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Leonard                        Epstein

Leonard H. Epstein PhD

Department of Pediatrics

SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chief, Behavioral Medicine

Specialty/Research Focus

Behavioral Medicine; Pediatrics; Psychology

 
Professional Summary:

I am a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Community Health and Health Behavior and Social and Preventive Medicine, and the Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine. My research interests focus on health behavior change and determinants of eating, physical activity and drug self-administration. I am an internationally recognized authority in the fields of childhood overweight, physical activity, weight control and family intervention. For the past 30 years, I have conducted research relevant to the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, including mechanisms that regulate intake and energy expenditure in children. I am a fellow in numerous scientific organizations, and have been the President of the division of Health Psychology, APA, and recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology. I chaired the Behavioral Medicine Study Section, NIH, and served on the Advisory Board for Center for Scientific Research, NIH. I have published over 300 scientific papers and three books.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, Ohio University (1973)
  • Internship, University of Mississippi Medical Center (1973)
  • BA, Psychology, Lafayette College (1968)
Employment:
  • SUNY Distinguished Professor, Pediatrics, University at Buffalo (2010-present)
  • Distinguished Professor, Pediatrics, University at Buffalo (2003–2009)
  • Professor, Social and Preventive Medicine, University at Buffalo, Pediatrics (1999–2003)
  • Professor, Psychology, University at Buffalo (1993–1999)
  • Professor, Psychology and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine (1986–1993)
  • Associate Professor, Psychology and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine (1980–1986)
  • Assistant Professor, Psychology and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine (1977–1980)
  • Assistant Professor, Psychology, Auburn University (1974–1977)
  • Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi, Medical Center (1973–1974)
Awards and Honors:
  • University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences: Stockton Kimball Award (2012)

Research Expertise:
  • Applied research in behavioral medicine: Pediatric, obesity, habituation - includes studying factors that moderate the relationship between changes in sedentary behaviors and physical activity and energy intake and how price changes influence food purchases of healthy versus less healthy foods
  • Basic research in behavioral medicine: Pediatric, obesity, habituation - includes investigating factors that influence why children overeat or why they choose to engage in physical activity or be sedentary; how habituation influences satiation and energy intake; how the reinforcing value of physical activity influences the choice to be active or sedentary; and how genetics and the environment interact to influence eating behavior
  • Clinical research in behavioral medicine: Pediatric, obesity, habituation - includes a randomized controlled study on the efficacy and cost-benefit of treating parents and children together for pediatric obesity, versus treating the parents and children separately
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • August 2016–August 2021
    Enhancing Alternatives to Eating in Infants
    National Institutes of Health
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $2,683,730
  • August 2015–July 2020
    Delay Discounting as a Target for Self-Regulation in Pre-Diabetes
    National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • January 2016–January 2020
    Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA)
    National Institutes of Health
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $16,000,000
  • January 2015–January 2019
    Using Prospection to Improve Obesity Treatment
    National Institutes of Health/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • May 2012–April 2017
    Habituation to food as a risk factor for pediatric obesity
    NIH/NIDDK
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $2,969,860
  • February 2016–February 2017
    Developing the Methodology to Measure Food Reward in Young Infants
    Innovative Micro-Programs Accelerating Collaboration in Themes (IMPACT)
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $21,000
  • April 2012–March 2015
    The influence of pricing and nutrient profiling on food purchases
    NIH/NCI
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,721,603
  • September 2009–August 2014
    Translating Habituation Research to Interventions for Pediatric Obesity
    NIH NIDDK
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $2,910,716
  • August 2010–July 2014
    Experimental analysis of price changes and food purchases in obese and lean mothers
    NIH/NICHD
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,865,229
  • May 2010–February 2014
    Non-shared Environments and Discordance of Obesity in Adolescent Siblings
    NIH NICHD
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $1,570,863
  • January 2008–January 2014
    Treating Overweight Youth: A Family-Based Approach in Primary Care
    Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $2,562,772
  • September 2009–August 2012
    Applying behavioral economics and EMA to physical activity and marijuana use
    NIH NIDA
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $1,397,848
  • September 2007–June 2012
    Food Reinforcement-Genotype Interactions and Eating
    NIH NIDA
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $996,699
  • August 2003–March 2011
    Habituation to food in children
    NIH NICHD
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $2,057,467
  • March 2001–August 2009
    Effects of Changing Sedentary Behavior in Obese Children
    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $2,330,458
  • September 2002–May 2007
    Modifying the home TV watching environment
    NIH NIDDK
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,540,565
  • April 2001–March 2006
    Behavioral Economic Approach to Childhood Obesity, A
    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,732,500
  • December 1998–May 2003
    Bio-Behavioral Lung Cancer Prevention Program
    National Cancer Institute
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,247,836
  • September 2000–August 2002
    Determinants of Delay-Discounting in Smokers
    National Cancer Institute
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $308,000
  • September 1997–August 2002
    Exercise in the Long-Term Control of Childhood Obesity
    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,224,700
  • May 1996–April 2001
    Prevention of Obesity in High-Risk Children
    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,530,674
  • September 1999–March 2001
    Bio-Behavioral Predictors of Adolescent Smoking
    National Cancer Institute
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $20,338
  • September 1999–March 2001
    Bio-Behavioral Predictors of the Efficacy of Nicotine Replacement Therapy
    National Cancer Institute
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $20,338
  • September 1998–July 2000
    Developing a Cost-Effective Treatment for Child Obesity
    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $154,000
  • April 2017
    Role of Contingency Management in the Treatment of Youth and Their Parents in a Pediatric Tertiary Care Weight Management Program
    University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute
    Role: Co-Investigator
    $42,000
See all (15 more)

Journal Articles:
See all (381 more)
Abstracts:
  • Leddy JJ, Nugent CA, Roemmich JN, Salis R, Epstein LH. Dopamine D2 Receptor Genotypes and Physical Activity Levels. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005; 37(5).
  • Epstein LH, Kotses H. Effects of Brief Relaxation Training on Skin Resistance. Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology. 1972; 2.
Books and Book Chapters:
  • Epstein LH, Saelens BE. "Behavioral Economics of Obesity: Food Intake and Energy Expenditure". Reframing Health Behavior Change with Behavioral Economics. 2000.
  • Caggiula AR, Epstein LH, Antelman SM, Knopf S, Perkins KA, Saylor S, Donny E, Stiller R. "Conditioned Tolerance to Nicotine in Rats". Effects of Nicotine on Biological System II: Advances in Pharmacological Sciences. 1995.

Professional Memberships:
  • APA, Division 38, Program Committee (1997–1998)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (1990–present)
  • North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) (1990–present)
  • SBM, Program Committee (1989)
  • American Psychological Society (APS) (1989–present)
  • SBM, Program Committee (1985)
  • AABT, Program Committee (1984)
  • APA, Division 38, Program Committee (1983)
  • SBM, Program Committee (1981)
  • APA, Division 38, Program Committee (1981)
  • Academy for Behavioral Medicine Research (ABMR) (1980–present)
  • New York Academy of Sciences (1979–present)
  • Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) (1979–present)
  • AABT, Program Committee (1978)
  • Alabama Psychological Association (1974–present)
  • AABT, Placement Committee Co-Chairman (1973)
  • American Psychological Association (APA) (1973–present)
  • Mississippi Psychological Association (1973–present)
  • Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT) (1970–present)
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) (1970–present)
  • Sigma Xi (1969–present)
  • Psi Chi Honor Society (1965–present)
See all (12 more)
Presentations:
  • "Developing a Board Game to Promote Young Children's Delay of Gratification" Ingestive Behavior Research Day, University at Buffalo (2016)
  • "Reducing Relative Food Reinforcement in Infants by and Enriched Music Experience: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial" 27th Annual Convention, Association for Psychological Science (2015)
  • "Can High-Quality Parenting, Breastfeeding and Well-Child Checkup Reduce Neurodevelopmental Delay Related to Small-for-Gestational-Age Birth?" 2nd Annual Obesity Week Meeting, The Obesity Society (2014)
  • "Origins of Food Reinforcement in Infants" 2nd Annual Obesity Week Meeting, The Obesity Society (2014)
  • "Toddler General Self-Regulation and Later Eating Habits: Does Parental Rule about Food Type Matter?" 2nd Annual Obesity Week Meeting, The Obesity Society (2014)
  • "Toddler General Self-Regulation and Later Eating Habits: Does Parental Rule about Food Type Matter?" 2nd Annual Obesity Week Meeting, The Obesity Society (2014)
  • "Macrosomia Prevention by Normalizing Prepregnancy Weight among Overweight/Obese Women: Findings from a National Pre-Birth Cohort" 1st Annual Obesity Week Meeting, The Obesity Society (2013)
  • "Association of Diet and Physical Activity with the 3 Components of Gestational Weight Gain" Annual Meeting, Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research (2013)
  • "Reinforcement Pathology and Obesity" 9th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, European Sensory Science Society (2011)
  • "The Built Environment and Childhood Obesity" Buffalo Food Policy Summit Research Roundtable, Healthy Kids Healthy Communities Buffalo (2011)
  • "Treating Pre-School Overweight Children in the Primary Care Setting: Preliminary Results of Buffalo Healthy Tots (BHT)" Annual Meeting, Pediatric Academic Societies (2011)
  • "Food Reinforcement and Obesity" Annual Meeting, Society of Behavioral Medicine (2011)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory and Obesity: A Multilevel Analysis" International Conference, Association for Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Research and Translation: Behavioral Economics (2011)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory and Obesity" Psychology Department Colloquium Series, University of Vermont (2011)
  • "Translation of Basic Behavioral Science into Clinical Interventions" Translating Ideas into Interventions: The Process of Developing Behavioral Interventions, NIH (2010)
  • "Reinforcement Pathology, Food Addiction and Obesity" , Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2010)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory and Obesity" Crosstalk Lecture Series, National Cancer Institute (2010)
  • "Food Reinforcement" International Conference on Obesity, World Obesity Federation (2010)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory and Obesity" School of Public Health, University of Southern California (2010)
  • "Food Reinforcement" , University of California, San Francisco (2010)
  • "Translating Basic Behavioral Science to Clinical Interventions" , Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (2010)
  • "Food Reinforcement and Obesity" Annual Meeting, Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (2009)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory and Obesity: From Molecular Biology to Public Policy" School of Education, University of Tennessee (2009)
  • "Food Reinforcement" Brain-to- Society Systems Research Agenda on Healthy Eating and Active Living to Prevent Childhood Obesity, McGill University (2008)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory" , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008)
  • "Family-Based Behavioral Treatment for Obese Youth" Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine (2008)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory" Neuroscience Group, Yale University (2007)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory and Physical Activity" Annual Conference, Association for Applied Sports Psychology (2007)
  • "Food Reinforcement" 35th Anniversary of the Appetitive Behavior Symposium, Columbia University (2007)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" Department of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas School of Medicine (2007)
  • "Behavioral Choice Theory in the Treatment and Prevention of Obesity" Department of Community Health, University of Rochester School of Medicine (2007)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" , Cornell University (2007)
  • "Family-Based Behavioral Treatment of Pediatric Obesity" 4th Annual Pediatric Healthy Weight Summit, East Carolina University Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center (2007)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" School of Public Health, University of Minnesota (2007)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" School of Public Health, Northwestern University (2007)
  • "Research Design" Summer Training Institite for Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research/NIH (2001)
  • "Behavior Therapy for Obesity: Long-Term Results" Annual Meeting, Pediatric Endocrine Society (2001)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" 2nd Biennial Niagara Conference on Evidence-Based Treatments for Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Problems (2001)
  • "Behavioral Treatment of Pediatric Obesity" 2nd Biennial Niagara Conference on Evidence-Based Treatments for Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Problems (2001)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" Obesity Treatment and Prevention Task Force, NIDDK (2001)
  • "Using the Tritarac to Improve Self-Reported Activity in Sedentary Adult Males" 48th Annual Meeting, American College of Sports Medicine (2001)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" Behavioral Medicine Seminar Series, Johns Hopkins University (2001)
  • "Behavioral Economics of Obesity" Bohan Visiting Professor in Preventive Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine (2001)
  • "Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Symptoms and Smoking Patterns among Participants in a Smoking Cessation Program" 7th Annual Meeting, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (2001)
  • "Gender Differences in Response to Bupropion for Smoking Cessation" 7th Annual meeting, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (2001)
  • "Long-Term Effectiveness of Behavioral Treatment for Pediatric Obesity" Annual Meeting, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Science (2001)
See all (36 more)
Service Activities:
  • JAMA Pediatrics; Board Member (2016–present)

School News:
In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:
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Contact Information

University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Division of Behavioral Medicine
G56 Farber Hall, 3435 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: (716) 829-3400
Fax: (716) 829-3993
Email: lhenet@buffalo.edu


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