Sandra Gifford was born in Berkeley, California. She arrived in Australia in 1984 after completing undergraduate and masters degrees in anthropology, a Master of Public Health in epidemiology and a PhD in medical anthropology, all from the University of California. She is currently a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Sexually Transmissible Diseases at La Trobe University. In her previous position, she coordinated the Master of Public Health course at Monash University. She has two children, a 5-year-old son and a 17-year-old stepdaughter. Her research interests relate to women's health and the provision of appropriate and accessible health care.
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