Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD is a Senior Research Scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. Her primary focus has been the epidemiology of and translational research related to diabetes and gestational diabetes (GDM). Dr. Ferrara and colleagues have adapted the Diabetes Prevention Program intervention for use in women with GDM as well as pregnant overweight or obese women during the prenatal and postpartum periods to achieve weight management and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Dr. Ferrara also conducts cohort studies of pregnant women and their offspring to identify early risk factors for diabetes and obesity. Dr. Ferrara’s life course approach to diabetes and obesity prevention is aimed in reducing the risk factors for these chronic conditions early in life.
She has also led the establishment and maintenance of the KPNC Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy Glucose Tolerance Registry since its inception in 1997. Dr. Ferrara collaborated with researchers across the nation to further the understanding of sex disparities in the quality of health care for people with diabetes in an attempt to explain the higher risk of cardiovascular mortality in women with diabetes relative to men. She has also worked to determine the safety of diabetes medications in regards to cancer risks.