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Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Psychology
Psychology Building
Room 322
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617-627-5902

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Robin B. Kanarek
Professor of Psychology


Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1974


Robin Kanarek received her B.A. in biology from Antioch College, and M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers University. Following graduate school, she was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University, and a research fellow in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She came to Tufts as a research assistant professor, and then climbed the tenure ladder to become a full professor in the Psychology Department and at the Friedman School of Nutrition. In 2000, she was named John Wade Professor. From 2002 until 2006, she served as the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Throughout her time at Tufts, Dr. Kanarek has been actively involved in undergraduate and graduate teaching, and in 2000 received the Tufts University Senate Professor of the Year award. When not engaged in teaching and research, Dr. Kanarek enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her husband and two sons, and participating as a member of a women's triathlon team.

Dr. Kanarek's primary research interests are in the area of nutrition and behavior. She has conducted research investigating the effects of nutritional variables on the development of obesity and diabetes, the physiological and behavioral factors influencing diet selection in experimental animals and humans, the role of nutrients in determining the consequences of psychoactive drugs, and the importance of nutrients for cognitive behavior in children and adults. Most recently, she has been studying the effects of obesity and diabetes on cognitive behavior, and the role of exercise in determining pain sensitivity and the actions of opioid and other pain relieving drugs. She is an author of more than 100 books, book chapters and articles, and has presented the results of her research at numerous international and national conferences. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, as well as by other governmental agencies and private companies. Dr. Kanarek is a member of the editorial boards of Physiology and Behavior, Nutritional Neuroscience, and the Tufts Diet and Nutrition Newsletter and is past editor-in-chief of Nutrition and Behavior. Dr. Kanarek has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Military Nutrition Research, and on review committees for the National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Agriculture, and National Science Foundation.

Dr. Kanarek has always welcomed undergraduates into her laboratory. Many undergraduates have completed senior honors theses and independent research projects under her guidance. Based on their excellent work, a number of these undergraduates have served as co-authors on publications and presentations at professional meetings. If students are interested in research, please contact Dr. Kanarek.