An associate professor in the Department of Health and Wellness Design, Misty Hawkins is a clinical health psychologist and behavioral medicine researcher on a mission to understand the relationships between cognitive factors (e.g., executive function), emotional factors (e.g. depression), chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease) and health behaviors (e.g., eating, exercise) as they exist in and are impacted by larger socioeconomic contexts.
She received a K23 Career Development Award from NIDDK to examine cognitive factors related to behavioral weight loss interventions and was a research project leader on a project examining neurotrophic factors related to early life adversity and obesity funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. She has a thriving partnership with Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to examine behavioral weight loss interventions in Indigenous populations and completed a funded pilot of acceptance-based weight loss therapy in collaboration with the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Research center.
As a first-generation college student herself, Hawkins has a commitment to mentoring trainees from under-represented and disadvantaged background and has helped her mentees secure NIH funding for their dissertation work.
Areas of Expertise
Obesity, neurocognition, alimentation, behavioral weight loss, clinical trials, biomarkers, inflammation, glucoregulatory function, excess adiposity.