Kristen Mark Appointed Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education at University of Minnesota Medical School

January 4, 2021

The University of Minnesota Medical School’s Program in Human Sexuality (PHS) is proud to appoint Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH, CSE, as the next Joycelyn Elders Endowed Chair in Sexual Health Education. She joins the PHS faculty in January of 2021, following the inaugural chairholder in this position, Michael Ross, MD, PhD, MPH.

In 2014, former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, MD, MS, teamed up with the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School to advance comprehensive science-based sexual health education by establishing the Joycelyn Elders Endowed Chair in Sexual Health Education. This tenured faculty position, just one of two in the country, advances sexual health education by creating comprehensive life-long sexual education curricula, increasing the number of healthcare providers trained in sexual health care, and expands scientific research in sexuality education.

“I am delighted that Dr. Mark is joining the faculty of the Program in Human Sexuality,” said former Elders Chair professor, Dr. Michael Ross. “She is a highly respected educator and researcher in sexual health, and will bring new and important areas of expertise to the University of Minnesota Medical School.”


Dr. Mark holds degrees in psychology, family science, biostatistics, and public health, and her research and therapeutic approaches are as interdisciplinary as her training. She consistently publishes her scientific research in top journals and has presented her work through hundreds of talks nationally and internationally.

“The Program in Human Sexuality is a place where clinical work, strong research scholarship, educational efforts, and policy and advocacy outreach exist under one roof, and my educational agenda will make the most of these connections,” said Dr. Mark.

In addition to disseminating her research through scientific journals and academic conferences, Dr. Mark is regularly relied upon as an expert to digest sex and relationship science to the public through print, radio, and television media.

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Media contacts:
Kristine Elias: 612-624-6860
Ethan O’Brien: 612-625-1331

About the Program in Human Sexuality
The Program in Human Sexuality's purpose is to revolutionize the sexual and gender climate by eliminating barriers and advancing healthy sexuality. We do this through leadership in sexuality research, education, clinical care, and advocacy to promote positive sexual and gender health for all. Visit sexualhealth.umn.edu to learn more.

About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Visit med.umn.edu to learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine.