Shannon Donofry (she/her) is a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and an adjunct professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a licensed clinical health psychologist with extensive experience in the evaluation and delivery of evidence-based interventions for mental health and chronic disease management. Broadly, her research focuses on examining the mechanisms through which psychological factors like worry, stress, and low mood impact health behaviors such as eating, physical activity and sleep, and how this contributes to chronic disease risk (e.g., cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancers). She is particularly interested in understanding how these relationships manifest uniquely for women at key transition points, including the perinatal period and during menopause. She also uses behavioral and lifestyle interventions such as mindfulness and physical activity to test hypothesized mechanistic pathways underlying these relationships, with the goal of facilitating the development of novel approaches to intervention and prevention. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and American Psychological Foundation. She obtained her doctorate from the joint Clinical and Biological Health Psychology program at the University of Pittsburgh and completed her clinical residency at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry. Prior to joining RAND, she was a senior behavioral science consultant for a large healthcare company, conducting research to inform design and engineering of a patient health application.
Concurrent Non-RAND PositionsAdjunct Faculty, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology
- Mindful Moms: Exploring mechanisms of change in a randomized trial of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to promote well-being during pregnancy and postpartum among at-risk pregnant women.
- Cardiovascular health over the perinatal period and postpartum psychological functioning.
- Interventions to Reverse or Remediate Effects of Early Life Adversity on Ageing Processes
Donofry, S. D., Lesnovskaya, A., Gilmore, A. D., Drake, J. A., Ripperger, H. S., Donahue, P. T., Crisafio, M. E., Grove, G., Gentry, A. L., Sereika, S. M., Bender, C. M., & Erickson, K. I., "Obesity, Psychological Distress, and Resting State Connectivity of the Hippocampus and Amygdala Among Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer.," Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2022
Donofry, S. D., Emery, R. L., Kolko Conlon, R. P., Germeroth, L. J., Wang, B., Cheng, Y., & Levine, M. D., "Documenting the course of loss of control over eating prior to, during and after pregnancy among women with overweight and obesity.," International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2021
Donofry, S. D., Stillman, C. M., Hanson, J. L., Sheridan, M. A., Sun, S., Loucks, E. B., & Erickson, K. I., "Promoting brain health among adults exposed to early life adversity through physical activity: Potential mechanisms and theoretical framework.," Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 2021
Donofry, S. D., Erickson, K. I., Levine, M. D., Gianaros, P. J., Muldoon, M. F., & Manuck, S. B., "Relationship between Dispositional Mindfulness, Psychological Health, and Diet Quality among Healthy Midlife Adults.," Nutrients, 2021
Honors & Awards
- Citation Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine
- Young Investigator Award, American Psychosomatic Society
- Outstanding Achievement and Promise for Future Accomplishments (Bassell Award), University of Pittsburgh