Research in the Department of Health Behavior

Our outstanding research includes:

  • Associate Professor Noel Brewer’s research on the HPV vaccine has helped eliminate myths and “bad science” from the vaccine debate and boosted vaccine use.
  • “SafeTalk “motivational interviewing program, designed by Associate Professor Carol Golin, helps people living with HIV/AIDS adopt and maintain safer sexual practices and has been approved by the CDC.
  • Professor Kurt Ribisl’s research on cigarette marketing practices has helped change laws nationwide on how and where tobacco products can be displayed and sold, which helps reduce the number of new smokers.
  • A new effort aimed at using microlending to young men to help reduce the spread of HIV and thwart gender-based violence is being pioneered by Associate Professor Suzanne Maman in Tanzania.
  • Professor Vangie Foshee’s “Families for Safe Dates,” a family-based dating abuse prevention program, is required for communities participating in the CDC’s nationwide dating abuse prevention effort called “Dating Matters.”
  • The Cancer Health Disparities Training Program (or CHD) is administered through the Department of Health Behavior. The program offers 1-3 qualified postdoctoral trainees a specialized curriculum that fosters multidisciplinary understanding of cancer health disparities, including a cancer disparities seminar, training on research ethics and recommended courses in health disparities and cultural competency. The program prepares trainees to move into faculty positions in cancer and health disparity reduction research.

Other areas of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Health communication (including e-health), risk perception, and decision-making.
  • Interpersonal, peer and other social factors that affect health behavior.
  • Engaging communities in context-sensitive and culturally relevant ways in order to improve individual and community health.

Notable current research projects include:

Carolina Collaborative for Research on Work and Health
Laura Linnan, ScD, CHES, Director

The EARLY trials to prevent and treat obesity in young adults, NHLBI
Deborah Tate, PhD and Leslie Lytle, PhD, Principal Investigators

Accountability for Cancer Care through Undoing Racism and Equity (ACCURE) NCI
Geni Eng, DRPH.

Peers for Progress
Edwin Fisher, PhD, Global Director

More on our faculty research
Faculty Research Interests by topic

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