About Our Program

As a research center embedded within Kaiser Permanente’s large and dynamic health care system, our investigators have a unique opportunity to apply scientific expertise to real-world clinical problems, translate findings into practice, and share what we learn with the broader community.

Featured Scientist

Dr. Deborah Cohen headshot
Deborah A. Cohen, MD, MPH
Research Scientist III
Division of Behavioral Health

Dr. Deborah Cohen studies how environmental factors influence the health of communities and affect health disparities. Her work has focused on improving the food environment, which is currently designed to promote the overconsumption of nutrient-poor foods. She has also investigated how the management and design of neighborhood parks can support more people to be physically active. She is currently developing and evaluating interventions to promote more physical activity and a healthier diet.

Dr. ...

Featured Video

How daily behavior affects health

Where a person lives affects their health even more than how often they visit their doctor. Deborah Rohm Young, PhD, MBA, director of behavioral research, describes how researchers in Kaiser Permanente Southern California look at environmental factors that can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices and determine the best ways to promote positive behaviors to improve overall health and well-being. (1:50)


Featured Image of News Story Titled: Scientists and physicians continue to research COVID-19 risks and outcomes

Scientists and physicians continue to research COVID-19 risks and outcomes

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, researchers and physicians at Kaiser Permanente Southern California are analyzing the data collected and lessons learned over the first year of the pandemic to find better ways to test, treat, and care for patients. On January 26, a few of the researchers and scientists shared their latest projects at ...

Five questions for … Dr. Kristen Choi

Kristen Choi, PHD, MS, RN, is a child/adolescent psychiatric nurse and health services researcher who is also an adjunct investigator with the Department of Research & Evaluation. She is an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and associate director of nursing for the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. Dr. Choi studies health services ...

Researchers examine association of preterm birth and chemicals in flame-retardant fabrics

A Kaiser Permanente Southern California study of 3,500 women showed that pregnant women with high levels of PDBE-47, a chemical used in flame-retardant fabrics, were at increased risk of giving birth early in the pregnancy. The study, “Women with high plasma levels of PBDE-47 are at increased risk of preterm birth” was published recently in ...

Promoting heart health through research

Kaiser Permanente researcher seeks to reduce heart disease by finding better ways to prevent, detect, and treat high blood pressure, known as a “silent killer.” Epidemiologists are scientists who study patterns of diseases and health conditions in large populations. Early in her career as an epidemiologist, Kristi Reynolds, PhD, MPH, decided to focus on heart ...

Self-order option boosts colorectal cancer screening rates

A study among Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California shows that allowing patients to self-order a colorectal cancer screening test online improves rates of testing completion. The rates of both completion and follow-up activities were higher among patients who ordered the tests themselves than those who received the test kit automatically in the mail when ...


Featured Division

Behavioral Research

Our behavioral scientists find ways to promote health and prevent disease by identifying risks and strategies to change behaviors.

Our behavioral scientists focus on research that has the potential to reduce disease risk by identifying modifiable risk factors and encouraging health-promoting behaviors. Faculty members have expertise in the following areas: adverse childhood experiences, cancer, chronic disease prevention and screening, diet and nutrition, mental health, obesity, physical activity, sedentary behavior, social determinants of health, and weight loss surgery and interventions.

The behavioral research portfolio includes intervention studies as well as qualitative and quantitative studies. The division also supports recruitment and other activities of the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank in Southern California.