Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the industrialized world and in the United States. In addition to causing death and disability, heart disease creates an enormous economic burden for our society. Research in the Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Laboratory focuses on the role of psychological factors in the initiation, progression, and endpoints of cardiovascular disease.


My research has been a bit eclectic, and has included a variety of projects. For example, I have conducted studies in the areas of cardiovascular psychophysiology, mHealth interventions for medication adherence, and even laboratory studies of eating behavior. This breadth allows lab members to pursue their own interests toward the end of defining and developing their own programs of research. Prospective graduate students and research assistants do not need to express interest that exactly match mine, but they should be broadly interested in conducting research in clinical health psychology including heart disease, pulmonary disease, or other chronic health conditions.

Note: I recruit strong applicants for our PhD program in Clinical Psychology. Although lab websites are usually the primary “sales pitch” for potential applicants, that is not true for me. I’m not going to devote my time to making a slick website. Instead, I wrote a book for psychology majors about how to get into graduate school or launch a career. What I learned is that a personal touch is much better than online promotional materials for determining “fit” and answering questions from prospective applicants. Send me an email! I’ll reply.

Much of our research takes place at local medical centers and in the community. Current collaborators include University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Case Western Reserve University. 

  • Lab Address:
    Cardiovascular Psychophysiology Lab
    Kent State University
    350 Kent Hall
    Kent, OH 44242
  • Principal Investigator:
    Joel W. Hughes, Ph.D. FAACVPR
    Associate Professor, Psychology
    378 Kent Hall
    Kent, OH 44242
  • Affiliations:
    I also maintain non-employee medical staff privileges at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, where I volunteer in cardiac rehabilitation.