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Department of Behavioral Science

Mission Statement

Dr. Ellen Gritz, Ph.D.To create a nationally and internationally prominent behavioral science program by providing research-driven clinical care to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage changes to reduce cancer risk, improve adherence to cancer treatment, enhance survivors' coping with long-term consequences of cancer treatment and provide a model of optimal care for cancer-related psychosocial and behavioral issues. The model will provide a setting for translational research in cancer-related lifestyle changes and psychosocial interventions, and training for behavioral health care providers.


Departmental Goal

To conduct behavioral research on cancer risk behaviors, including the development of a behavioral sciences knowledge base; and to develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate interventions that contribute to preventing and reducing cancer incidence, mortality and morbidity.

Department Objectives

  • Further expand and strengthen interdisciplinary, collaborative research programs between behavioral scientists and other disciplines, including basic science, clinical research and population-based sciences
  • Assure a cohesive, multidisciplinary, critical mass of behavioral science investigators within a well-funded research program
  • Continue to build clinical research programs in smoking cessation, genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancer susceptibility and psychosocial oncology
  • Expand the psychobiology research program for the purpose of conducting research on nicotine dependence, withdrawal and relapse and on basic biobehavioral mechanisms
  • Focus research programs on high-risk, underserved and minority populations wherever possible

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center