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

VCBH Center Administrator. Click here to apply.

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Click here for more information.


VCBH Faculty Selected Among Thousands to Present Research on Children's Brain Function

June 1, 2019 by Nicole Twohig

Bader Chaarani, PhD, was selected to present at the 2019 Organization for Human Brain Mapping international meeting in Rome, Italy.
Bader Chaarani, PhD, was selected to present at the 2019 Organization for Human Brain Mapping international meeting in Rome, Italy. Among thousands of abstract submissions, Dr. Chaarani's abstract, "Relationship between Video Gaming and Brain Function in a Large Sample of Children" was 1 of 100 selected for an oral presentation.

Dr. Chaarani was a VCBH TCORS post-doctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Hugh Garavan. He is now an Assistant Professor in the department of Psychiatry at UVM conducting research on neurobiological and behavioral risk factors underlying substance use and psychiatric diseases.