Medical Diseases Interface with Psychiatry and Psychology

The goal of these research teams is to help patients with medical illness to adapt to their medical conditions and implement positive lifestyle changes. Examples include the pain rehabilitation program, the traumatic brain injury program, the bariatric surgery program, neuropsychology and aging, psychosomatics and cancer and palliative care.

Behavioral health

The Behavioral Health Research Program focuses on developing novel, theory-based behavioral interventions for tobacco cessation targeting various underserved populations, adolescents, smokers with psychiatric comorbidity and the social network of smokers.

Christi A. Patten, Ph.D., professor of psychology and a career research scientist, directs the program, which is located in the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Brain rehabilitation

The brain rehabilitation research group is composed of a multidisciplinary team with members from the departments of psychiatry and psychology, nursing, physical medicine, rehabilitation, neurology, and social services.

This center has been continually funded as a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (TBIMS) Research Program, contributing patient data to the TBIMS national database and collaborating in analyses of this dataset.

Cancer and palliative care

The primary goal of the cancer and palliative care research team is to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their caregivers by first assessing and treating psychiatric difficulties and then teaching skills for coping with cancer. This multidisciplinary research team spans the Mayo Clinic campuses in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota.

Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking (HABIT)

The HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking clinical program supports the families of patients dealing with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Learn more about the HABIT program (PDF).

Pain rehabilitation

The research activities of the comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center and the pain rehabilitation program, focus on the clinical outcomes of these unique multidisciplinary programs.


The psychosomatic research group investigates problems at the interface between medical and psychiatric illnesses. Topics of interest include somatic symptom disorders (such as behavioral spells, chronic dizziness, functional gastrointestinal tract disorders and functional movement disorders), as well as health anxiety, depression, and anxiety in medically ill patients. Additional research is focused on predictors of disability and health care utilization.

Neuropsychology, aging and cognition

This research group focuses on the early detection and treatment of illnesses related to dementia and aging, with ongoing research at all three Mayo Clinic campuses. Additionally, the group collaborates with colleagues in behavioral neurology, neuropsychiatry, neuroimaging, neuropathology, molecular biology and pharmacology at Mayo Clinic and other institutions.



  • Tanya M. Brown, Ph.D., L.P.
  • Andrea R. Huebner, Ph.D., L.P.
  • Michael J. Zaccariello, Ph.D., L.P.

Obesity and eating disorders

This multidisciplinary research team at Mayo Clinic is involved in several clinical projects and National Institutes of Health- and industry-funded clinical trials that examine the influence of psychological functioning and neurobiology on eating disorders and obesity. Through these investigations, the goal is to improve long-term treatment outcomes in children, adolescents and adults with obesity or eating disorders.

Sleep medicine

Current Mayo Clinic researchers are involved in a number of national organizations related to sleep medicine, serving in leadership roles and working to advance the field. In addition, Mayo Clinic sleep centers at all three campuses are staffed by expert multispecialty care teams, which include psychiatrists.


Transplant psychiatry and psychology research focuses on both pretransplant assessment and post-transplant outcomes for solid organ and bone marrow transplant patients. Mayo Clinic has taken a leadership role in the assessment of hand transplant patients and the development of a multicenter database for hand transplant candidates.