Frederick Hecht, MD

Frederick Hecht
Director of Research, UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Osher Foundation Endowed Chair in Research in Integrative Medicine Professor of Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine

Areas of Interest

  • Mind-body interventions and behavioral medicine
  • Mindfulness-based interventions, including mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • Yoga
  • Psychoneuroimmunology and immunology
  • Clinical trial design and methodologies
  • Intervention fidelity 
  • Diabetes and obesity
  • HIV
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle interventions

Experience and Current Work

Dr. Rick Hecht is trained in internal medicine, with fellowship training in clinical epidemiology and clinical research methods. Early in his career, he developed a multidisciplinary research program investigating early (primary) HIV infection, which incorporated clinical, epidemiological, immunologic, virologic, and behavioral investigations. This work built one of the largest and most productive cohort studies of early HIV infection in the world, The OPTIONS Project, with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control. 

Since joining the UCSF Osher Center, Dr. Hecht has been involved in a broad range of research on integrative medicine. He is the author of over 225 peer-reviewed articles, and has been the principal investigator of 10 grants from the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), including two Center for Excellence in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine grants. An important focus of his research has been on mindfulness-based interventions for health, particularly testing whether such approaches can augment diet and nutrition interventions for obesity and diabetes. 

Dr. Hecht is very active in training the next generation of researchers in integrative medicine. He co-directs (with Dr. Adler) UCSF’s NCCIH–funded Training in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM) fellowship program and has served as a mentor for 11 successful NIH K-grant junior career-development awardees. 

Dr. Hecht plays a leadership role nationally and internationally in advancing quality and innovation in integrative medicine research. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in organizing the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health and other international conferences. In 2017, he was elected to the board of directors of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research, and in 2018, he was elected as the vice chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.

Dr. Hecht has practiced yoga and meditation for more than 30 years, which has helped form his interest in rigorous research on the biological effects of these practices. He is also an avid ultra-marathon distance runner

 Education and Training

  • Fellowship, Clinical Epidemiology, UCSF
  • Residency, Internal Medicine and Social Medicine
  • Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine 
  • MD, State University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn
  • BA, Hampshire College

View publications on UCSF Profiles

View grants on UCSF Profiles

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