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

March 4, 2024 by Ed Neuert

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.

The Graduate College and Office of the Provost are pleased to present the 2023-2024 University Scholars Lecture Series, offering free public lectures by three distinguished UVM faculty members.

University Scholars Awards are conferred annually on UVM faculty who have been nominated and selected by colleagues based upon their sustained excellence in research, creative, and scholarly activities in social sciences, humanities, and creative arts and in basic and applied sciences (including biological, medical, and physical sciences).

2023-24 University Scholars and Lectures:

Terence Cuneo, Ph.D., Marsh Chair of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Dept. of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, will present “Excellent Moral Reasons,” April 9, 2024 at 3:30 p.m. in Waterman Memorial Lounge.

Professor Cuneo is a world-renowned scholar of moral philosophy, metaethics, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of food, and the philosophy of Thomas Reid. He has written seven books; six with the preeminent Oxford University Press. Among his authored books is The Normative Web, a groundbreaking work on metaethics. He has edited seven other books, published 64 articles and 25 book reviews, and is elected president of the Society of Christian Philosophers.

Sarah Heil, Ph.D., Dept. of Psychiatry, Larner College of Medicine; Dept. of Psychological Science, College of Arts and Sciences will lecture on "Intersections between Reproductive Health and Substance Use," April 30, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. in Waterman Memorial Lounge.

Dr. Heil’s prolific research has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Psychiatry, Preventive Medicine, and other prestigious venues. Continuously funded since 2004 by NIH, Dr. Heil has received $10M of funding as a PI and another $64M as a co-PI or co-Investigator. An elected Fellow of two American Psychological Association divisions, she serves on the Board of Directors for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and a Chartered NIH study section. Dr. Heil has served on expert panels on addiction and pregnancy convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rory Waterman, Ph.D., Dept. of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, will present on “Phosphorus and Other Endangered Elements: What Elemental Scarcity Means for our Health and Planet,” May 1, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. in Waterman Memorial Lounge.

Dr. Waterman’s research has been funded by NSF and other federal agencies and private bodies. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as of the American Institute of Chemists, the American Chemical Society, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was the plenary or keynote speaker at four national and international chemistry conferences.

Read full story at UVM Today