Biobehavioral Health (BBH) Faculty Directory

Frank M. Ahern
Senior Research Associate, Professor-in-Charge of Undergraduate Programs
Ph.D., University of Hawaii, 1980
Research Interests:

Prescription drug use/misuse among the elderly; alcohol and the elderly; mental health and the elderly; genetic and environmental factors in aging.

f4a@psu.edu

Collins O. Airhihenbuwa
Professor and Head, Department of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1983
Research Interests:

Culturally appropriate interventions in Health Promotion.

Global Health and Culture Project Research Web Pages

aou@psu.edu

Steven A. Branstetter
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Denver
Research Interests:

Youth tobacco use and cessation; parental and peer-influences on tobacco use; behavioral economics and tobacco use; smoking among cancer patients

Smoking Health and Behavior Laboratory Web Pages

sab57@psu.edu

Orfeu M. Buxton
Associate Professor, Biobehavioral Health
Research Interests:

The causes of sleep deficiency (insufficient duration or inadequate sleep quality) in the workplace, home, and society.

The health consequences of sleep deficiency, especially cardiometabolic outcomes, and the physiologic and social mechanisms by which these outcomes arise.

orfeu@psu.edu

Sonia A. Cavigelli
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Duke University, 1998
Research Interests:

Influence of temperament and social status on stress and health; individual differences in stress and health in the natural environment; development of temperament/personality.

Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab Web Pages

s-cavigelli@psu.edu

Anne-Marie Chang
Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2003
Research Interests:

Genetic analysis of sleep and circadian rhythms, and interactions that influence cardio-metabolic function in humans; examination of environmental effects on sleep physiology, circadian rhythms, and neurobehavioral and cognitive performance.

amchang@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Melina T. Czymoniewicz-Klippel
Lecturer and Global Health minor coordinator
Ph.D., Monash University (Australia)
Research Interests:

Theorization of childhood and youth; global health; health impact of migration, in particular forced migration; child maltreatment/protection; health and human rights; research methodologies and ethics.

mtc16@psu.edu

Christopher G. Engeland
Assistant Professor, Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D. University of Western Ontario 2002
Research Interests:

How factors such as stress, age, gender, and hormones affect immunity, inflammation, and health. I am particularly interested in tissue repair (mucosal and dermal wound healing). Also the feasibility of biomarkers for predicting health outcomes. I conduct both human and animal research.

cge2@psu.edu

JoAnn Foley-DeFiore
Instructor of Biobehavioral Health, Pre-major Advisor
Ph.D. Sociology, University of Maryland, 1995
Research Interests:

Sociocultural and environmental influences on health and wellness.

jxf39@psu.edu

Lori A. Francis
Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Center for Family Research in Diverse Contexts.
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2003
Research Interests:

Sociocultural factors influencing the development of obesity in low-income and minority children, including family environment, neighborhood characteristics and socioeconomic status; family-based interventions to reduce and prevent obesity and related morbidities in children; understanding biobehavioral, family environmental and cultural factors that influence self-regulation of energy intake and body weight in young children.

 

lfrancis@psu.edu

William Gerin
Professor of Behavioral Health; Director, The Mind-Body Cardiovascular Psychophysiology Laboratory
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1985
Research Interests:

Research Interests: The role of social stressors and angry rumination in biological dysregulation and development of heart disease; Non-pharmacological interventions to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients; white coat hypertension.

wxg17@psu.edu

John W. Graham
Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Human Development and Family Studies; Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program
Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1983
Research Interests:

Adolescent, young adult, and college student health promotion and disease prevention. I have interest in prevention program development, but specialize in program evaluation and related research methods (survey and measurement design, missing data methods, structural equation modeling, detection and control of self-report bias).

jgraham@psu.edu

Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Stony Brook University, 2003
Research Interests:

The impact of stress and coping responses (emotional responses, cognition, and behavior) on physical health and immune function, with an emphasis on how people express emotion following stress and make meaning from stressors, such as those related to chronic pain or relationship stress. Within this framework: the relevance of pain and inflammatory responses, aging, personality traits and gender, and support from close others.

The Stress and Health Lab Web Pages

jeg32@psu.edu

Joseph Gyekis
Instructor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2011
Research Interests:

Behavioral genetics, high throughput behavioral screening.

jpg186@psu.edu

Byron C. Jones
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., University of Arizona, Tucson, 1975
Research Interests:

Pharmacogenetics, i.e., the genetic basis for individual differences in response to drugs which affect the central nervous system. Current projects include localizing candidate genes which affect drug sensitivity in the mouse genome. Other interests include sex-specific genetic mechanisms for neurotransmitter receptor expression and genetics of stress response.

bcj1@psu.edu

Helen M. Kamens
Assistant Professor, Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University, 2007
Research Interests:

Identification of genetic mechanisms that contribute to complex behaviors with a special emphasis on alcohol and tobacco use.

Behavioral Neurogenetics Lab Web Pages

hmk123@psu.edu

Gary King
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., Boston University, 1987
Research Interests:

Current research using national data bases include: American smoking behavior, comparative international tobacco consumption (France and West Africa), and child maltreatment and reporting practices.

gxk14@psu.edu

Laura Cousino Klein
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 1997
Research Interests:

Biobehavioral effects of stress on drug abuse in humans and animals; sex differences in neuroendocrine and behavioral stress responses; nicotine regulation of stress reactivity.

The Biobehavioral Health Studies Laboratory Web Pages

lxk18@psu.edu

Patricia Barthalow Koch
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1983
Research Interests:

Sexual development, sexuality education and sexual health issues, particularly related to HIV/AIDS; women’s health; health promotion methodologies and evaluation.

p3k@psu.edu

Roger J. McCarter
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., Medical College of Virginia, 1968
Research Interests:

Mechanisms of aging; calorie restriction and aging; involvement of energy metabolism, muscle function and body temperature in aging process.

rjm28@psu.edu

Idan Shalev
Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D. Hebrew University, 2010
Research Interests:

The focus of my research is to identify mechanisms underpinning the biological embedding of stress and its effect on biological aging. Specifically, to test the effects of stress from early childhood on change in telomere length and other biomarkers of aging across the life course, and the consequences of change in these biomarkers for physical and mental health problems.

http://sites.psu.edu/idanshalev

ius14@psu.edu

Joshua M. Smyth
Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Medicine
Ph.D. Stony Brook University, 1998
Research Interests:

Three broadly defined areas – and the integration between them – comprise my research program: (1) What are the effects of experiencing stress on psychological and physical well-being? (2) Can we assess stress, affect, and health in an ecologically relevant manner that facilitates our understanding of biopsychosocial processes as they unfold in time and in context? (3) Can psychosocial interventions improve health and well-being?

jms1187@psu.edu

Shedra Amy Snipes
Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., University of Washington
Research Interests:

Intersections of Culture, Biology and the Environment; Biology and Health in Minority and Immigrant populations; Mixed-Methods Research with Qualitative, Quantitative and Biomarker Studies; Anthropology in Public Health Promotion in Special Populations (e.g. Mexican Immigrant Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers)

Bio-Qualitative Research Lab (BioQUAL) Web Pages

sas84@psu.edu

Michele Stine
Senior Instructor of Biobehavioral Health; Pre-major adviser
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2004
Research Interests:

Factors that influence adolescent nicotine use, including ADHD; stress and stimulant drug effects on attention and time perception

mms153@psu.edu

Elizabeth J. Susman
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1976
Research Interests:

Endocrinology of stress and health; antisocial behavior and health consequences; reproductive transitions and development.

Biobehavioral Transitions Lab (BTL) Web Pages

ejs5@psu.edu

Robert Turrisi
Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Prevention Research Center
Ph.D., University of Albany-State University of New York, 1988
Research Interests:
  • Parent-adolescent relationships; Alcohol and substance use prevention
  • Skin cancer prevention

Prevention Research to Optimize (PRO) Health Lab Web Pages

rjt13@psu.edu

David J. Vandenbergh
Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health; Neuroscience Faculty, The Neuroscience Institute, The Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences
B.S., Chemistry, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.D., Biochemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, 1987
Research Interests:

Molecular biology of the nervous system, and how it is modified by drugs of abuse; genetic components of drug abuse behaviors.

Molecular Genetics Laboratory Web Pages

djv4@psu.edu

Sheila G. West
Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health, Director, Vascular Health Interventions Laboratory / Stress and Nutrition Research Program
Ph.D., Univ of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, 1997
Research Interests:

Effects of foods, nutrients, and supplements on vascular response to stress, inflammation, and CVD risk factors

Stress and Nutrition Research Program Web Pages

sgw2@psu.edu

Linda Ann Wray
Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1995
Research Interests:

Links among social environment, health, and aging; chronic disease management; health risks and middle-age.

law30@psu.edu

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