Bess H. Marcus, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Brown University Medical School. She is a clinical health psychologist and her primary research interests are in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and the promotion of women's health. She has spent the last 20 years conducting research primarily on physical activity behavior and has published over 150 papers and book chapters on this topic as well as three books. She has developed a series of assessment instruments to measure psychosocial mediators of physical activity behavior and has also developed low-cost interventions to promote physical activity behavior in community, workplace, and primary care settings.
She has participated in numerous national and international committees and review groups including the American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institutes of Health. She has served on panels that have created new recommendations regarding the quantity and intensity of physical activity necessary for health benefits. She was also a contributing author to the Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. She serves or has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Psychology, Sport and Exercise, Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, and Research and Sport. She serves on the national advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) course on Physical Activity and Public Health.
She has also conducted a series of studies on the efficacy of physical activity to enhance smoking cessation and minimize weight gain in women smokers (e.g., CA50087; CA77249). She is currently principal investigator or co-investigator on 13 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants on physical activity behavior including trials of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in adults and older adults (e.g., HL64342; HL69866).