Sheryl L. Catz, Ph.D.
Sheryl L. Catz is a professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, where she teaches courses in research methods, mentors students and conducts research in the areas of HIV, health behavior promotion, chronic disease management and health information technology. A clinical psychologist, Catz’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the interface between behavior, care and health outcomes. Her research interests include the use of health information technology as a platform for nurses and other health professionals to deliver evidence-based prevention and chronic disease management interventions.
Through her research, Catz hopes to explore how technology, such as the internet, electronic health records and smartphones can be used to improve communications between patients and clinicians while also improving overall care.
Catz’s research program leverages the use of technology for the purposes of integrating treatment adherence interventions into existing health-care systems and expanding the reach of chronic disease self-management interventions in the community. In one community study, Catz tested a telephone program that improved medication adherence and quality of life among older people living with HIV and other chronic conditions. In another study, Catz worked with nurses and pharmacists to support HIV medication adherence by sending secure messages through a patient website connected to an electronic health record.
She is also interested in developing smartphone applications to support patients sticking to their treatment. Recently, Catz collaborated with colleagues from Group Health Research Institute and the University of Michigan to develop and evaluate a mobile Web medication adherence program for smokers. The MyMAP program facilitates ongoing communication between smokers and clinicians and offers real-time personalized feedback on how to manage the side effects and withdrawal symptoms that often cause people to stop a cessation medication early, derailing their attempts to quit smoking.
Prior to joining the School of Nursing, Catz was an associate scientific investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. She began her academic career as an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Center for AIDS Intervention Research, and also taught at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Catz earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University in 1997. She earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.
In addition to leading more than 100 scientific presentations, serving on National Institutes of Health review panels, and collaborating on numerous federally funded research projects, Catz’s work has been published in high-impact, peer-reviewed publications, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Health Psychology, AIDS and Behavior, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.