Message from Director Stephen T. Higgins, PhD

higginsatdesksmallThe Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH) is an interdisciplinary center of research excellence committed to investigating relationships between personal behavior patterns (i.e., lifestyle) and risk for chronic disease and premature death. Unhealthy behaviors (e.g., tobacco and other substance abuse, physical inactivity, obesity, risky sexual behavior) represent the leading cause of chronic disease and premature deaths in the U.S. and are a major driver behind spiraling health-care costs. Importantly, these risk behaviors are overrepresented among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and are major contributors to the problem of health disparities.

There is a tremendous need for greater scientific understanding of the mechanisms underpinning vulnerability to these risk behaviors and for more effective interventions and policies to promote healthy behavior. The VCBH will leverage knowledge from the disciplines of behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology to better understand and support healthy behavior change.

Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D.