Vetta Thompson

Vetta Sanders Thompson’s research focuses on the health and well-being of diverse communities, particularly the African-American community. Her scholarship addresses racial identity and socialization, implications of experiences of discrimination and socio-cultural determinants of disparities. Her goal is to empower members of the community to improve their health and well-being through education and opportunities for action. Her funded research addresses promotion of cancer screening among African Americans and community engagement.

Sanders Thompson currently leads the School’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, as well as co-directs the Center for Community Health Partnership and Research at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University. She is also is an associate member of the Siteman Cancer Center and a faculty affiliate of the Department of African and African-American Studies. She teaches courses in human diversity, disparities and mental health.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Sanders Thompson is active in professional associations. She served as an associate editor for the APA journal PsycCritiques, a past Chair of the State Committee of Psychologist, past President of the Missouri Psychological Association and has been honored by the St. Louis community, as well as her peers in the profession. 

Vetta Sanders Thompson

  • E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity
  • Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • PhD, Duke University
  • Office Phone: 314-935-3432
  • Email:

Areas of Focus:

  • Cultural competence
  • Racial identity
  • Disparities in health and mental health services
  • Implications of race and ethnicity
  • Access to health services