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


February Lecture Series: Erin Winstanley, PhD

Visiting Professor
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
February 21, 2024
12:00-1:00 PM
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

March Lecture Series: Cancelled

Many of the VCBH's faculty and trainees will be attending the SRNT annual meeting in Scotland at this time and will not be available for this month's lecture.

Visit the Center on Rural Addiction



VCBH Career Opportunities

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

Health Care Professional needed to work with a Principal Investigator to deliver prolonged exposure (PE) therapy via telemedicine to research participants. Click here for complete job posting.


  • Financial Incentives Delivered via App Show Positive Outcomes for Pregnant Smokers
    A new study, led by researchers and colleagues at the Vermont Center of Behavior and Health, published in JAMA Network OPEN found that using a smartphone app (DynamiCare Health Inc) that monitored smoking and delivered incentives to participants’ debit cards, showed promise in achieving similar results to clinic-based best practices with financial incentives.
  • Higgins Named Recipient of 2022 CPDD Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award
    Stephen Higgins, PhD, director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, professor, and vice chair of psychiatry has been named the recipient of the 2022 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award, their career achievement award.
  • Stephen T. Higgins, PhD Receives SABA Award for Scientific Translation
    Stephen Higgins, PhD, director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, professor, and vice chair of psychiatry has been selected by the Society of the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) as the recipient of the 2022 SABA Award for Scientific Translation.
  • PTSD and OUD Study Highlighted in News
    This month, local news affiliate WCAX interviewed VCBH Project Leader and Assistant Professor Kelly Peck, PhD about his prolonged exposure therapy (PET) study that examines cognitive behavioral therapy treatment for PTSD in people currently receiving buprenorphine or methadone medication maintenance.
  • Project Leader Sherrie Khadanga, MD Receives Inaugural Award
    VCBH Project Leader Sherrie Khadanga, MD received the inaugural Wohlgemuth Fellowship Award in March for her proposed study titled “Remote Smoking Cessation in Hospitalized Cardiac Patients: Bridging the Post-discharge Care Gap.”