Dr. Sherry Pagoto is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is co-founder of the UMass Center for mHealth and Social Media. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist and expert in behavioral counseling for obesity. Her research is focused on leveraging digital health in the treatment of obesity and cancer prevention. She has published 115 papers on these topics in top journals including JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA Dermatology, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Journal of Preventive Medicine and others. She has also published a book called, Psychological Comorbidities of Physical Illness (Springer, 2011). Dr. Pagoto's work has been federally funded for 12 years and currently holds grants from the NIH, CDC, the UMass President’s Science and Technology Fund, and the UMass Office of Global Health. She teaches graduate courses in Team Science and Behavioral Randomized Clinical Trials, and co-leads the K Award Writing Group for junior investigators. Dr. Pagoto is on the Board of Directors of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and Chairs the SBM Civic and Public Engagement Committee. She has earned several awards including the Obesity Society Pioneer in mHealth/eHealth Award in 2014, SBM Early Career/Young Investigator Award in 2006, the SBM Distinguished Service Award in 2009, and the Western Michigan University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. She is a social media expert with over 8.7K followers on Twitter and two blogs on the psychology of weight loss, FUdiet.com and Shrink on Psychology Today. She travels nationally and internationally to speak about how social media may revolutionize health and science. Please click here for a list of her appearances.
Currently Funded Research
RELAX: A mobile application suite targeting obesity and stress
The purpose of this proposal is to develop and test the feasibility and proof-of-concept of RELAX Application Suite (AS), a mobile-, cloud- and web-based companion to a brief visit lifestyle intervention for obese individuals. RELAX-AS will be designed to reduce clinical visit time and cost by identifying and displaying behavior patterns that account for the greatest deviations in energy balance.
Center for mHealth-Based Behavioral Sensing and Interventions
UMass President’s Science and Technology Fund
6/12 - 5/15
“Center for mHealth-Based Sensing and Behavioral Interventions”This center grant is to provide the resources for investigators to create an intercampus mHealth research center at the University of Massachusetts.
Feasibility Trial of a Problem-Solving Weight Loss Mobile Application
1R21DK098556-01, 9/13 - 6/15
We propose to develop and test the feasibility of Smart Coach, a weight loss mobile application that includes common features such as self-monitoring, goal setting, and a social network, but even more importantly an avatar-facilitated, idiographic problem solving feature that processes information intelligently to help patients identify solutions to their weight loss problems.
Development of Healthy Pregnancy mHealth Interventions in the Peruvian Andes
UMass Office of Global Health
This study will explore the psychosocial and cultural factors impeding maternal care during pregnancy to inform a text-based intervention to improve pregnancy outcomes.
Pilot Investigation of Behavioral Alternatives to Indoor Tanning
1R21CA161576-02, 4/12 – 3/15
Through the use of focus groups, intervention, and key informant interviews, this study will assess the feasibility and short-term efficacy of providing free sunless tanning and yoga to indoor tanners in an effort to encourage a switch from indoor tanning to healthy alternatives.
Feasibility and acceptability of a post-partum weight loss intervention delivered via Facebook
Joseph P. Healey Endowment Fund
(PI: Waring) 05/01/14-04/30/15
The proposed project is a pilot study to test the feasibility and acceptability of a post-partum weight loss intervention delivered via Facebook. Results will include information on recruitment and retention, engagement, participant satisfaction with the intervention, and weight loss.
Implementation Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control
1 R25 CA172009-01A1 (Lemon/Houston) 6/1/14-5/31/19
This education and training grant intends to establish a postdoctoral training program at UMMS focused on community and clinical implementation science in cancer prevention and control.
UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center
1 U48 DP005031-01 (Lemon/Rosal) 09/30/14 – 09/29/19
This proposal will support a comprehensive core infrastructure for the UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center that fosters applied public health research partnerships to target the CDC Winnable Battles of nutrition, physical activity and obesity in Worcester, MA and the surrounding Central MA communities.
Integrated Smoking Cessation and Mood Management for Cardiac Patients
K23HL107391 (Busch), 4/11- 3/16, Role: Mentor
Self-care management: Patient-Centered Diabetic Wound Care Using Smart Phones
An Appearance-Based Intervention to Reduce Teen Skin Cancer Risk
National Science Foundation
1065298 (Ignotz), 09/01/11 - 08/31/15
1R01CA134891-01A2 (Hillhouse, J), 7/1/10-12/31/15, Role: Consultant
Impulsivity and Weight Gain during Pregnancy
UMass Centers for Clinical and Translational Research
Transdisciplinary Training in Cardiovascular Research
1 T32 HL120823-01 (Keaney and Kiefe), 09/01/13-08/31/18,
The goals of this program are to train pre- and postdoctoral fellows in cardiovascular research that spans basic science to the T2+ translational arenas.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Oakland University, 1995
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Western Michigan University, 1998
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Western Michigan University, 2001
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2001-2003
Clinical & Population Health Research PhD Program
Course: Randomized Clinical Trials in Behavioral Research
Masters in Clinical Investigation Program
Course: Team Science
Board of Directors, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2012-present
Member, Health Policy Council, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2014-present
Chair, Civic and Public Engagement Committee, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2012-present
Editorial Board, Translational Behavioral Medicine
Advisory Board, Fitness EM, Inc
Committee Member, UMass NIH funded Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center (DERC),2009-present
Program Chair, Program Committee, Society of Behavioral Medicine 2007-2008
Committee Member, Library and Learning Committee, UMass Medical School, 2006-2009
Committee Member, Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research, UMass Medical School, 2008-2013
Committee Member, Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine Committee, Society for Behavioral Medicine, 2004-2007
Behavioral Medicine Research Post-doctoral Fellowship Program
The behavioral medicine research post-doctoral fellowship is a two-year position for trainees interested in developing academic research careers in the area of behavioral medicine with an emphasis on obesity, nutrition, exercise, cancer prevention, and psychological comorbidities of physical health problems. Individuals with doctoral degrees in psychology, nutrition, computer science, engineering, exercise science, or related fields are welcome to apply. Fellows will join interdisciplinary project teams for ongoing experimental studies and randomized clinical trials, assist with manuscript and grant preparation, administer clinical assessment and treatment protocols to research participants, and be expected to apply for independent grant funding in their second year. The mission of the post-doctoral program is to assist the fellow in the development of an externally funded independent program of research, be a collaborative and productive member of an interdisciplinary research team, and to facilitate the fellow's transition to an academic research career. For inquiries regarding available post-doctoral fellowship positions, please contact Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D. at email@example.com.
Matthew C. Whited, Ph.D.
Dr. Whited is currently an Assistant Professor at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Whited received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from West Virginia University. He joined the department of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine in 2009 following his internship in clinical psychology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center/Jackson VAMC. Dr. Whited is interested in factors related to cardiovascular disease risk (i.e., cardiovascular reactivity, depression, and obesity) and healthy methods of modifying these risk factors. His dissertation involved investigating the influence of forgiveness and apology on cardiovascular stress reactivity following an interpersonal transgression. He currently is working to expand his research to investigate the unique patterns of reactivity in an overweight and obese population. He has also begun investigating the influence of depression on risk for cardiovascular disease and the mediating role of autonomic imbalance and antidepressant medication. He is also interested in studying methods of treating depression with the goal of minimizing cardiovascular disease risk.
Kristin L. Schneider, Ph.D.
Dr. Schneider is currently an Assistant Professor at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Schneider was an Assistant Professor and post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine from 2007 - 2009. Previously, she received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her APA-approved internship in Health Psychology at the University of Wisconsin. Her dissertation, funded by an NIH National Research Service Award, examined the relationship between exercise, mood and caloric intake in overweight, sedentary individuals. Her research interests include the study of novel interventions for increasing exercise in sedentary populations, relationships between exercise and mood and research on health behavior change. She is currently working to expand her exercise research to populations with psychiatric and physical diseases such as individuals with co-morbid depression and type 2 diabetes. She was awarded an R34 from the National Institutes of Mental Health in August 2009 to develop and test an exercise intervention utilizing strategies from brief behavioral activation treatment for depression in women with type 2 diabetes and major depression. Dr. Schneider has reported her work in over 20 papers published in peer-review journals.
Jamie Bodenlos, Ph.D.
Dr. Bodenlos is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Dr. Bodenlos received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University in 2006. Her research interests are in understanding the bio-psychosocial pathways of eating that contribute to obesity among low-income minority groups and individuals with co-morbid psychiatric conditions and obesity. She is interested in developing obesity interventions for these populations through better understanding these pathways. During her graduate training at LSU, she received clinical and research training at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. On her APA-approved clinical psychology internship, she received training in obesity interventions through the Weight Management Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. She was the 2007 recipient of the Boston Obesity and Nutrition Research Center Award for research examining the role of acute vagus nerve stimulation in eating behavior in depressed adults. In addition, she is recipient of the competitive NIH Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Sherry Pagoto from August 2006 - July 2008 and then an Instructor from July 2008 - July 2009. Dr. Bodenlos has reported her work in 19 papers published in peer-review journals.
Jessica Oleski, MA, Project Director
Gin-Fei Olendzki, Research Coordinator/Data Manager
Jean Villa, Research Coordinator
Martinus Evans, Clinical Research Assistant
Jonathan Scully, Intern
Benjamin Brennan, Intern
Bengisu Tulu, PhD, Associate Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Bradley Appelhans, PhD, Assistant Professor at Rush University in Chicago, IL
Joel Hillhouse, PhD, Professor at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN
Dave Buller, PhD, Research Director, Klein Buendel
Molly Waring, PhD, Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA
Andrew Busch, PhD, Assistant Professor at Brown University in Providence, RI
Deepak Ganesan, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA