Priority Areas

The Behavioral Research Program (BRP) studies and funds research on cancer-related health behaviors to prevent, detect, or ameliorate the effects of cancer.

Cancer-Related Health Behaviors

The program funds a range of health behavior research that aims to prevent and control cancer. Behavioral risk factors of interest include adherence to cancer-related medical and behavioral regimens, alcohol use, behavioral genetics, diet, energy balance, obesity, physical activity and sedentary behavior, sleep and circadian dysfunction, sun safety and tanning, tobacco use, and other emerging cancer risk behaviors.

Biopsychosocial Processes of Cancer-Related Behaviors

The program supports the systematic analysis and investigation of the molecular, cellular, neural, psychological, and social processes underlying health-related behaviors and decisions identified as attributable risks for cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality. Supported research includes observational or causal experimental designs in controlled or natural conditions with human or animal subjects. Studies that combine diverse levels of analysis and examine reciprocal interactions among levels are also encouraged.

Communication, Decision Science, and Policy in Cancer Control

How behavioral interventions and public health policies are communicated in the media and by health professionals are of great importance to behavioral researchers. The program is dedicated to advancing and funding cancer communication research with the goals of:

  1. improving public understanding of cancer-relevant information,
  2. enhancing patient-provider-caregiver interactions,
  3. improving team communications within and between health care systems,
  4. bridging the gap between clinical and public health messaging, and
  5. translating research into clinical and public health practice.

Analytic Methods and New Technologies

Social and behavioral science is harnessing the power of integrative data analysis, standardized measures, and harmonized data to better understand and improve health at a population level.