Shira Dunsiger, PhD

Shira I Dunsiger, PhD, is a research scientist at The Miriam Hospital and an assistant professor (research) in the department of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University. She holds a combined bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics and master’s and doctoral degrees in biostatistics.

Dunsiger is a previous recipient of an NIH-funded T32 post-doctoral fellowship in cardiovascular behavioral medicine (5T32HL076134-03) and is currently the PI of an NIH-funded R03 (CA153942) aimed at developing intensive longitudinal statistical models for detecting patterns of behavior change in cancer-control trials. Her research focus is on developing statistical methodology for analyzing data from behavioral medicine, including smoking cessation, physical activity, mood and depression outcomes. Her broad research interests include statistical mediation, causal inference, missing data mechanisms and pattern detection.


  1. 1. Marcus, B.H., Lewis, B.A., Williams, D.M., Dunsiger, S., Jakicic, J.M., Whiteley, J.A., Albrecht, A.E., Napolitano, M.A., Bock, B.C., Tate, D.F., Sciamanna, C.N., & Parisi, A.F. (2007). A Comparison Of Internet And Print-Based Physical Activity Interventions. Archives of Internal Medicine, 167(9): 944-949.
  2. Williams, D.M., Lewis, B.A., Dunsiger, S., King, T.K., Jennings, E. & Marcus, B.H. (2007). Increaseing Fitness Is Associated With Fewer Depressive Symptoms During Successful Smoking Abstinence Among Women, International Journal of Fitness.4: 39-44.
  3. Williams, D.M., Lewis, B.A., Dunsiger, S., Whiteley, J.A., Papandonatos, G.D., Napolitano, M.A., Bock, B.C., Ciccolo, J.T., & Marcus, B.H. (2007). Comparing Psychosocial Predictors Of Physical Activity Adoption And Maintenance. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 36(2): 186-194.
  4. Rabin, C., Pinto, B., Dunsiger, S., Nash, J. & Trask, P. (2008). Exercise And Relaxation Intervention For Breast Cancer Survivors: Feasibility, Acceptability And Effects. Psycho-Oncology. 18(3), 258-266.
  5. Pinto, B., Rabin, C. & Dunsiger, S. (2008). Home-Based Exercise Among Cancer Survivors: Adherence And Its Predictors. Psycho-Oncology. 18(4), 369-376.
  6. Frierson, G.M., Williams, D.M., Dunsiger, S., Lewis, B.A., Whiteley, J.A., Albrecht, A.E., Jakicic, J.M., Horowitz, S.M., & Marcus, B.H. (2008). Recruitment Of A Racially And Ethnically Diverse Sample Into A Physical Activity Efficacy Trial. Clinical Trials. 5(5): 504-516.
  7. Lewis, B.A., Williams, D.M., Dunsiger, S., Sciamanna, C., Whiteley, J.A, , Napolitano, M.A., Bock, B.C., Jakicic, J.M., Getz, M., & Marcus, B.H. (2008). User Attitudes Towards Physical Activity Websites In A Randomized Control Trial. Preventive Medicine, 47(5): 508-513.
  8. Williams, D.M., Dunsiger, S., Ciccolo, J.T., Lewis, B.A., Albrecht, A.E., & Marcus, B.H. (2008). Acute Affective Response To Moderate-Intensity Exercise Stimulus Predicts Physical Activity Participation 6 And 12 Months Later. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 9(3): 231-245.
  9. Pekmezi, D.W., Neighbors, C.J., Lee, C.S., Gans, K.M., Bock, B.C., Morrow, K.M., Marquez, B., Dunsiger, S., & Marcus, B.H. (2009). Randomized Trial Of A Culturally Adapted Physical Activity Intervention For Latinas. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 37(6): 495-500.
  10. Ries, A.V., Dunsiger, S., & Marcus, B.H. (2009). Physical Activity Interventions And Changes In Perceived Home And Facility Environments. Preventive Medicine. 49: 515–517.
  11. Williams, D.M., Whiteley, J. A., Dunsiger, S., Jennings, E.G., Albrecht, A.E., Ussher, M.H., Ciccolo, J.T., Parisi, A.F., & Marcus, B.H. (2009). Moderate Intensity Exercise As An Adjunct To Standard Smoking Cessation Treatment For Women: A Pilot Study. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 24(2): 349-54.
  12. Hayes, R. B., Borrelli, B., & Dunsiger, S. (2009). The Influence Of Quality Of Life And Depressed Mood On Smoking Cessation Among Medically Ill Smokers. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 33(3): 209-218.
  13. Pekmezi, D.W., Williams, D.M., Dunsiger, S., Jennings, E.G., Lewis, B.A., Jakicic, J.M., & Marcus, B.H. (2009). Feasibility Of Using Computer-Tailored And Internet-Based Interventions To Promote Physical Activity In Underserved Populations. Telemedicine and e-Health. 16(4):498-503.
  14. Borrelli, B., Hayes, R.B., Dunsiger, S., & Fava, J.L. (2009). Risk Perception And Smoking Behavior In Medically Ill Smokers: A Prospective Study. Addiction. 105(6):1100-8.
  15. Carr, L.J., Dunsiger, S.I., & Marcus, B.H. (2010). Walk Score As A Global Estimate Of Neighborhood Walkability. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 39(5):460-3.
  16. Carr, L.J., Dunsiger, S.I., & Marcus, B.H. (in press). Validation Of Walk Score For Estimating Access To Walkable Amenities. British Journal of Sports Medicine.
  17. Williams, D.M., Papandonatas, G.D., Jennings, E.G., Napolitano, M.A., Lewis, B.A., Whiteley, J.A., Bock, B.C., Albrecht, A.E., Dunsiger, S., Parisi, A.F., King, A.C., & Marcus, B.H. (in press). Does Tailoring On Additional Theoretical Constructs Enhance The Efficacy Of A Print-Based Physical Activity Promotion Intervention? Health Psychology.
  18. Ciccolo, J.T., Dunsiger, S.I., Williams, D.M., Jennings, E.G., Bartholomew, J.B., Ussher, M.H., Kraemer, W.J., & Marcus, B.H. (in press). Resistance Training as an Aid to Standard Smoking Cessation Treatment: A Pilot Study.
  19. Gupta, A., Tsiaras, S.V., Dunsiger, S.I., & Tilkemeier, P.L. (in press). Gender Disparity and the Appropriateness of Myocardial Perfusion Imaging.
  20. Williams, D.M., Dunsiger, S., Ussher, M.H., Whiteley, J.A., Jennings, E.G., & Ciccolo, J.T. (in press). Acute effects of moderate intensity exercise on core affect and cigarette cravings. Addictive Behaviors.
  21. Hartman, S.J., Dunsiger, S.I, & Jacobsen, P.B. (in press). The Relationship of Psychosocial Factors to Mammograms, Physical Activity, and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Sisters of Breast Cancer Patients. International Journal of Women’s Health.

Current research projects  

1 R03 CA153942-01
(Shira Dunsiger, PI)
“Statistical Methods for Assessing Patterns of Change in Cancer-Control Behavior”
To develop intensive longitudinal models specifically designed for detecting patterns of behavior change in cancer-control trials.

1 R34 DA031057-01
(R. Cohen, PI; S. Dunsiger Co-I/Biostatistician)
“Improving Adherence and Cognition in Substance-Using HIV Patients”
Substance abuse in the context of HIV infection is a major problem that affects clinical outcome and interferes with adherence to treatment regimens. This study examines the value of a computer-based cognitive training program (Vigorous Mind) to enhance attention and executive functioning as a means of improving organizational and planning ability and ultimately treatment adherence.

R01 HL064342
(B. Marcus, PI; S. Dunsiger Co-I)
“Achieving Physical Activity Guidelines Through an Enhanced Print Intervention”
This study will test an enhanced version of our individually tailored print intervention in an attempt to help a larger percentage of participants achieve the national recommendations for physical activity participation.

5 R01 DA021729-03
(B. Marcus, PI; S. Dunsiger, Co-I)
“Using a YMCA Exercise Program to Enhance Nicotine Dependence Treatment for Women”
This study will test the efficacy of our CTQ smoking cessation program when delivered in local YMCAs by YMCA staff. This is a necessary intermediate step toward dissemination of our efficacious smoking cessation treatment for women and is consistent with Stage III behavioral research as defined in PA-03-126.

1 R01 NR011295
(B. Marcus, PI; S. Dunsiger, Co-I)
“Culturally and Linguistically Adapted Physical Activity Intervention for Latinas”
The purpose of the study is to promote physical activity among this at-risk population using a high-reach, low-cost strategy, which has great potential for adoption on a larger scale and thus high potential for reducing existing health disparities in the U.S.

R01 CA155381
(D. Williams, PI; S. Dunsiger, PI of Subcontract)
“Efficacy of Brisk Walking as a Smoking Cessation Treatment Adjunct Among Women” This study will compare adherence rates to self-paced exercise versus prescribed moderate intensity exercise among sedentary, overweight and obese adults.