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In Memoriam - Teresa Hillier, MD, MS
Distinguished Investigator
Contact Info

Teresa Hillier, MD, MS, was an endocrinologist and distinguished investigator who held appointments at CIHR and the Center for Health Research. Her research focused on how modifiable risk factors earlier in life can affect future risk of endocrine diseases across the lifespan, including gestational diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Having been active in diabetes and obesity research, Dr. Hillier pioneered work in gestational diabetes in pregnancy (GDM). In 2007, she and her team demonstrated an ongoing effect of maternal hyperglycemia to imprint childhood obesity in a study of nearly 10,000 children at Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW) and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii (KPH). Partnering with both regions, she directed a study to implement and evaluate early screening and treatment of GDM among high-risk women with obesity. She completed another pragmatic trial conducted in partnership with both regions that randomized patients to receive one of two different GDM screening strategies and evaluated differences in outcomes for mother and baby; results of this trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. As part of a large national consortium, she co-lead a study taking place in both regions that utilized continuous glucose monitoring to characterize both normal and abnormal glucose changes over the entire duration of pregnancy.

Dr. Hillier had nearly 20 years’ experience as the principal investigator of multicenter trials and as the principal investigator of multisite projects at CIHR and CHR. From 2000-2018, she was principal investigator of the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) CHR clinical site, an ongoing, 30-year U.S. multicenter prospective cohort study of 9,704 women ages 65 and older. The SOF study examined risk factors for osteoporosis as well as characteristics of exceptional aging among postmenopausal women.

Dr. Hillier received her MD from Oregon Health & Science University and a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Virginia. She served her residency in internal medicine at Providence Medical Center in Portland and an endocrinology fellowship at the University of Virginia.

Selected Publications:

Full List of Publications:


Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy that increases the risk of pregnancy and birth complications. New tests may allow doctors to identify women with GDM earlier and more accurately than the tests currently being used, but we need to understand them better. We are part of a national study that is recruiting 2,150 pregnant women at 10-14 weeks gestation to assess glucose metabolism using both traditional and new GDM screening tools at four timepoints during pregnancy and will assess outcomes in both mother and baby to find a better way to detect GDM, so that moms can get the care they need and their babies can be healthy.

Sponsor: NIH/NIDDK

Co-Principal Investigator: Teresa Hillier, MD, MS

KPHI Co-Investigator: Caryn Oshiro, PhD