Kathryn H. Schmitz, PhD, MPH

Associate Director of Population Sciences, Penn State University


Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania


Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, is the Associate Director of Population Sciences at Penn State University College of Medicine, and, jointly, serves as Full Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine. She is an exercise interventionist who has led multiple trials, including a large randomized controlled trial to assess the safety of upper body exercise among 295 breast cancer survivors with and without lymphedema (Physical Activity and Lymphedema Trial [PAL]). Her research extends from the role of physical activity in the prevention and etiology of obesity-related cancers to the usefulness of activity for rehabilitation and health promotion in cancer survivors of all cancers. Her meta-analyses on the topic of exercise interventions in cancer patients and survivors provide a starting point for clinicians to understand the effects of exercise among cancer survivors. Dr. Schmitz has over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has had continuous NIH funding for her research since 2001. Dr. Schmitz serves on the expert panel for the YMCA/Livestrong Foundation Cancer Survivorship Collaborative, wrote the cancer survivorship section of the 2008 U.S. DHHS report of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, served on the ad hoc committee that developed the ACSM Cancer Exercise Trainer certification, and is the lead author of the ACSM Roundtable on Exercise for Cancer Survivors, which published guidance for exercise testing and prescription for cancer survivors in July 2010. In 2010, the National Lymphedema Network awarded her the Catalyst Award for being a researcher whose work has stimulated thought, discussion, and debate that leads to improvement in patient care for those with lymphedema. Dr. Schmitz’ knowledge and experience is integral to the TREC Training Workshop.

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Kathryn H. Schmitz, PhD, MPH