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.


  • New Commentary on Contingency Management Published in JAMA Psychiatry
    On March 3, 2021, JAMA Psychiatry published "Bringing Together Behavioral Science, Community Engagement, and Cultural Adaptations to Increase Alcohol Abstinence Among American Indian and Alaska Native People Using Contingency Management Therapy," authored by Stephanie S. O’Malley, PhD; Maria C. Crouch, MS; Stephen T. Higgins, PhD.
  • Dr. Khadanga Talks Pandemic Side Effect: Sitting
    Sherrie Khadanga, MD, a COBRE project director at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, cardiologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, and assistant professor at UVM Larner College of Medicine was interviewed for “The Pandemic’s Heart-Breaking Side Effect: Sitting, Sitting, Sitting,”
  • 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.