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Behavioral Medicine

Behavioral medicine is the interdisciplinary field concerned with understanding mechanisms by which health behaviors involving diet, physical activity, substance use and more influence the odds of developing chronic disease. Behavioral medicine scientists also study how to apply behavioral and psychosocial interventions effectively and efficiently to prevent and treat illness, foster adherence to medical treatments and improve quality of life.


Our goals are to study how behavioral and psychosocial influences ‘get under the skin’ to influence health outcomes and to apply that knowledge to promote health and prevent illness. We develop resource-efficient, effective interventions that incorporate digital components to extend population reach, accommodate individual differences and adapt to changes in state.”

Bonnie J. Spring, PhD



Bonnie Spring

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Read about the new Northwestern Opt-IN remote weight loss program that slashed pounds. You can also read the full publication here.

For more information and to express an interest in signing up, visit the Opt-IN program website.

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Read more about the new Northwestern study on the ethics of financial incentives for research participation.

What We Do


The NCI training grant is a full-time T32 postdoctoral research training program in behavioral and psychosocial aspects of cancer prevention and control funded by the National Cancer Institute. The training program is based in the division of Behavioral Medicine in Preventive Medicine and in Medical Social Sciences.

The division serves as the base of learning resources in interdisciplinary team science. Resources include the Team Science online learning modules and the team science graduate course in the MSCI program. This course offers practical guidance about how best to engage in team science to pursue complex science questions, work effectively with team members and produce high-impact research outcomes that help meet society’s needs

Learning resources for are also developed and housed in the division.


Major research funding for the Department of Preventive Medicine’s Division of Behavioral Medicine has been awarded by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, American Heart Society, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child and Health Development, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, alongside other federal and private institutions.

Visit our faculty's lab pages to learn more:

 Studies Now Recruiting Participants

Meet Our Team

Hitsman, Brian L
I am committed to advancing the treatment of tobacco use and dependence, especially in primary care and specialty care settings. My research is rooted in rigorous psychological theory and the neurobiology of addiction, and integrates multiple approaches, ranging from human laboratory to clinical trial to epidemiological. I direct the new Center for Nicotine and Tobacco Research within the Cancer Survivorship Institute. In addition to my research and clinical activities, I devote substantial time to training undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.
Pfammatter, Angela Fidler
Dr. Pfammatter is a Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist with expertise in optimization research methodology and development of mobile health interventions. Her research focuses on multiple health behavior change to treat and prevent chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease. Her clinical expertise is in behavioral weight loss strategies.
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Contact Us

Behavioral Medicine

680 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60611   (Map it)

Phone: 312-503-6579

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