Marily Oppezzo

Marily Oppezzo, PhD, MS

Head, Lifestyle Medicine Nutrition and Behavioral Change
Instructor of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center

Dr. Marily Oppezzo is a learning and behavioral scientist, and an Instructor of Medicine with the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Dr. Oppezzo’s diverse educational and research background shows her strong belief that true quality of life and health reaches across many domains. Dr. Oppezzo is formally trained in nutrition (as a Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Nutritional Science); physical activity (certified personal trainer, certified group exercise instructor, and cardiac rehab instructor); education (PhD in Educational Psychology); and behavioral change (Post-Doctoral training with psychologist and researcher Dr. Jodi Prochaska at the Stanford Prevention Research Center). Dr. Oppezzo continues to expand her training to include learning about and researching emotion regulation and sleep, with mentor Dr. James Gross in the Department of Psychology at Stanford.

She is currently working on her NHLBI K01 research career development award to explore the effectiveness of applying behavior change theories to daily social-media prompts aimed at reducing sedentary behavior in women at risk for or with current heart disease. In her other research, Dr. Oppezzo directs and designs studies looking at the intersection of physical movement on cognitive functioning. Specifically, she is currently completing: three studies exploring physical movement and different cognitive and creative tasks in middle school kids; two studies exploring walking’s effect on negotiation outcomes.  Dr. Oppezzo earned her  PhD in Educational Psychology at Stanford, with her dissertation work demonstrating four studies that replicated and showed the effect of walking on creative thinking. She currently is an instructor for the Rathmann Fellowship in the School of Medicine, mentoring both the Rathmann and Stanford Surgical Education fellows through a year-long course in learning theories and research methods to design and implement their medical education research projects. With her Masters in Nutrition, and a Registered Dietitian, Dr. Oppezzo has been part of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s Runsafe clinic for eight years, practicing as an RDN counseling patients on nutritional therapy for injury treatment, bone and tendon health, and injury prevention. Dr. Oppezzo loves teaching and mentoring: she received the Department of Medicine Teaching Award in 2018, has mentored several undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing their passion, whether it’s medical school, nutrition research, or community-based-participatory research.