Samantha Farris, Ph.D.
Dr. Samantha Farris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and is the Director of The Rutgers Emotion, Health and Behavior (REHAB) Laboratory. Dr. Farris received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at The University of Houston, and completed her psychology internship at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. She completed fellowships in cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and in cardiovascular behavioral medicine at The Miriam Hospital/Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Dr. Farris has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications and has received continuous funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Cancer Institute; and National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Farris’ research focuses on understanding how and why stress and anxiety (i.e., worry, fear, panic) commonly co-occur with and contribute to problematic health behaviors and chronic disease. There is recognition that major health disparities exist in the prevalence and consequences of preventable chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancers) in individuals with high levels of stress and anxiety; however, the psychological processes underlying these health inequalities are not understood. Dr. Farris and The REHAB Laboratory utilize an experimental therapeutics approach to (a) identify fearful thoughts and reactions to stress/anxiety (“cognitive and emotional risk factors”) that contribute to health behaviors and physical disease, (b) isolate how these risk factors influence health behaviors “in real time” through use of laboratory methodologies, and in turn (c) develop tailored interventions that target these risk factors to promote health behavior change and prevent the onset or progression of chronic disease.