Meghan Butryn, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and a licensed clinical psychologist. She serves as Associate Head of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Director of Research in the Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Science (WELL Center) at Drexel. She also is a Program Leader for Cancer Risk and Control at Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (of which Drexel is a consortium member). Her research interests and expertise lie in weight management, physical activity promotion, and dietary change. She specializes in developing and evaluating behavioral treatment and prevention programs for obesity. More recently, she has begun studying lifestyle modification during cancer prevention and survivorship. Butryn has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on 12 NIH-funded clinical trials. She has published over 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts, co-authored two books, and edited one book. She has served as a standing member of an NIH study section, is currently a member of the Scientific Review Committee for the Obesity Society, and is an editorial board member for the journal Obesity Science & Practice. She created and coordinates the faculty/first-year-undergraduate-student mentorship program in Drexel’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Butryn’s work on lifestyle modification is ultimately designed to improve the health of adults by reducing their risk for conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The environment factors that promote unhealthy eating and activity habits are so powerful, in combination with innate biological drives, that the majority of adults in the U.S. are now overweight or obese and also engage in insufficient amounts of exercise. The Butryn lab uses behavioral principles to understand the challenges of eating a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity, and creates innovations in intervention programs by integrating the latest advances in scientific theory as well as technology.