Cynthia Herrick, MD, FACP

Co-Director, WU Transgender Center, Associate Professor of Medicine


Dr. Herrick was born and raised in Houston, TX. She received her undergraduate degree in public policy at Princeton University and her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and was Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director in Internal Medicine for three years at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. She then pursued fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital and joined the faculty in 2014.

Research Interests

One third of US adults are obese and nine percent have diabetes. According to CDC data, overall obesity prevalence in the US has almost doubled in the last two decades. During her fellowship, Dr. Herrick conducted research examining the association of poverty rates, supermarket access and neighborhood walkability with diabetes risk in a worksite population. She also participated in a university collaboration focusing on eliminating population-based disparities in diabetes and obesity which brought researchers from diverse fields together to discuss challenges in this area and culminated in two recent publications in Preventing Chronic Disease. Further, she participated in a national think tank on challenges in delivering care to patients with metabolic syndrome, and was a member of the writing group for a position paper derived from this meeting.

Dr. Herrick’s current research interests are in diabetes and obesity prevention, environmental and socioeconomic determinants of health, and improving healthcare systems and transitions of care, particularly for patients with low socioeconomic status. Specifically, she is focusing on the transition of care after pregnancy for low income women with gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes are 7 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, often in the first 5-10 years after the index pregnancy. The post-partum and inter-partum periods are critical time frames for screening and intervention, but current data suggests that this is happening at suboptimal rates. She will use mixed methods to further characterize post-partum diabetes screening in a population of uninsured and underinsured women with recent gestational diabetes with the goal of designing and pilot testing intervention(s) to increase screening that can be integrated into existing care settings with limited burden on patients and providers. With improved screening and identification of the highest risk women, the ultimate goal will be to develop and test sustainable, practical programs to support lifestyle change and/or metformin use in this population.

Washington University Physicians