Eric Hodges Appointed Interim Director of the Biobehavioral Laboratory

Associate professor Eric Hodges has been named Interim Director of the UNC Biobehavioral Lab. He is taking on this leadership role in light of Dr. Virginia Neelon’s retirement.

Dr. Neelon, PhD, RN, is the founding Director of the Biobehavioral Lab. She began the lab in 1989 with one graduate student, a single room, an oximeter, a bed, and a sink. Since then, the lab has grown to ten rooms, including an observation suite with six in-wall cameras and a state-of-the-art sleep laboratory. Two permanent staff work in the laboratory and offer several training programs throughout the year on research procedures such as salivary hormone assays or cardiovascular stress measurement. “Before the creation of this laboratory, nurse researchers were limited in what they could measure or observe,” said Dr. Neelon. “We’re very proud of the fact that the lab supports faculty and students through training in how to measure, acquire, and analyze biobehavioral data in a person’s natural environment with minimal burden.”

“With Dr. Neelon’s leadership in creating this laboratory, nurses now have the ability to measure a variety of human responses to health and illness in real time,” said Dr. Hodges. PhD, FNP-BC. The lab has been an indispensable resource for Dr. Hodges’ own research on behaviors associated with child nutrition. “The Biobehavioral Lab is one of the reasons I came to UNC. This research program has flourished under Dr. Neelon. I’m looking forward to continuing to facilitate the excellent projects she brought into this facility as well as searching for new ways for the lab to grow and contribute to the mission of the School of Nursing.”

Prior to accepting his appointment as Interim Director, Dr. Hodges served on the Biobehavioral Lab advisory committee. He will serve in the Interim position until a permanent Director has been selected.