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Her research has focused on the history of eugenics  and the uses and misuses of genetics in the United States and Latin America. She has also written about the history of public health, infectious diseases, and tropical medicine. Through these topics, she explores the dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, social difference, and reproductive politics.
Stern is the author of Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America (University of California Press, 2005), won the Arthur Viseltear Award for outstanding contribution to the history of public health by the American Public Health Association.
Stern's most recent book is Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) which was named an Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences by Choice. She has written over 50 books and articles, and contributes to popular media stories about gender, medicine, and health in venues such as the Huffingtonpost, Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
In January 2017, Stern and her research team published an article in the American Journal of Public Health estimating the likely living number of survivors of California’s 20th century eugenic sterilization program. This research received extensive media coverage, in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and NPR. It inspired and informed a Los Angeles Times editorial urging the State of California to seriously consider reparations.
- "Alexandra Stern | MCubed". Mcubed.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
- "Alexandra Minna Stern | U-M LSA American Culture". lsa.umich.edu. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- "California Eugenics Laws: Professor Says State Should Compensate Thousands Sterilized". NPR. 2016-12-18. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
- Novak, Nicole L.; Lira, Natalie; O'Connor, Kate E.; Harlow, Siobán D.; Kardia, Sharon L. R.; Stern, Alexandra Minna (May 2018). "Disproportionate Sterilization of Latinos Under California's Eugenic Sterilization Program, 1920-1945". American Journal of Public Health. 108 (5): 611–613. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304369. ISSN 1541-0048. PMC 5888070. PMID 29565671.
- Eugenic Nation.
- Stern, Alexandra Minna (2012-08-31). Telling Genes. ISBN 9781421406671.
- Allen, G. E. (2013-11-01). "Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America". Journal of American History. 100 (3): 878–879. doi:10.1093/jahist/jat373. ISSN 0021-8723.
- Stern, Alexandra Minna; Novak, Nicole L.; Lira, Natalie; O'Connor, Kate; Harlow, Siobán; Kardia, Sharon (January 2017). "California's Sterilization Survivors: An Estimate and Call for Redress". American Journal of Public Health. 107 (1): 50–54. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303489. ISSN 1541-0048. PMC 5308144. PMID 27854540.
- Stern, Alexandra Minna; Novak, Nicole L.; Lira, Natalie; o'Connor, Kate; Harlow, Siobán; Kardia, Sharon (2017). "California's Sterilization Survivors: An Estimate and Call for Redress". American Journal of Public Health. 107 (1): 50–54. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303489. PMC 5308144. PMID 27854540.
- "California Today: Wrestling With a Legacy of Eugenics". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
- "A Long-Lost Data Trove Uncovers California's Sterilization Program". The Atlantic. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
- "California needs to do more than apologize to people it sterilized". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-03-08.