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.


  • Brian Sprague, MD Discusses Latest Cancer Statistics
    Dr. Brian Sprague, Director of the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System and Associate Professor of Surgery at the Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont and Senior Epidemiologist at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health discussed the latest American Cancer Society findings with local TV network WCAX.
  • Incentives Could Enhance Adherence with COVID-19 Vaccination Schedule
    While public health and infectious disease experts have discussed strategies to enhance adherence, including the potential use of financial incentives, an examination of the scientific evidence on incentivizing vaccine adherence has not been discussed. A new Commentary in Preventive Medicine by a team led by Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health and professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine, addresses that gap.
  • Elias Klemperer, PhD Receives JCOIN Rapid Innovation Grant
    Dr. Elias Klemperer, a VCBH Project Leader and UVM assistant professor of psychiatry, has been awarded a Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network Rapid Innovation Grant (JCOIN) (J-RIG), a mechanism that supports small research studies on newly emerging policies, practices or interventions that address prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder in justice settings. Dr. Richard Rawson, professor of psychiatry at VCBH will be a co-investigator with Dr. Klemperer on the two-year study.
  • Special Issue of Preventive Medicine Released
    The November 2020 Special Issue of Preventive Medicine is the seventh in a series that focuses on behavior change, health, and health disparities. Edited by VCBH Director Stephen T. Higgins, PhD, this year's issue highlights some current challenges in tobacco control and regulatory science and features researchers that participated in the VCBH 7th Annual Conference held in October 2019.
  • VCBH Faculty Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH Receives International Recognition
    Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of psychiatry and psychological science at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH), Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont, has been named to Clarivate™ Highly Cited Researchers™ list of the world’s most influential researchers, based on the number of times her published studies have been cited by other researchers over the past decade.