Barbara Brown, PhD

Research Interests

  • Cancer Prevention and Control
  • Environment Design
  • Environment and Public Health
  • Environmental Psychology
  • Food Environment
  • Social Environment


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Family and Consumer Studies - Professor
  • Cancer Center Programs: Cancer Control & Population Sciences

Academic Office Information

  • 801-581-7111
  • Alfred C. Emery Building
    225 S 1400 E, Room: RM 246
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

Barbara B. Brown, PhD, is a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, a professor in Family & Consumer Studies Department, and an adjunct in the Psychology Department at the University of Utah. As an environmental psychologist, Brown’s research focuses on the linkages between the physical environment and human behavior, with special focus on behaviors associated with cancer prevention such as physically active living, healthy food environments, and obesity prevention. Her broader research focuses on the processes underlying neighborhood satisfaction and attachment, walkability and new urbanism, transportation, housing, crime, and general community viability and resident health and well-being. Currently, she is PI on an NCI grant that evaluates whether a Complete Streets community intervention--new light rail, bike paths, and walking paths—relates to greater daily activity and subsequent obesity prevention, using both accelerometer and GPS measures. In past research, in collaboration with the Energy Balance group (Ken Smith, Cathleen Zick, Jessie Fan, Lori Kowaleski-Jones, and Heidi Hanson), she has employed the UPDB to assess the relationships between walkable environments and BMI in Salt Lake County and NHANES to assess walkability and bikeability linkages to obesity nationwide.