Featured Grantees

The researchers highlighted below have been awarded at least one Behavioral Research Program-funded NIH grant. Read on to learn about their experiences as grantees.

Note: The views expressed here are those of the grantees only and do not represent any official position of the National Cancer Institute.

Health Behaviors Research Branch

Ana Abrantes, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist
  • Butler Hospital/Alpert Medical School of Brown University

An important "ah-ha" moment came when discussing a colleague's work involving the pairing of brain stimulation with exposure-based behavioral treatment (an oft avoided therapy) to enhance adherence and improve outcomes among individuals with OCD. I thought, "Why couldn't the same approach be applied to vulnerable individuals who avoid or don't enjoy physical activity?"”

Barbara Brown, Ph.D.

Environmental Psychologist
  • University of Utah

I love finding community interventions that support both personal health and environmental health in a "stealthy" way-without requiring that people be committed to healthy behaviors or to environmentalism.”

David Buller, Ph.D.

Health Communication Scientist
  • Klein Buendel, Inc.

The "ah-ha" moment that I repeatedly experience is the importance of interpersonal relations in determining health behavior. Direct personal contacts with change agents, opinion leaders, and peers have been an essential aspect of my successful cancer prevention interventions and, more recently, relationships within organizational contexts, especially as influenced by policy, have emerged as influential for improving individuals' prevention practices.”

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D.

Translational Researcher and Nutrition Scientist
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham

There are so many opportunities to discover new ways to prevent and control cancer and "ah-ha" moments are daily occurrences that spring from working in the laboratory, the clinic and the community. Being open and preparing oneself to actively receive or generate those ideas is the first step; however, finding the time, energy and most of all the resources to pursue a fraction of those ideas is the key and one that requires dogged determination.”

View sample grant application

Jacqueline Kerr, Ph.D.

Exposome Scientist
  • University of California - San Diego

My ah-ha moment came when I realized all the errors in our data processing that I focused on obsessively were only creating a couple of minutes of error a day at the personal level. I realized I needed to get out of this rabbit hole and look around at the majority of successful predictions we were creating. I have now accepted that perfection in such behavioral & environmental matches are not possible, and I focus on the larger probabilities that time and space may influence behavior.”

Nora Nock, Ph.D.

Transdisciplinary Researcher
  • Case Western Reserve University

The "ah-ha" moment that influenced my program of research the most was discovering that the ultimate underlying barrier to exercise is truly the lack of enjoyment from exercise and that a pivotal step in intrinsic behavior change will be to find ways to help patients experience pleasure from exercise.”