Brown School to launch Envolve Center

Faculty; Public Health; Research

Washington University in St. Louis is launching a partnership with Duke University and Centene Corp., aimed at translating research into more effective health related behaviors.

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change will kick off with a launch event from 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Clark-Fox Forum at Hillman Hall.

The event is free and open to the public. David Bornstein, social innovation journalist and co-author of The New York Times “Fixes” column, will provide the keynote address.

Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, professor at the Brown School and associate director of the Center for Social Development, will lead the new center as director and principal investigator.

“The most compelling aspect of this partnership is that industry and academia are coming together with a shared mission of using cutting-edge science to improve the health of millions of Americans,” Grinstein-Weiss said.

The Envolve Center is a unique industry-academic partnership that will translate the science of behavior change and public health research evidence into practical strategies that foster sustainable change in health-related behaviors, she said.

“Moving beyond providing information to using proven, behavior-based techniques, the Envolve Center will be positioned to contribute to the healthcare research knowledge base, influence positive health outcomes and reduce the economic burden of poor health on individuals and society,” Grinstein-Weiss said.

Other Envolve Center lead researchers are:

  • Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD, the Joyce Wood Professor at the Brown School, director of the Center for Diabetes Translation Research and director of the Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research;
  • Matthew Kreuter, PhD, associate dean for public health and Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, and founder and senior scientist at the Health Communication Research Laboratory;
  • Dan Ariely, PhD, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.

For more information on the center and its mission, visit