Health Pillar

There is substantial expertise in health among the Syracuse University faculty. Each of these subclusters has connections to the other subclusters, as well as the two other pillars of Aging and Neuroscience.

Behavioral Health Subcluster

The interdisciplinary group on Behavioral Health subcluster consists faculty members who are specialized in front-line multidisciplinary research on the complex associations between behavior and health, with an emphasis on using novel technology to address underlying mechanisms, health disparities, and the development of innovative treatments. The group’s research cuts across basic and applied work in the areas of health psychology, behavioral medicine, marriage and family counseling, behavioral addiction, and co-occurring medical and mental disorders and intersects multiple disciplines ranging from fields such as public health, epidemiology, neuroscience, psychology, policy, and sociology.

Population Health Subcluster

Emerging national and global public health challenges include population aging, the health effects of climate change, the rise and spread of new diseases, behavioral health epidemics, and weak infrastructures to deal with these challenges. Population health research identifies systematic variation in the distribution and patterns of occurrence of these public health challenges, reveals multiple conditions and factors – biological, behavioral, economic, social, environmental, health care system, geographic, historical, and policy – that interact to influence the health of populations over the life course, and applies the resulting knowledge to develop policies that improve health and well-being. The subcluster engages in outreach, research, and training through the Lerner Center and Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab.

Sport and Health Subcluster

This area promotes highly interdisciplinary scholarship in the area of Sport and Health.  This subcluster examines three broad areas:  (1) The association of sport with various aspects of health and well-being, including physical activity, nutrition, and depression;  (2) The relationship between sport and an increased risk of injury or harm, as evidenced by associations with traumatic brain injury (TBI), Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), joint degradation with age, and e-sports and gambling addictions; and (3) the biospsychosocial mechanisms through which sport can promote health and resiliency (such as perceived stress, social inclusion, and network connections).

Cancer Subcluster

Over a million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the US each year and cancer is among the leading causes of death in the world. There is a great need for improvement of cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Cancer research is one of the mainstream biological research areas. To make headway in these areas, work in this subcluster focuses on understanding the basic science of cancer including both genetic and epigenetic changes as well as development of better diagnostic tool and therapies. Cancer patients also experience a variety of physical and mental issues, such as pain management and depression. Therefore, work in this subcluster also investigates ways to provide psychological support for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their caregivers.