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.

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

Steven A. Branstetter
Associate 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

Brea Burger
Instructor of Biobehavioral Health
Research Interests:

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.

Director, Sleep, Health, & Society Program

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

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.

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.

Marc A. Dingman
Instructor of Biobehavioral Health
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, The Pennsylvania State University, 2013
Research Interests:

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.

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

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.

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.

John W. Graham
Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Human Development and Family Studies
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).

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

Dr. Graham-Engeland investigates the impact of psychological stress on physical health and the psychological, physiological and behavioral mechanisms underlying stress and health connections. She emphasizes the impact of cognitive and emotional responses to stress (e.g., rumination, meaning-making, anger) that are potential targets for non-pharmacological intervention. Drawing on perspectives from social psychology and psychoneuroimmunology, specific topics include: 1) adaptive consequences of recognizing and expressing negative emotion; 2) how emotion, depressed mood, inflammation, and physical pain are bi-directionally connected; 3) the use of immune-related biomarkers (particularly inflammatory markers) as outcomes or mediators of stress and health phenomena, and 4) the relevance of situational forces (e.g., relationship dynamics) and individual differences (e.g., hostility, loneliness, and gender) on stress and health connections, with particularly emphasis on chronic pain and inflammation.

The Stress and Health Lab Web Pages

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

Christine Heim
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Research Interests:

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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

Michele Stine
Teaching Associate Professor and Academic Adviser
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2004
Research Interests:

Robert Turrisi
Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Prevention Research Center; Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program
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

David J. Vandenbergh
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

Sheila G. West
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

Margaret Winchester
Research Associate and Coordinator, Pan University Network for Global Health
Ph.D. Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University
Research Interests:

medical anthropology,; global health; HIV/AIDS; Uganda; South Africa; international development; partner violence; research ethics; therapeutic landscapes

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.

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