Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine

About Us

About the Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine

Our Research

The Center's research draws upon the social and behavioral sciences as well as biomedical and public health sciences to address the leading lifestyle causes of disease burden and death. Our research portfolio includes both primary prevention (e.g., tobacco cessation, weight management, physical activity) and chronic disease management. We develop, implement, and evaluate interventions to reduce health risks, promote active participation in medical care, and enhance quality of life. We work with healthy volunteers as well as people living with a chronic illness or condition, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or HIV.

Our research scientists conduct both basic and applied research. The basic research seeks to discover the mechanisms underlying behavioral factors in health and illness (e.g., examining the stress response among children and adolescents). Applied research seeks to translate these discoveries for clinical and public health improvement. Research scientists at the Center represent a range of academic disciplines, including clinical, health, and social psychology, medical anthropology, epidemiology, medicine, and biostatistics. All research scientists are faculty at Brown University and work closely with undergraduate and graduate students as well as clinical residents and postdoctoral fellows.

    The Effects of Smoking During Pregnancy

    Laura Stroud, PhD explains the link between moms who smoke during pregnancy and the risks for offspring.

    History of the Center

    In 1976, the Division of Behavioral Medicine was founded at The Miriam Hospital and in 1990, the Center was established as the home for behavioral and preventive medicine research at the hospital. The Center continued to flourish and, in 1998, the Center was designated as the official site for behavioral and preventive medicine research at Brown University and the Lifespan Academic Medical Center.

    Growth and Reputation

    Over the past 30 years, the Center has enjoyed sustained growth. The Center has generated a cumulative total of well over $100 million in external research revenue support since its creation. Research scientists and their dedicated research teams have allowed the Center to earn a national and international reputation as leaders in the field.


    • To conduct innovative research involving interdisciplinary, biobehavioral approaches to the etiology, prevention, and treatment of disease.
    • To serve as the focal point for training, mentoring, and educating in behavioral and preventive medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
    • To foster a professional community where individuals of all races, ethnicities, ages, sexes, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, religious beliefs, national origins or any other characteristic or identity belong and are valued.