Grants and Contracts Details


This is a revised application for support to establish a Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Behavior and Health at the University of Vermont (UVM). The proposed center will investigate relationships between personal behaviors and risk for chronic disease and premature death. Unhealthy personal behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, physical inactivity) account for 40% of premature deaths in the U.S. annually and substantially increase healthcare costs. The proposed center will focus on developing and evaluating clinical interventions for these risk behaviors and examine mechanisms underpinning vulnerability to them using a behavioral economic conceptual framework. This effort will involve key interdisciplinary collaborations (a) across multiple departments and colleges within UVM, (b) with key Vermont community healthcare leaders, and (c) with scientific experts from other universities, including three from IDeA states (Brown University, and University of Kentucky). Specific Aims of this proposal are: Specific Aim 1: Establish the cores necessary to develop and sustain a vibrant interdisciplinary center of research excellence. Goals of this aim include (a) developing an administrative core that provides the center leadership and organizational structure; developIing the center’s intellectual infrastructure and its collaborative relationships, overseeing fiscal responsibilities, and coordinating efforts to obtain external grant support; (b) developing an education & mentoring core to facilitate those two key missions; and (c) developing a research core that supports intervention development and evaluation, cost analyses and econometric modeling of health outcomes, and the study of health-related decision making and its neurobiological underpinnings. Specific Aim 2: Support the development of a core group of excellent junior faculty who will eventually become the nucleus of the center. The Project Directors and their research topics are: (1) Robert Althoff, MD, PhD, Shared Mechanisms in Child Dysregulation, Adult Psychopathology, and Metabolic Disorders; (2) Kim Dittus, MD, PhD, An Exercise and Dietary Counseling Weight Loss Intervention for Overweight Breast Cancer Survivors; (3) Brian Sprague, PhD, Determinants of Health-Related Behavior Change Following a Diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ; (4) Diann Gaalema, PhD, Increasing Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation Among Medicaid Patients; (5) Julie Philips, MD, Improving Adherence with Recommended Guidelines on Weight Gain During Pregnancy in Overweight and Obese Women. The proposed center will bring together an interdisciplinary group of accomplished senior scientists, promising junior investigators, and distinguished advisors and collaborators to work closely together to establish a center of excellence in an area of clinical research that is vitally important to the U.S. public health.
Effective start/end date9/15/137/31/17


  • University of Vermont: $47,831.00


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