Skip to main content


Title: Director Behavior Change and Intervention Program
Office(s): Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)
Phone Number: 301-496-3131
Email Address:


Lisa Onken directs the Behavior Change and Intervention program in the Division of Behavioral and Social Research. She joined NIA in January 2015, after serving as the Chief of the Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Branch and the Associate Director for Treatment at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH. Dr. Onken received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University. She completed her clinical psychology internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and prior to coming to NIH she held a variety of academic, clinical and research scientist positions at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois Medical School and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. 

At NIA, Dr. Onken administers a broad program of research on the development of behavioral interventions to promote healthy aging, including research on interventions to promote positive affect, reduce negative affect, promote exercise, foster sleep, interventions for those who provide care for individuals with dementia, and other interventions to promote health and well-being.  She is a Project Scientist on the NIA AD/ADRD Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory and has played an active role in the NIH Science of Behavior Change Common Fund effort since its inception. She leads the Roybal Translational Centers program, structured within the conceptual framework of the NIH Stage Model, a comprehensive translational conceptual framework for principle-driven behavioral intervention development. She utilizes the NIH Stage Model to develop interventions that are optimally potent and maximally scalable to reach those in need.