The department of behavioral science founded, in 1959 (the first such department in a medical school anywhere), is one of the basic science departments of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. It serves as the college's and the University's nexus point for research and training in medical behavioral science. 

  • 30 faculty members have their primary academic appointments in the department. Of these, two are emeritus and three have administrative responsibilities.
  • One training grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (1998-2008) provides support for pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. In addition, the department supports numerous University fellows, research assistants, and teaching assistants.
  • Pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows come from the following degree programs: anthropology, communication, educational and counseling psychology, geography, gerontology, kinesiology and health promotion, nursing, nutritional sciences, psychology, social work, and sociology.
  • Within the 7,500 square feet of the department's building, there are offices for faculty, support staff, pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows; a computer lab with five work stations; one conference room, an informal interview room, a departmental reading room, a room for duplicating, and assembling teaching and research materials.
  • Three research laboratories support the research efforts of the department, the Residential Research Facility, the Aging Brain and Cognition Lab, and the Laboratory of Human Behavioral Pharmacology. Collaborations include researchers from the Markey Cancer Center, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, and Center for Prevention Research.
  • Finally, more than $2.3 million awarded in research and training grants during 2007-2008 serve as ample evidence of the department's excellence in medical behavioral science.


Continuing development of the department of behavioral science as a professional scientific enterprise with a national reputation of excellence based on facilitating learning, expanding knowledge, and applying scholarship in a bio-behavioral and multi-disciplinary medical behavioral science to the University, state, and global community.


Teaching and mentoring medical and graduate students to be accomplished practitioners, teachers, and researchers, with knowledge, skills, and attitudes shaped by research and scholarship in medical behavioral science. Expanding knowledge in medical behavioral science through a scholarly research enterprise. Sharing and applying that knowledge to improve the health and quality of life of the people of Kentucky and the world.


  • Integrity
  • Academic freedom and academic excellence
  • Mutual respect and human dignity
  • Diversity of thought, culture, gender, and ethnicity
  • Personal and institutional responsibility
  • Shared governance
  • A sense of community and collegiality
  • Sensitivity to work-life concerns
  • Civic responsibility