Cancer medicine, vol. 11, no. 23, pp. 4602-4611.
Lin, D, Liu, Y, Tobias, DK & Sturgeon, K 2022, 'Physical activity from menarche-to-first pregnancy and risk of breast cancer: the California teachers study', Cancer Causes and Control, vol. 33, no. 11, pp. 1343-1353.
Weikart, D, Lin, D, Dhingra, R, Al-Shaar, L & Sturgeon, K 2022, 'Pre-Diagnosis Diet and Physical Activity and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among Female Cancer Survivors', Cancers, vol. 14, no. 13, 3096.
Brown, JC, Sturgeon, K, Sarwer, DB, Troxel, AB, DeMichele, AM, Denlinger, CS & Schmitz, KH 2022, 'The effects of exercise and diet on sex steroids in breast cancer survivors', Endocrine-Related Cancer, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 485-493.


Brown, JC, Sarwer, DB, Troxel, AB, Sturgeon, K, DeMichele, AM, Denlinger, CS & Schmitz, KH 2021, 'A randomized trial of exercise and diet on body composition in survivors of breast cancer with overweight or obesity', Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 189, no. 1, pp. 145-154.
Brown, JC, Sarwer, DB, Troxel, AB, Sturgeon, K, DeMichele, AM, Denlinger, CS & Schmitz, KH 2021, 'A randomized trial of exercise and diet on health-related quality of life in survivors of breast cancer with overweight or obesity', Cancer, vol. 127, no. 20, pp. 3856-3864.
Boyer, AL, Arikawa, AY, Schmitz, KH & Sturgeon, KM 2022, 'Association of Inflammatory Diets with Inflammatory Biomarkers in Women at High Genetic Risk for Breast Cancer', Nutrition and cancer, vol. 74, no. 3, pp. 816-819.
Ehret, CJ, Zhou, S, Tchou, JC, Schmitz, KH & Sturgeon, KM 2022, 'Dose-dependent effects of aerobic exercise on clinically relevant biomarkers among healthy women at high genetic risk for breast cancer: A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled study', Cancer Reports, vol. 5, no. 5, e1497.
Bruinsma, TJ, Dyer, AM, Rogers, CJ, Schmitz, KH & Sturgeon, KM 2021, 'Effects of diet and exercise-induced weight loss on biomarkers of inflammation in breast cancer survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis', Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 1048-1062.
Lin, D, Potiaumpai, M, Schmitz, K & Sturgeon, K 2021, 'Increased Duration of Exercise Decreases Rate of Nonresponse to Exercise but May Not Decrease Risk for Cancer Mortality', Medicine and science in sports and exercise, vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 928-935.
D’alonzo, NJ, Qiu, L, Sears, DD, Chinchilli, V, Brown, JC, Sarwer, DB, Schmitz, KH & Sturgeon, KM 2021, 'Wiser survivor trial: Combined effect of exercise and weight loss interventions on insulin and insulin resistance in breast cancer survivors', Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 9, 3108.


Stoltzfus, KC, Zhang, Y, Sturgeon, K, Sinoway, LI, Trifiletti, DM, Chinchilli, VM & Zaorsky, NG 2020, 'Fatal heart disease among cancer patients', Nature communications, vol. 11, no. 1, 2011.
Vidt, ME, Potochny, J, Dodge, D, Green, M, Sturgeon, K, Kass, R & Schmitz, KH 2020, 'The influence of mastectomy and reconstruction on residual upper limb function in breast cancer survivors', Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 182, no. 3, pp. 531-541.


Sturgeon, KM, Deng, L, Bluethmann, SM, Zhou, S, Trifiletti, DM, Jiang, C, Kelly, SP & Zaorsky, NG 2019, 'A population-based study of cardiovascular disease mortality risk in US cancer patients', European Heart Journal, vol. 40, no. 48, pp. 3889-3897.
Sturgeon, KM, Mathis, KM, Rogers, CJ, Schmitz, KH & Waning, DL 2019, 'Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Induced Musculoskeletal Degradation', JBMR Plus, vol. 3, no. 3, e10187.
Haley, JS, Hibler, EA, Zhou, S, Schmitz, KH & Sturgeon, KM 2020, 'Dose-dependent effect of aerobic exercise on inflammatory biomarkers in a randomized controlled trial of women at high risk of breast cancer', Cancer, vol. 126, no. 2, pp. 329-336.
Schmitz, KH, Troxel, AB, Dean, LT, Demichele, A, Brown, JC, Sturgeon, K, Zhang, Z, Evangelisti, M, Spinelli, B, Kallan, MJ, Denlinger, C, Cheville, A, Winkels, RM, Chodosh, L & Sarwer, DB 2019, 'Effect of Home-Based Exercise and Weight Loss Programs on Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema Outcomes among Overweight Breast Cancer Survivors: The WISER Survivor Randomized Clinical Trial', JAMA Oncology, vol. 5, no. 11, pp. 1605-1613.