Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Training

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Pitt named a top workplace for postdoctoral fellows

The Departments of Psychiatry, Medicine and Psychology of the University of Pittsburgh offer a training program in cardiovascular behavioral medicine research for postdoctoral and predoctoral fellows. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The postdoctoral program is designed for physicians (including third or fourth year residents) and Ph.D.'s in psychology and related behavioral disciplines. The predoctoral program a two-fold program:  1) one arm is designed for B.A. or B.S. applicants interested in earning a Ph.D. in Health Psychology with an emphasis on cardiovascular behavioral medicine and 2) a second arm is specifically for summer training in research for medical students.

Our program is designed to provide training for fellows in four distinct areas:

  • cardiovascular physiology and psychophysiology with an emphasis on the cardiovascular functioning of the healthy individual;

  • cardiovascular disease and psychophysiology related to disorders of the heart and vasculature;

  • principles of behavior and behavior change including learning, motivation, attitude formation, and behavior modification; and

  • research methods and statistics including basic skills for conducting research and drawing valid inferences from empirical data.

Predoctoral fellows are required to master the knowledge bases and skills necessary to become professional clinical psychologists, should they also be enrolling in the clinical psychology program.

Medical student summer fellows are expected to participate in a hands-on mentor supervised research endeavor that would lead to presentation of data at a national conference and/or publication of a manuscript.

Our training program will provide the rigorous experience required for cardiovascular behavioral medicine research through didactic course work in the above major areas; contact with patients with cardiovascular diseases in clinical settings; guest lecture and seminar series; and most importantly, development and expansion of independent research interests in cardiovascular behavioral medicine in close association with several of the behavioral medicine faculty. 


The research of the training faculty has recently shifted to the study of different ethnic groups in terms of cardiovascular disease and risk.  Fellows who are interested in the investigation of ethnicity and cardiovascular disease risk are encouraged to consider our training program.