Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine

Directed by Rebecca Thurston, PhD, the Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine training program at the University of Pittsburgh offers predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships. Those selected into the program receive training in four distinct areas in principles of health behavior and health behavioral change, research methodology and statistics, cardiovascular physiology and psychophysiology, and cardiovascular diseases. 

The program includes the development of independent research interests in cardiovascular behavioral medicine in close association with several behavioral medicine faculty, didactic course work, guest lectures and seminar series. Training activities focus on four distinct areas: 1) Principles of health behavior and health behavioral change, including relevant areas of psychology like motivation, personality, emotion regulation, attitude and behavior change in individuals; 2) Research methodology and statistics, skills for designing and conducting research, and analytic approaches to complex longitudinal data; 3) Cardiovascular physiology and psychophysiology, including cardiovascular and metabolic functioning in the healthy human and technological advances that allow measurement of function; and 4) Cardiovascular diseases, including distributions of CVD in human populations, disparities between populations, principles of pathophysiology and physiology, and approaches to assessing biomarkers of risk and imaging subclinical and clinical cardiovascular diseases.

Program length

One to three years for pre- and postdoctoral fellows.  Two months for short-term medical student fellows.

Who should apply?

First year medical students may apply for two months of summer funding to support their Scholarly Project mentored by training faculty.

BA or BS graduates enrolling in Pitt’s clinical and/or health psychology program apply for the pre-doctoral fellowship.

Two types of postdoctoral fellows apply: 

  1. Physicians (including third or fourth year residents).
  2. Individuals with a doctor of philosophy in psychology or related behavioral disciplines.

How many spots are available?

Two short-term medical student stipends, four pre-doctoral stipends and four postdoctoral stipends are available each year.

How do I apply?

Please contact the Program Director: