Photo of Dana Bovbjerg

Dana Bovbjerg

  • ADJUNCT PROFESSOR Oncological Sciences
Print ProfilePrint Profile


  • B.A., Carleton College

  • B.S., University of Iowa

  • M.S., Ph.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

  • Cornell University Medical College


    Dr. Bovbjerg is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He was previously on the faculty of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Bovbjerg is involved in a wide-ranging program of interdisciplinary research in biobehavioral medicine, collaborating extensively with other members of the faculty at Mount Sinai, as well as with investigators at other institutions here and abroad.


  • 2003 -
    Outstanding Achievement Award
    TIAA-CREF/American Cancer Society

  • 2003 -
    Research Scholar Award
    American Cancer Society

  • 2000 -
    Visiting Scholar Award
    American Psychosomatic Society

  • 1994 -
    Elected to the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research

  • 1990 -
    Junior Faculty Research Award
    American Cancer Society


Dr. Bovbjerg's research focuses on biobehavioral processes in oncology. Broadly stated, the premise of the biobehavioral model of health and disease is that what people think and feel affects the state of their health and vice-versa. Effects are thought to be mediated by behavioral choices (e.g., smoking, cancer screening), as well as biological processes (e.g., endocrine and immune alterations), all of which are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). According to this model, health, disease and response to treatment involve a complex interaction between pathological processes at the cellular (or molecular) level and outputs from the CNS. The CNS, in turn, is affected not only by factors in the external environment (e.g., stressors, social support), but also by factors in the internal environment (e.g., a developing cancer, chemotherapy agents), as well as by past experience (e.g., classically conditioned effects), response tendencies (e.g., personality), and heredity. Current programs of research in Biobehavioral Medicine, all based on this model, are exploring biobehavioral processes in healthy individuals at risk for cancer, individuals undergoing cancer treatment, and cancer survivors.


Shakhar K, Valdimarsdottir HB, Guevarra JS, Bovbjerg DH. Sleep, fatigue, and NK cell activity in healthy volunteers: Significant relationships revealed by within subject analyses. Brain Behav Immun 2007 Feb; 21(2): 180-184.

Wright CE, Valdimarsdottir HB, Erblich J, Bovbjerg DH. Poor sleep the night before an experimental stress task is associated with reduced cortisol reactivity in healthy women. Biol Psychol 2006 Sept;.

Colamussi L, Bovbjerg DH, Erblich J. Stress- and cue-induced cigarette craving: Effects of a family history of smoking. Drug Alcohol Depend 2007 May; 88(2-3): 251-258.

Schnur JB, Dilorenzo TA, Montgomery GH, Erblich J, Winkel G, Hall SJ. Perceived risk and worry about prostate cancer: a proposed conceptual model. Behav Med 2006; 32(3): 89-96.

Bovbjerg DH, Montgomery GH, Raptis G. Evidence for classically conditioned fatigue responses in patients receiving chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. J Behav Med 2005 Jun; 28(3): 231-7.

Dettenborn L, James GD, Van Berge-Landry H, Valdimarsdottir HB, Montgomery GH, Bovbjerg DH. Heightened cortisol responses to daily stress in working women at familial risk for breast cancer. Biol Psychol 2005 May; 69(2): 167-79.

Guevarra JS, Kwate NO, Tang TS, Vladimarsdottir HB, Freeman HP, Bovbjerg DH. Acculturation and its relationship to smoking and breast self-examination frequency in African American women. J Behav Med 2005 Apr; 28(2): 191-9.

Kim Y, Duhamel KN, Vladimarsdottir HB, Bovbjerg DH. Psychological distress among healthy women with family histories of breast cancer: effects of recent life events. Psychooncology 2005 Jul; 14(7): 555-63.

Schnur JB, Valdimarsdottir HB, Montgomery GH, Nevid JS, Bovbjerg DH. Social constraints and distress among women at familial risk for breast cancer. Ann Behav Med 2004 Oct; 28(2): 142-8.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr.Bovbjerg is not currently required to report Industry relationships.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

Edit profile in Sinai Central