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.

Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch

Elliot Berkman, Ph.D.

Translational Neuroscientist and Social Psychologist
  • University of Oregon

Behavior change can be hard because we lack the skills or knowledge to do so, but more often the problem is motivational. Science needs to discover ways to help people who want to want to change but, for whatever reason, struggle to will themselves to change.”

Emily Falk, Ph.D.

Neuroscientist and Psychologist, focused on Health Behavior and Communication
  • University of Pennsylvania

People's brains sometimes know them better than they know themselves. Looking into the brain can help us understand what makes people change their behaviors. Likewise, linking neuroscience studies with field methods is critical to understanding how the brain works in the real world, outside of the lab.”

Carolyn Fang, Ph.D., M.A.

Behavioral Scientist
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center

I appreciate the opportunity to work with investigators from diverse disciplines, as well as with community members and patient advocates, because they inspire me to learn new concepts and broaden my thinking in novel ways, as we all work toward a common and united goal to reduce the burden of cancer.”

Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D.

Psychologist and Interdisciplinary Affective Scientist
  • Northeastern University

The mind is an elegantly orchestrated self-fulfilling prophecy, embodied within the architecture of the nervous system.”

Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.

Psychologist and Affective Scientist
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

When people experience positive affect while being physically active, they unwittingly trigger a chain of nonconscious and biological processes that can ultimately transform physical activity from a chore into a lifelong passion.”

Michael Irwin, M.D.

Psychiatric Clinical Translational Scientist
  • University of California - Los Angeles

The Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA has discovered that sleep and health are intimately inter-connected: insomnia induces adverse trajectories of disease risk, activates inflammatory biology, and accelerates cellular aging. In turn, interventional strategies from behavioral to mind-body treatments effectively target sleep problems and reverse the course of biological mechanisms of disease risk, aging, and possibly cancer, which together optimize healthspan.”

Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D.

Behavioral Scientist
  • Ohio State University

Stress impacts many aspects of our physiology. Close and supportive personal relationships can buffer the effects of stress and can be an important resource during difficult times in our lives.”

Caryn Lerman, Ph.D.

  • University of Pennsylvania

I am passionate about transdisciplinary research to enhance our understanding about how the brain supports or constrains changes in habitual behaviors that contribute to cancer risk.”

Susan Lutgendorf, Ph.D.

Behavioral Scientist
  • University of Iowa

The resilience of the human spirit is remarkable-we are now studying how we can help patients cope more effectively in the face of ovarian cancer.”

Herbert Mathews, Ph.D.

Cellular and Molecular Scientist
  • Loyola University Chicago

Understanding the pattern of chromatin organization associated with psychosocial distress may provide a means by which to identify those at risk for immune dysfunction.”

Anil Sood, M.D.

Physician Scientist
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center

For me the opportunity to collaborate with renowned colleagues has provided many exciting research moments.”