Understanding Biobehavioral & Genetic Bases of Health & Illness

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Faculty are engaged in a broad range of biobehavioral research exploring the interactions among biological, behavioral, and social factors. Faculty are studying the relationship between stress and cardiovascular responses and researching patterns of respiration and cerebral oxygenation during sleep and their relationship to cognitive decline. In several studies, researchers are exploring the mechanisms that underlie inflammatory disorders such as CVD, diabetes, preeclampsia, and perinatal injury to the brain. Faculty also are studying families’ experiences of living with a genetic condition and the clinical implications of the epigenetics of breast cancer. The School’s Biobehavioral Laboratory provides consultation, equipment, and space to support faculty’s measurement of physiological, biological, and behavioral variables.

Currently funded research studies (studies may be listed in more than one focus area):

Hypertension in Black Americans: Environment, Behavior, and Biology

Hypertension (HTN) is a major health problem for Black Americans: as a group they have the highest rate of HTN in the world. HTN develops at younger ages, is more severe, and leads to more adverse clinical outcomes and higher death rates for Blacks than for Whites. Chronic psychoso… Read more »

Maternal Feeding Responsiveness and Risk of Obesity from Infancy through Early Childhood

Early childhood obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. Although the development of obesity is a response to a combination of genetic, interpersonal, and environmental factors, fundamentally it reflects an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Infants have been found to… Read more »