Esther Sternberg

Professor of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Planning (Joint Appointment)
Professor of Medicine and Psychology
Inaugural Andrew Weil Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine
Founding Director, Institute on Place, Wellbeing and Performance
Research Director, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine


  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
Esther Sternberg

1249 N Mountain Ave

Areas of Expertise

  • Design and health
  • Integrative medicine and health in the built and natural environments
  • Wearable and stationary devices
  • Wellbeing in the built environment


  • MDCM, McGill University
  • Bachelor of Science, McGill University


Internationally recognized design and health and mind-body science pioneer, Esther Sternberg M.D., is Research Director, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine and Founding Director, University of Arizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance, linking AWCIM, UArizona’s Colleges of Medicine, Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Science and others. Dr. Sternberg is the Inaugural Andrew Weil Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine; Research Professor of Medicine and Science (Dept. Psychology); and holds joint appointments as Professor of Architecture, and Planning & Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. Formerly Senior Scientist and Section Chief at the National Institutes of Health, and founding member of the American Institute of Architects’ Design and Health Leadership Group and Research Consortium, she has advised the U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Green Building Council, Australian Green Building Council, and the Vatican on designing for health and wellbeing in the built environment. She is currently advising the National Science Foundation on wellbeing in the built environment, and the International WELL Building Institute’s Task Force on COVID-19, and is Co-Chair of the IWBI’s Health Equity Standard Advisory. Her Wellbuilt for Wellbeing research with the U.S. General Services Administration, using wearable devices to track health and wellbeing in the built environment, is informing healthy design standards. Her expertise in designing for wellbeing extends across many building types, including office spaces, university buildings and campuses, healthcare facilities, and senior living communities. She is leading a COVID re-entry project team at the University of Arizona and has lectured and presented television spots on designing for wellbeing during COVID and post-COVID re-entry. Dr. Sternberg has received the Federal Government’s highest awards, was recognized by the National Library of Medicine as one of 339 women who “Changed the Face of Medicine,” received an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin, and served as member and Chair of NLM’s Board of Regents. She received her M.D. from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, where she trained in rheumatology before launching her research career focused on the science of the mind-body connection and place and wellbeing. She has authored over 235 scholarly articles, edited 10 technical books, authored two popular science-for-the-lay-public books: The Balance Within: the Science Connecting Health and Emotions, and her best-selling Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-being, which helped spark the design and health movement’s rebirth, 21st century style.

News, Research and Projects

Esther M. Sternberg

In the News: Dr. Esther Sternberg Discusses Office Design Impact on Wellbeing, Productivity

University of Arizona professor of medicine Dr. Esther Sternberg, director of the Institute on Place, Well-being and Performance and research director at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, shares her research examining how work environments effect people's health and productivity.

Esther M. Sternberg

Dr. Esther M. Sternberg Authors Acclaimed New Book, ‘Well at Work: Creating Wellbeing in Any Workspace’

Esther M. Sternberg, M.D., Inaugural Andrew Weil Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine and professor of architecture, landscape architecture and planning (by joint appointment), has published Well at Work: Creating Wellbeing in Any Workspace, a "Top Ten Lifestyle Book" by Publishers Weekly.