PhD in Health Behavior Research Program

Department of Preventive MedicineKeck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern California

Welcome to Ph.D. in Health Behavior Research Program


Dr. Black discusses trial findings on CBT for insomnia
5-29-2018 read more >>>
Cancer patients who suffer from insomnia may experience improvements not only in their quality of sleep but also in their quality of life with nonpharmacologic therapies such as acupuncture and cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), a new study concludes. Dr. Black reported that nonpharmacologic treatments such as CBT-I have advantages over pharmacotherapy in that they are somewhat effective at improving sleep for both short-term and long-term periods and have no serious contraindications. "Acupuncture is a more passive treatment option for patients, making it potentially more attractive despite being less effective than CBT-I," he added.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
12-18-2017 read more >>>
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Job Location: Los Angeles, CA

The Department of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern
California seeks outstanding applicants for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on large federallyfunded
obesity prevention projects that use smartphone applications and other wearable sensors to collect
physical activity, eating, and other data in children and families. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will
assist with projects conducted by the USC Real-Time Eating Activity and Children's Health (REACH) lab
(, whose objectives are to develop and apply real-time data capture methodologies
including Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) and wearable sensors to better understand the effects
of environmental, social, and psychological factors on eating and physical activity. The ideal candidate will
have training in behavioral science and/or health promotion (PhD in Public Health, Epidemiology,
Psychology, Exercise Science, Nutrition or a related field). Research experience in school or communitybased
settings is preferred with expertise in mhealth, EMA, questionnaire design, data management,
multilevel statistical analyses, and publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

Responsibilities may include serving as a research trainee for the purpose of enhancing and developing
research competencies; participating in the planning, designing and conducting of highly technical and
complex research projects under the direction of a supervisor; analyzing research data and providing
interpretations; contributing to the development of research documentation for publication of technical
reports, papers and/or conference presentations.

Candidate minimum education requirement: Ph.D or equivalent doctorate with a minimum of 4 years of
research experience.

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and
is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a
world-class research university and a member of the "Trojan Family."

Consideration of applicants will begin immediately with an application deadline of Feb. 15, 2018. Interested
applicants should send a cover letter indicating the position being applied, curriculum vitae, statement of
research interest, a writing sample, and a list of 3 references with contact information by email to:

Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, PhD, MPH
Director, USC Real-Time Eating Activity and Children's Health (REACH) Lab
Departments of Preventive Medicine and Psychology
University of Southern California
12-7-2017 read more >>>

The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California seeks candidates for one- to three-year research fellowships (pending final funding decisions). Fellowship positions provide mentored training in research as well as protected time to participate in publishing, grant writing, and other career development activities. Fellows will have the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary group of faculty who conduct research on the determinants, epidemiology, and intervention/prevention of behavioral influences on cancer risk: (a) tobacco product, alcohol, and drug use; (b) obesity, diet, physical activity, and sedentary behavior; (c) sexually-transmitted infections related to cancer (e.g., HPV infection); and (d) cancer survivorship. We seek candidates with backgrounds and interests that complement existing strengths in: (1) health disparities and social/environmental determinants of health; (2) psychological influences on health behavior, (3) behavioral and social science methodologies (e.g., longitudinal data analysis, ecological momentary assessment, social network analysis, qualitative research, and human biobehavioral laboratory paradigms), (4) developmental processes and youth/young-adult health behavior; and (5) psychoneuroimmunology.

The fellowship program is administered by the Division of Health Behavior Research within the Department of Preventive Medicine and provides an annual salary (based upon year doctorate received), health insurance, tuition, and conference travel support. This multidisciplinary department of behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, environmental health scientists, and biostatisticians has a long history of conducting innovative externally-funded research and currently holds active research programs on tobacco products, obesity, cancer survivorship, and other public health issues. Many faculty members are also members of the USC/Norris Cancer Center, an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with strong research programs in cancer control and epidemiology. More information about can be found at and

Qualified individuals must have completed a PhD, MD or equivalent, and must be a US citizen or have permanent resident status. Women, minorities, and candidates from other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

USC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Send curriculum vitae and statement of interest to:
Marny Barovich,; or call 323-442-8299 for more information.
USC departments in preventive medicine and ophthalmology rank #2 in the most funded by the NIH
8-2-2017 read more >>>
Doctoral student makes headway in health behavior research
6-13-2017 read more >>>
Derek Dangerfield - Photo courtesy Barry McDaniel

From Malaysia to Baltimore to Los Angeles, Derek Dangerfield has conducted research around the world—and can now add a Ph.D. in health behavior research to his list of accomplishments...

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