Dr. Edwin Fisher

Edwin B. Fisher, PhD

Department of Health Behavior
Peers for Progress
336A Rosenau Hall
CB# 7440
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Edwin Fisher, PhD, is a public health professional, noted researcher and clinical psychologist. He also is a former chair of the Department of Health Behavior.

Dr. Fisher has wide-ranging research interests. He serves as global director of Peers for Progress, a program that documents the benefits of peer support in diabetes management and conducts diverse activities to promote peer support around the world.

Over his career, Dr. Fisher has led multiple large and influential research projects. Among the topics he has researched are chronic disease prevention, management and quality of life, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, smoking and weight management.

He teaches Social and Peer Support in Health: An Ecological and Global Perspective (HBEH 756-001).

Edwin Fisher in the Gillings News

Representative Courses

HBEH 756 Social and Peer Support in Health: An Ecological and Global Perspective | Syllabus

Research Activities

Research interests
Global health
Health behavior
Mental Health

Research activities
Dr. Fisher is Global Director of Peers for Progress, a program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation that promotes peer support in health, health care and prevention around the world. With projects in 9 countries and over 60 collaborating groups, Peers for Progress is building the evidence base for peer support interventions, disseminating resources for program development and quality improvement, and promoting the integration of peer support in health care and preventive services. This work also draws upon Dr. Fisher’s research on Nondirective and Directive types of social support in health and quality of life. From 2002-2009, he served as National Program Director of the Diabetes Initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showing the contributions of diabetes self management programs in Federally Qualified Health Centers and community based programs. Dr. Fisher has published widely in prevention, chronic disease management and quality of life addressing asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, smoking, and weight management. He is a past-president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and has served on the boards of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine and the American Lung Association.

Key Publications

Social support needs among patients with advanced breast cancer: sensitivity trumps substance. Kowitt, S., Yu, S., Owens, A., Carey, L., Fisher, E.B. (2016). Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology, 14(12), 509-514.

Peer support enhanced social support in adolescent females during weight loss. J. Bowling, Susan Ennett, Edwin Fisher, Noel Kulik, Deborah Tate, Dianne Ward (2014). American Journal of Health Behavior, 38(5), 789-800.


  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, State University of New York, 1972
  • BA, Psychology, Amherst College, 1968