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.


B.A.Sc in psychology, University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus; Ph.D. in clinical/health psychology, University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct Faculty, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology

Selected Work

  • 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