Department of Biobehavioral Health Science
Dedicated to advancing biological, behavioral and clinical science for adults with complex health disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and more
Research and Scholarship
The Department of Biobehavioral Health Science is a vibrant community of accomplished educators, scholars and researchers, with numerous international, national and regional awards for teaching and research. Our faculty are leaders in professional organizations and serve on national research and professional boards, such as the Scientific Review Sections for the National Institutes of Health, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, and the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. Faculty and student scholars conduct life-changing research in areas such as:
- Health promotion and disease prevention
- Symptom measurement, management, and quality of life
- End of life and palliative care
- Innovations in health information technologies
- Health disparities and health equity
- Neurobiology of sleep and sleep disorders
- Discovering biologic mechanisms and markers
- Developing interventions to help improve or adapt/manage diverse health disorders
Leading the way in Illinois in educating adult-gerontology primary and acute care nurse practitioners, our programs offer a diverse curriculum to provide care to the entire adult/older adult age spectrum and across the continuum of care from wellness to illness. The scope of practice of the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AG-PCNP) or adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AG-ACNP) is not setting-specific but patient-centered.
The objectives of our Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are to prepare expert advanced practice nurses who can synthesize practice, research, and theory to increase the quality and utilize evidence as the basis of patient care.
Our department is home to these DNP programs:
About our academic programs
Meet the department head
Holli DeVon, PhD ’02, MS ’82, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Holli DeVon joined the UIC faculty in 2012, rising to lead the Department of the Biobehavioral Health Science in 2017.
As a researcher, DeVon focuses on multiple aspects of the symptoms of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Her ACS symptom checklist has been used by investigators on five continents. She has received grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for her studies of sex and age differences in patients with ACS, and factors associated with prehospital delay for symptoms of ACS.
DeVon received a Fulbright Scholar Award for 2017-2018 to conduct research on the early onset of cardiovascular disease in individuals with HIV in Rwanda.
She has been honored with several research and writing awards including the Martha N. Hill New Investigator award from the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, the Harriet Werley New Investigator award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society, and the 2014 best research paper award from the AHA Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing.
DeVon has published more than 70 articles in multidisciplinary journals and written commentaries in several journals including JAMA Internal Medicine, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and The Lancet. She is a founding editorial board member for the Journal of the American Heart Association and is chair of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science.