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Center for Behavior and Health

Health behaviors (obesity, tobacco use, poor-quality diet, physical inactivity, risky substance use, unsafe sex, poor sun protection behaviors) are prevalent and preventable risk factors for chronic disease. Treatment non-adherence is an additional risk behavior that impedes recovery and complicates health outcomes.

Meet our members

Our Programs

Our Research

 Research Goals

Investigators affiliated with the Center for Behavior and Health pursue three main research goals:

  • To understand determinants that cause the onset and maintenance of health risk behaviors
  • To understand biobehavioral mechanisms whereby unhealthy behaviors "get under the skin" to affect health
  • To develop, optimize, and evaluate interventions that promote healthy lifestyle behaviors


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced awards for 11 Big Data (BD2K) Centers of Excellence on Oct. 9, 2014. We’re proud to be part of a team of scientists from 11 universities (Cornell Tech, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern, Rice, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF, UMass) and Open mHealth that has been awarded a grant for an NIH Center of Excellence on Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K). You can find more details on our research agenda and the team on the MD2K website.

 Signatures of Our Interventions

Interventions developed and implemented by the center have four signatures. They:

  • Incorporate novel technologies (e.g. smartphone, sensors, internet) to overcome access barriers and reduce costs
  • Engage social networks and systems
  • Apply optimization techniques drawn from engineering to develop and refine treatments
  • Integrate human interventionists (e.g., peer, health educator, psychologist, exercise physiologist, nutritionist)

Contact Us

Contact us for information on developing a technology-assisted intervention or for a look at our research.

Angela Pfammatter

Technology-Assisted Intervention

Angela Pfammatter, PhD



Bonnie J. Spring, PhD, center director

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