ResearchOur PeopleTeresa A. Hillier

Teresa A. Hillier, MD, MS

Teresa Hillier, MD, MS, is an endocrinologist and distinguished investigator who holds dual appointments at the Center for Health Research and CIHR-Hawaii. Her research focuses 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.

Active in diabetes and obesity research, Dr. Hillier has done pioneering 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). She directed a study partnering with both regions to implement early screening and treatment of GDM among high-risk obese women. She currently is leading another study that partners with KPNW and KPH to randomize two different strategies of GDM screening to evaluate outcomes for mother and baby, and is co-leading a new study in both regions for a national consortium that will utilize continuous glucose monitoring during pregnancy to characterize both normal and abnormal glucose changes over the entire duration of pregnancy. 

Dr. Hillier has nearly 20 years’ experience as the principal investigator of multicenter trials and as the principal investigator of multisite projects at CHR and CIHR-Hawaii. 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 Current Studies

  • Comparing Two Gestational Diabetes Screening Methods: A Pragmatic Outpatient RCT—Screen R2 GDM (NICHD)
  • Understanding the Glycemic Profile of Pregnancy (NIDDK)
  • Personality and Health: A Longitudinal Study—LCH IV (NIA)

Selected Publications

  • LeBlanc ES, Rizzo JH, Pedula KL, Yaffe K, Ensrud KE, Cauley J, Cawthon PM, Cummings S, Hillier TA. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) Research Group. Weight Trajectory over 20 Years and Likelihood of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia Among Older Women. J Am Geriatr Soc 2017 Mar;65(3):511-519. PMCID: PMC5685172
  • Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Vesco KK, Oshiro C, Ogasawara KK. Impact of maternal glucose and gestational weight gain on child obesity over the first decade of life in normal birth weight infants. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2016 Aug;20(8):1559-68.
  • Hillier TA, Ogasawara K, Pedula K, Vesco KK. Markedly different rates of incident insulin treatment based on universal GDM screening in a diverse HMO population. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013 Nov;209(5):440. [Epub 2013 June 28]
  • Hillier TA, Lui LY, Kado DM, LeBlanc ES, Vesco KK, Bauer DC, Cauley JA, Ensrud KE, Black DM, Hochberg MC, Cummings SR. Height loss in older women: Risk of hip fracture and mortality independent of vertebral fractures. J Bone Miner Res 2012 Jan;27(1):153-9. [Epub 2011 Nov 9]
  • Hillier TA, Cauley JA, Rizzo JH, Pedula KL, Ensrud KE, Bauer DC, Lui LY, Vesco KK, Black, DM, Donaldson MG, LeBlanc ES, Cummings SR. The WHO absolute fracture risk models (FRAX): Do clinical risk factors improve fracture prediction in older women with normal or low bone mass? J Bone Miner Res 2011 Aug; 26(8):1774-82. PMCID: PMC3622725
  • Hillier TA, Vesco KK, Pedula KL, Beil T, Whitlock E, Pettitt DJ. Screening for gestational diabetes: A systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med 2008;148(10):766-75.
  • Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Vesco KK, Schmidt MM, Mullen JA, LeBlanc ES, Pettitt DJ. Excess gestational weight gain: Modifying fetal macrosomia risk associated with maternal glucose. Obstet Gynecol 2008;112(5):1007-14.
  • Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Schmidt MM, Mullen JA, Charles MA, Pettitt DJ. Childhood obesity and metabolic imprinting: The ongoing effects of maternal hyperglycemia. Diabetes Care 2007;30(9):2287-92.

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