Welcome to the UNC Biobehavioral Lab!

Become Familiar With Biomarkers, Biobehavioral Equipment & Clinical Significance

The Biobehavioral Laboratory (BBL) was initiated in 1989 as part of the Research Support Center (RSC) and the UNC School of Nursing. The term biobehavioral refers to the interface of biological and psychosocial factors that underlie individual responses to acute and chronic illness. Since inception, the BBL has expanded in its mission to enhance knowledge and skills in biobehavioral science, physiological measurement and instrumentation.

brant teaching the equipment on the infant feeding cartWhat distinguishes the BBL from other clinical laboratories is its emphasis on non-invasive monitoring and the use of portable instrumentation. The laboratory houses a number of instruments for the monitoring of physiologic parameters such as electrical brain activity, cardiac output, oxygenation, body composition and heart rate responses. The laboratory facility supports on-site sleep research and other measurements of interest to faculty and students. This includes an epigenetics lab which contains an ABI 7500 RT-PCR system by Applied Biosystems, equipment for Western blots, mRNA isolation, fluorescent probe generation, and hybridization. The BBL also has been expanded to include a nutritional research and behavioral observation suite. This suite houses an observational room equipped with 6 in-wall cameras and a monitoring room with the latest video recording and editing software. For more information, select the navigation links along the top labeled research, core scientists and equipment.

The BBL staff is committed to assisting and promoting faculty and graduate students' efforts in the use of biobehavioral measures and physiological parameters in their research. The BBL is located on the ground floor of Carrington Hall, Rooms 10 and 03. Faculty and graduate students are encouraged to visit. For more information on how to request equipment or a research consultation with BBL faculty, feel free to call 966-7598 or email us at sonbbl@unc.edu.


Kathleen Knafl, PhD, FAAN (843-3175)

Virginia Neelon, PhD (966-1410)

Linda Beeber, PhD, CS (966-8148)

Suzanne Thoyre, PhD (966-8418)

Debra J. Barksdale, PhD, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, CNE, FAANP, FAAN (843-2479)

Eric Hodges, PhD, FNP-BC (966-0534)

Sheila Santacroce, PhD, APRN, CPNP (966-7570)

Theresa Swift-Scanlan, PhD, MSN, BSN (966-1806)

Cheryl Giscombe, PhD, MSN (843-9491)

Victoria Benson, MT- ASCP (966-7598)

Brant Nix, BIO-BMET (966-7598)



Lab Personnel


  Eric Hodges, PhD, FNP-BC


  Brant Nix, BIO-BMET


  Victoria Benson, MT(ASCP)


Please consult the calendar at the top of the page and email the Lab to schedule a tour or an appointment.

Special Training Programs and Workshops in Biobehavioral Marker Measurement are also offered. Watch for announcements below:

Salivary Cortisol Bioscience Training

The Biobehavioral Laboratory in the School of Nursing is certified by Salimetrics, LLC as a “Center of Excellence" for salivary hormone analysis. We will offer a two day workshop June 15th and 16th of 2015 to evaluate human Salivary Cortisol and Alpha-Amylase. Participants on the 2nd day will be trained to use Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA or EIA).