Department of Psychology

Brain, Body and Behavior Track

All students working toward a Psychology PhD have the option of customizing their curriculum to meet the requirements of our Brain, Body and Behavior (BBB) training track.

The BBB track is supported, in part, by a training grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (T32-GM084907-09). The BBB curriculum is an optional specialization and not a separate degree program or track. Students who apply successfully for an appointment to the BBB training grant must follow the curriculum as described below, but all students are welcome to follow it.

The program aims to provide Psychology PhD students the biomedical perspectives and skills necessary to join interdisciplinary research teams addressing behavioral and mental health issues. The BBB program promotes research interactions between traditionally disparate sub-disciplines within psychology as well as interactions between psychological and biomedical domains. Completing the BBB curriculum will require a strong background in basic science, so that students will be prepared to engage in graduate-level rather than remedial coursework and seminars in biomedical, integrative areas and graduate level biomedical research rotations. Interested students should consult with Prof. Paul DiZio. Each student will be required to follow all general Psychology PhD program requirements, and, within these constraints, must complete an augmented interdisciplinary, biomedical curriculum that encompasses coursework and research:

  1. Conduct one of the required PhD research projects with dual research mentors in a biomedical laboratory as well as in a psychological laboratory, or

  2. With a single mentor whose work inherently integrates the two disciplines, or

  3. Complete a rotation (required for all PhD students) in a biomedical laboratory, two courses that satisfy a biomedical breadth requirement, as defined in the Group C Breadth Requirement 

  4. Complete two classes that satisfy a biomedical breadth requirement, as defined in the Group C Breadth Requirement section of the general program Requirements.

Though some Psychology laboratories use biomedical techniques, the term “biomedical laboratory” above refers to a non-Psychology laboratory that employs techniques such as genetics and genomics, biochemistry, biophysics, immunology, and others that are not typically available in Psychology laboratories. The student’s plan must be approved by the Director of the Brain, Body and Behavior training program and the Director of Graduate Studies.

The BBB course requirements are two content courses that satisfy the BBB Biomedical Breadth Requirement (the approved list of biomedical offerings is updated annually). Courses taken to satisfy the biomedical breadth requirement can double-count as advanced elective courses for the core PhD requirements. BBB students may attend an approved biomedical seminar, colloquium, or journal club in place of one of the biomedical elective courses.

Within these constraints, students are free to decide with their advisor the precise curriculum that best suits their needs.

Please visit the research page to see the research interests of individual faculty members and the research areas represented in the department.


Below is a list of careers undertaken by our former trainees to the NIGMS BBB training grant:

Nicole Ayasse

PhD, 2019
Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Psychology
Brandeis University

Veronica Flores

PhD, 2019
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Furman University

Carrie Robertson

PhD, 2017
Assistant Director
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Brandeis University 

Sarah Lupis

PhD, 2016
Psychology Department and Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Psychology, Brandeis University
Adjunct Lecturer, Mass General Hospital, Institute of Health Professions

Ashley Geiger

PhD, 2014
Freelance Research Analyst
Greater Los Angeles Area

Brittany Cassidy

PhD, 2014
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
F-32, Post-doctoral Scholar, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Indiana University 

Abby Noyce

PhD, 2014
F-32, Post-doctoral Scholar
Psychological & Brain Sciences, Boston University