Related Groups

Below is a selection of research centers and research service providers including a brief description and key people. Where applicable, we encourage you to visit the organization's website for a more complete description and up-to-date contact information. To learn more, click the name. To browse details alphabetically, scroll down.

RC - Research Center Besides the Center for Health Behavior Research, there are many notable centers contributing innovative research and expertise to the complex realm of health behaviors.
RR - Research Resource There is a wealth of resources throughout Penn that are poised to support health behavior related research. They may do this through providing mechanisms to connect collaborators, grant writing assistance, and/or research methods consultations.
TP - Training Programs Training programs offer pre- and/or post-Doctoral individuals with opportunities to participate in research and educational experiences.
CF - Community Focused Centers or organizations whose primary focus is community outreach and/or advocacy with an emphasis on public health.
Abramson Cancer Center RR African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network RR
Annenberg National Health Communication Survey RR Biostatistics Analysis Center RR
Bridging the Gaps TP Cartographic Modeling Lab RR
Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics RC, RR Center for Community Health Workers RC, CF
Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics RC Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction RC
Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research RC Center for Public Health Initiatives RC
Center for Weight and Eating Disorders RC Center of Excellence for Diversity in Health Education and Research TP, RR
Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research RC Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology TP, RC
Clinical Research Computing Unit RR Fels Institute of Government TP, RC
Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research TP, RC Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism RC
Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response RC Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics TP, RC
Mixed Methods Research Lab RR Netter Center for Community Partnerships CF
Pediatric Research Consortium RR Penn Minority Aging Research for Community Health RC
Penn Center for AIDS Research RC Policy Lab at CHOP RC
Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program TP    
NP - Non Penn Notable centers and organizations outside of the University of Pennsylvania involved in health behavior-related work. These represent some of our community partners, collaborators and like-minded organizations.
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Phila. VA RC, TP Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University RC
The Food Trust CF Health Promotion Council CF
Philadelphia Department of Public Health CF Public Health Management Corporation CF
Abramson Cancer Center
Principal Investigator/Director:
Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD
Contact Person: Barbara A. Vance, Ph D, vanceb@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Cancer
Description: The Abramson Cancer Center is a national leader in cancer research, patient care, and education. The Center provides state-of-the art cancer care, forms of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatments. The Center is also home to translational and clinical scientists working to determine the pathogenesis of cancer.
African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network
Principal Investigator/Director: Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH
Contact Person: Vikki C. Lassiter, MS, vlassite@mail.med.upenn.edu
Description: AACORN partners with U.S. researchers, scholars-in-training, and community-based researchers to improve the quality and quantity of research on weight related health issues in African American communities.
Annenberg National Health Communication Survey (ANHCS)
Contact Person: anhcs@asc.upenn.edu
ANHCS aims to capture national trends relating health behavior and behavioral intentions to media exposure, health knowledge and beliefs, and policy preferences and beliefs.
Biostatistics Analysis Center (BAC)
Principal Investigator/Director:
John T. Farrar, MD, PhD; Warren B. Bilker, PhD, MS
Contact Person:
Amy Praestgaard, praestga@mail.med.upenn.edu
Provides professional, high quality data analysis, biostatistical programming, and data management services for research in health outcomes, clinical trials, genomics, large prescription and diagnostic databases, and observational epidemiological studies. Housed within the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Bridging the Gaps (BTG)
Principal Investigator/Director: Lucy Wolf Tuton, PhD
Contact Person: Ellen Martinak, MS, martinak@mail.med.upenn.edu
Description: A multifaceted program that links training of health professionals, at all levels, with the provision of health related services for underserved populations.
Cartographic Modeling Lab (CML)
Principal Investigator/Director: Charles Branas, PhD;  Dennis Culhane, PhD; Amy Hillier, PhD, MSW; Dana Tomlin, PhD; Doug Wiebe, PhD; Tara Jackson, PhD
Contact Person: Vicky Tam, vtam@sp2.upenn.edu
Description: CML specializes in using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to conduct spatial analysis in academic research and urban/social policies.
Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB)
Principal Investigator/Director: Harold I. Feldman, MD, MSCE
Contact Person: www.cceb.upenn.edu/pages/apps/ProjectCollab/registerContact.html
Description: CCEB faculty have expertise across a wide range of statistical methods and research designs, and have extensive experience working with biomedical and clinical investigators in diverse disciplines. Services include support for the development and implementation of studies of all sizes from small pilot studies to large-scale, multicenter clinical trials, collaborative clinical and patient-oriented research, and multi-institutional health services research projects. Long-term collaborations with CCEB faculty are encouraged.

Center for Community Health Workers
Principal Investigator/Director: Shreya Kangovi, MD, MS
Contact Person: Raina Kulkarni, Administrative Coordinator, rkulk@mail.med.upenn.edu
Description: The Penn Center for Community Health Workers was created to help integrate the IMPaCT model into routine healthcare delivery. The IMPaCT model trains lay community health workers hired within the local community to help patients navigate the healthcare system and address key barriers.

Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics
Principal Investigator/Director: Kevin Volpp, PhD, MD
Contact Person: Joelle Friedman, MPA, joellef@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Behavioral Economics and Health
Description: CHI specializes in research and dissemination strategies that foster the translation of behavioral economic theory to improve health-promoting behaviors and health care delivery in older adults. Some areas of research include obesity, tobacco use, and medication non-adherence for diseases.
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction
Principal Investigator/Director: Caryn Lerman, PhD and Julie A. Blendy, Ph.D.
Contact Person: Angela Pinto, pintoa@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Tobacco research and Nicotine addiction
Description: CIRNA seeks to expand knowledge of nicotine withdrawal-related deficits and develop new models of medication development.
Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research
Principal Investigator/Director: David Mandell, ScD
Contact Person: cmhpsr@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Mental Health Policy
Description: CMHPSR researches the organization, financing, and management structure of mental health care systems and the delivery of mental health services and provides consultation and technical support to those individuals and programs involved in implementing system change. The Center has attempted to use the results of its research and evaluation efforts to inform the decision making of public policy makers at local, state, and national levels.
Center for Public Health Initiatives
Principal Investigator/Director: Jennifer Pinto-Martin, PhD, MPH
Contact Person: Sara Soloman, MPH, RD, sarasol@exchange.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Public Health
Description: CPHI seeks to improve health and quality of life by expanding and strengthening public health education, research and practice, and fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Center for Weight and Eating Disorders
Principal Investigator/Director: Thomas A. Wadden, PhD
Contact Person: Jacqueline Spitzer, MSEd, jspitzer@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Weight and Eating Disorders
Description: The Center conducts studies to assess the causes of weight problems, determine the medical and psychological consequences, and then develop a program accordingly. The Center offers clinical care through its research program as well as individualized treatment informed by its cutting edge research.

Center of Excellence for Diversity in Health Education and Research
Principal Investigator/Director: Jerry Johnson, MD
Contact Person: Tyeshia Kelly, tyeshiak@mail.med.upenn.edu
Description: The Center of Excellence supports programs of excellence in health professions education for individuals from racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented in the health professions workforce. Programs include recruitment and training of health professions students (from the secondary school through health professions school), recruitment and training of minority faculty, modifications of health professions curricula to improve clinical education and cultural competence, and research on health issues particularly affecting minorities.

Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research
Principal Investigator/Director: Robert A. Hornik, PhD
Contact Person: ceccr@asc.upenn.edu
Description: CECCR draws upon a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds to examine the complex public information environment around cancer and how that affects the behavior choices people make relevant to cancer.
Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET)
Principal Investigator/Director: Trevor M. Penning, PhD
Contact Person: ceet@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Environmental Health
Description: CEET conducts research to determine the mechanistic links between environmental exposures and diseases of environmental etiology. Also offers training opportunities for high school, undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, and health care professionals interested in elucidating the links between diseases of environmental etiology.
Clinical Research Computing Unit (CRCU)
Principal Investigator/Director: Harold I. Feldman, MD, MSCE & J. Richard Landis, PhD
Contact Person: Florence Speiser, fspeiser@mail.med.upenn.edu
Description: CRCU is a core research facility housed within the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics that provides scientific services related to clinical data management and research computing.
Fels Institute of Government
Principal Investigator/Director: David B. Thornburgh, MPP
Contact Person: felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Public Policy
Description: Provides government agencies and nonprofit organizations with expertise on a variety of issues relating to public policy and management, specializing in policy areas of urban revitalization and regional competitiveness, K-12 education, and economic and environmental sustainability. Offers focused practical educational programs that prepare undergraduate and graduate students for public sector work.
The Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research
Principal Investigator/Director: Cindy Christian, MD; Cindy Connolly, PhD, RN, PNP; Kara Finck, Esq.; Richard J. Gelles, PhD; Debra Schilling Wolfe, MEd
Contact Person: fieldctr@sp2.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Children's Policy
Description: Fosters interdisciplinary collaborations and brings together resources of UPenn to enhance and assure the well-being of abused and neglected children, as well as those at risk of maltreatment. Multiple disciplines and perspectives are incorporated into current projects that address issues facing the child welfare system. Provides interdisciplinary education for area students in a variety of disciplines including social work, law, medicine, and public health.
Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (IDOM)
Principal Investigator/Director: Mitchell A. Lazar, MD, PhD
Contact Person: Kishani Martin, kishanis@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Diabetes and Obesity
Description: IDOM enhances and supports research aimed at understanding the genetic, biochemical, molecular, environmental, and behavioral mechanisms underlying diabetes and obesity. IDOM initiatives include critical and unique scientific core facilities, and pilot grants that support new investigators as well as interdisciplinary science involving investigators from Penn Medicine and throughout the University of Pennsylvania that are relevant to the IDOM mission.
Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response (ISTAR)
Principal Investigator/Director: Harvey Rubin, MD, PhD
Contact Person: Harvey Rubin, MD, PhD, rubinh@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: International Issues
Description: ISTAR stimulates supports and generates innovative projects and programs of research, education and practice in the field of national and international strategic threats. ISTAR's areas of research include: human and veterinary infectious diseases, behavioral sciences and psychology of terrorism, political philosophy and legal aspects of strategic security issues, and adaptive computational systems.
Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI)
Principal Investigator/Director: Daniel Polsky, PhD, MPP
Contact Person: Lissy Madden, maddene@wharton.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Health Policy and Health Services
Description: A formal cooperative venture among Penn's schools of medicine, business, nursing, and dental medicine, LDI works to improve the health of the public through multidisciplinary studies on the medical, economic, social, and ethical issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered.
Mixed Methods Research Lab (MMRL)
Principal Investigator/Director: Fran Barg, PhD & Peter Cronhom, MD, MSCE
Contact Person: MMRL@uphs.upenn.edu
Description: MMRL provides investigators with conceptual and technical support in the use of qualitative and mixed methods research methodologies with a focus on integrating key stakeholder perspectives and goals into research designs.
Netter Center for Community Partnerships
Principal Investigator/Director:
Ira Harkavy, PhD
Contact Person:
Joann Weeks, weeks@pobox.upenn.edu
Center Focus:
Community Service
The Netter Center organizes academically based community service, direct traditional service, and community development projects within the Philadelphia community to encourage knowledge building and problem solving of complex issues within the city.

Pediatric Research Consortium (PeRC)
Principal Investigator/Director
:Louis Bell, MD, belll@email.chop.edu
Contact Person: James Massey, RN, masseyj@email.chop.edu
Center Focus: Pediatric Research
Description: PeRC is the primary care practice-based research network at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. PeRC aims to support primary care physicians in the development of research by optimizing the ever-improving functionality of the electronic health record, developing mentoring relationships with established research methodologists and supporting research within the context of clinical care.

Penn Minority Aging Research for Community Health (MARCH)
Principal Investigator/Director: Jerry Johnson, MD and Neville Strumpf, PhD, RN
Contact Person: Dr. Jerry Johnson at jcjohnso@mail.med.upenn.edu or Dr. Neville Strumpf at strumpf@nursing.upenn.edu
Center Focus: Aging in Minority Populations
Description: MARCH is a research-based and mentoring center aimed to improve the health and well being of older minority populations by identifying mechanisms for closing the health disparities gap between minority and non-minority elderly populations.
Penn Center for AIDS Research (Penn CFAR)
Principal Investigator/Director: James A. Hoxie, MD
Contact Person: Evelyn Olivieri, oliviere@mail.med.upenn.edu
Center Focus: HIV and AIDS
Description: Penn CFAR seeks to create an infrastructure that fosters basic, clinical, social and integrated HIV/AIDS research on campus. CFAR has four main research areas in HIV/AIDS, including virology and pathogenesis, clinical and therapeutics, immunology and vaccine, and behavioral and social sciences.
Policy Lab at CHOP
Principal Investigtor/Director:
Kathleen Noonan, JD; David M. Rubin, MD, MSCE
Contact Person: policylab@email.chop.edu
Center Focus: Pediatrics
Description: PolicyLab partners with numerous stakeholder within the healthcare field to develop evidence-based solutions to the most challenging health-related issues affecting children. By informing program and policy changes through interdisciplinary research, PolicyLab aims to achieve optimal child health and well-being.
Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program
Principal Investigator/Director: Robert A. Aronowitz, MD; David A. Asch, MD, MBA; Jason S. Schnittker, PhD
Contact Person: Melissa Kulynych, Program Coordinator, mkulynyc@wharton.upenn.edu
Description: Two year training program for doctoral trained fellows interested in population health.

Collaborators outside of UPenn

Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Principal Investigator/Director: Michael J Fine, MD, MSc
Contact Person: Carson Clark, Carson.Clark@VA.GOV
Description: CHERP is responsible for conducting health services and health equity research, providing training for individuals interested in the health care field, and disseminating activities related to health and health disparities.
Principal Investigator/Director: Jennifer Orlet Fisher, PhD
Contact Person: Stephanie Vander Veur, stephanie.vanderveur@temple.edu
Description: CORE is a university-wide group of investigators dedicated to excellence in obesity research. Its mission is to facilitate interdisciplinary research on the etiology, consequences, treatment and prevention of obesity. Research will range from basic science to epidemiology. A particular focus of the Center will be a greater understanding of the causes, treatment and prevention of obesity among minorities of lower socioeconomic status, among whom obesity is more prevalent.
The Food Trust
Principal Investigator/Director: Yael Lehmann, MSW
Contact Person: contact@thefoodtrust.org
Description: The Food Trust collaborates with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers, and policymakers to develop a comprehensive approach that combines nutrition education with greater availability and affordability of healthy foods.
Health Promotion Council
Principal Investigator/Director: Vanessa Briggs, MBA, RD, LDN
Contact Person: hpcpa@phmc.org
Description: HPC is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to promote health, prevent and manage chronic disease, especially among vulnerable populations through community-based outreach, education, and advocacy.
Philadelphia Department of Public Health
Principal Investigator/Director: Donald F. Schwarz, MD, MPH, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity
Contact Person:
The mission of the Department of Public Health is to protect the health of all Philadelphians and to promote an environment that allows us to lead healthy lives. They provide services, set policies, and enforce laws that support the dignity of every man, woman and child in Philadelphia.
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC)
Principal Investigator/Director: Richard J. Cohen, PhD, FACHE
Contact Person: hpcpa@phmc.org
Description: PHMC is a nonprofit public health institute that builds healthier communities through partnerships with government, foundations, businesses and community-based organizations. It fulfills its mission to improve the health of the community by providing outreach, health promotion, education, research, planning, technical assistance, and direct services.

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