Vetta Sanders Thompson’s work focuses on the health and well-being of ethnic and racial minority communities, particularly the African-American community. She is a noted researcher in the areas of racial identity, psychosocial implications of race and ethnicity in health behavior and access to health services, and determinants of health and mental health disparities. Sanders Thompson’s work combines a social science understanding of racial identity, rigorous measurement, and community-based participatory research. Her goal is to empower members of the community to improve their health and well-being.
Sanders Thompson also serves as a member of the Faculty Advisory Council of the Institute for Public Health
at Washington University, an associate member of the Siteman Cancer Center, and a faculty affiliate of the Department of African and African-American Studies, as well as the Interdisciplinary Program in Urban Studies.
A licensed clinical psychologist, Sanders Thompson is active in numerous professional associations including the American Psychological Association, Missouri Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. She is an associate editor for the journal PsycCritiques: Contemporary Psychology. Sanders Thompson serves as the faculty liaison for the Brown School's MSW/MPH dual-degree program, and she teaches mental health, social justice and health disparities courses.