Dana Small PhD

Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Psychology; Director, Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center


I am a psychologist and neuroscientist with graduate degrees in Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology from McGill University.  My research focuses on understanding how sensory, metabolic and neural signals are integrated to determine food choices and on how the dysregulation of these systems contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes and cognitive impairment. My group primarily uses neuroimaging, neuropsychological and metabolic methodologies in humans; however, we also have collaborations with a number of basic research labs at Yale and abroad where we use a revere translational approach to pursue mechanistic questions in rodent models that arise from findings in humans.  My laboratory generally consists of 1-2 phd students; 3-4 post-docs; a research associate professor and a handful of international interns and Yale undergraduates. I have trained 5 PhD students, 12 post-doctoral fellows and over 40 undergraduates and medical students. The  lab has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2003.

In addition to my activities at Yale, I am also involved in a number of initiatives related to advancing knowledge and treatment of diabetes and obesity. I am co-leading a National Institutes of Health workgroup developing a neuropsychological battery for use in obesity and diabetes trials and chairing the annual meeting for the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. I am executive editor at Appetite and Biological Psychiatry and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Behavior, Cognitive and Sensory Sciences.