Joshua Karelitz, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar, Epidemiology | Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program


UPMC Cancer Pavilion, Suite 4C-469, 5150 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
R-znvy: wbfuhn.xneryvgm@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-178-1724
Web site:

Personal Statement

I am a health psychologist and Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, mentored by Drs. Jian-Min Yuan and David Wilson. I completed my PhD in Biological and Health Psychology in Dr. Kenneth Perkins' lab, where my training focused on three related areas: 1) improving clinical treatments for smoking cessation, including measurement and methodology of biochemical assessment of cessation; 2) nicotine’s ability to enhance the reinforcing efficacy of non-drug rewards (thought to contribute to smoking persistence); and 3) nicotine dose thresholds for detecting differences in perception and choice between products varying in dose.


My research interests lie at the intersection of psychology, health outcomes, and methodology, with a focus on addiction. Broadly, my research examines behavioral factors that contribute to the persistence of tobacco smoking, the foremost preventable cause of cancer. Because of this enormous public health burden, my work is motivated by interest in elucidating which behavioral factors promote tobacco use, and how changing their influences can improve cessation outcomes, thus reducing cancer risk.



2019 | PhD | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences | Biological and Health Psychology


2017 | MS | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences | Biological and Health Psychology


2011 | MA | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | School of Education | Research Methodology


2005 | BA | The Pennsylvania State University, New Kensington Campus, New Kensington, PA | Applied Psychology


  • Biological Bases of Human Behavior
    • Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring, 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2012 
    • Penn State New Kensington & Greater Allegheny Campuses
  • Elementary Statistics
    • Summer 2018, Fall 2017, Summer 2017, Summer 2016, Summer 2015
    • Penn State New Kensington & Beaver Campuses
  • Introduction to Psychology
    • Fall 2016, Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2013
    • Penn State New Kensington, Berks, & Altoona Campuses
  • Research Methods
    • Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Summer 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012, Fall 2011
    • Penn State New Kensington, Berks, & Altoona Campuses



Postdoctoral Training Program in Cancer Etiology and Prevention | Role: Postdoctoral Scholar |
Co-PIs: Jian-Min Yuan, MD, PhD & Hung Luu, PhD | T32 CA186873



Mobile, Remote, and Individual-focused: Comparing Breath Carbon Monoxide Readings and Abstinence in Next Generation Monitors | Role: Co-Investigator | PI: Erin McClure, PhD | Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina IDEA Award


Predoctoral Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Training Fellowship | Role: Predoctoral Trainee | PI: Karen Maththews, PhD | T32 HL007560

Selected Publications

Joshua  Karelitz