The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH), led by Director Stephen T. Higgins, PhD, is an interdisciplinary research center committed to investigating relationships between personal behavior patterns (i.e., lifestyle) and risk for chronic disease and premature death. Our work has historically focused on health disparities for the most vulnerable populations, particularly among the socioeconomically disadvantaged where these risk factors are overrepresented.


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Located in Burlington, VT at the University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine, VCBH researchers have a specific focus on understanding mechanisms underpinning risk and developing effective interventions and policies to promote healthy behavior. A common thread across VCBH research projects is the application of knowledge from the disciplines of behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology to increase understanding of vulnerability to unhealthy behavior and the use of incentives and other behavioral and pharmacological interventions to support healthy behavior change interventions and policies.

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Upcoming VCBH Events


Our Lecture Series will pick back up in September with guest speaker Dr. Sherrie Khadanga.

Visit the Center on Rural Addiction



VCBH Career Opportunities

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Click here for more information.


  • 2023–24 University Scholars Lectures Showcase
    Sarah Heil, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, will lecture on "Intersections between Reproductive Health and Substance Use," on April 30, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. in Waterman Memorial Lounge.
    Read full story at UVM Today
  • UVM Researching Nicotine-limiting Standards for Cigarettes and E-cigarettes
    Elias Klemperer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and UVM Cancer Center member, was recently awarded his first R01 grant to further study nicotine-limiting standards for cigarettes and e-cigarettes among adults in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Northern New York State.
    Read full story at Vermont Business Magazine
  • VCBH Presents Preventive Medicine’s Tenth Special Issue, November 2023
    The November 2023 Special Issue of Preventive Medicine is now available. As a part of the Behavior Series, this Special Issue centers on behavior change, health, and health disparities. VCBH Director Stephen Higgins, PhD acted as guest editor and organized the selection of papers.
  • Eric Thrailkill Receives 2023 BF Skinner Foundation Award
    Eric A. Thrailkill, PhD, Associate Professor with the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, is the recipient of the 2023 BF Skinner Foundation New Researcher Award from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Higgins and Heil Receive Faculty Recognition Awards
    Stephen Higgins, PhD, Director of the VCBH, and Sarah Heil, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director of UVM TCORS, have each been honored with 2023 UVM Faculty Recognition Awards for their accomplishments in scholarship, teaching, and advising. Dr. Higgins is a recipient of the University Distinguished Professor Award, and Dr. Heil has earned the University Scholars Award.