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

VCBH Lecture Series: Sherry McKee, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry
Yale School of Medicine
November 15, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

VCBH Lecture Series: Alan Budney, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry
Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
December 13, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

VCBH Lecture Series: Denise Hien, PhD
Vice Provost for Research
Rutgers Center of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies
January 17, 2024
12:00-1:00 PM
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

Visit the Center on Rural Addiction



VCBH Career Opportunities

Predoctoral & Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Click here for more information.



  • 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.
  • Gender Equity Event Features Talk on Dismantling Dominant Culture, Celebrates Awardees
    The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont hosted the fourth annual Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science on March 2, 2023.
  • “Clinician Office Hours” Gives Rural Providers Access to Substance Use Disorder Experts
    The University of Vermont’s Center on Rural Addiction has launched a new free program called Clinician Office Hours to help providers access specialists in prevention and treatment of substance abuse disorders. The program is available virtually to any health care provider in the U.S. located in an area designated as rural by the Health Resources & Services Administration.
  • Stacey Sigmon and Sherrie Khadanga Receive Gender Equity Award Recognition
    Vermont Center on Behavior and Health members Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., and Sherrie Khadanga, M.D., will be recognized at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine's Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science. Dr. Sigmon is the 2023 recipient of the Gender Equity Outstanding Achievement in Medicine and Science Award, and Dr. Khadanga is the winner of the 2023 Rising Star Emerging Professional Award.