Professor, Doctor of Philosophy Program Director

Sheryl Catz

Sheryl L. Catz is a professor and program director of the doctor of philosophy at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She teaches courses in research methods, mentors students and conducts behavioral medicine research. A clinical psychologist, Catz’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the interface between health and behavior. Her areas of research interest and expertise include treatment adherence and engagement, remote interventions to support health behavior change and self-management of chronic conditions, and primary and secondary disease prevention.

Catz’s current research program focuses on preventive health behavior in the context of infectious diseases, including HIV and COVID-19. She is the UC Davis primary investigator of the Wellness Intervention for Smokers with HIV (WISH) trial, a randomized controlled trial funded by the National Cancer Institute that aims to test the effectiveness and reach of a novel wellness intervention targeting veterans living with HIV who smoke. The WISH trial is recruiting smokers nationally through the VA, including those ready to quit smoking and those who want to quit someday but are currently hesitant to quit. Catz also collaborates with students and colleagues on observational studies of key COVID-19 prevention behaviors, including vaccine acceptance and mask adherence.

Prior to joining the School of Nursing, Catz was an associate scientific investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. She began her academic career as an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Center for AIDS Intervention Research, and also taught at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Catz earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University in 1997. She earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.

In addition to serving as the doctor of philosophy program director and leading and collaborating on numerous federally funded research projects and serving on National Institutes of Health review panels, Catz has contributed as an author or co-author to more than 100 publications. Her work has been published in high-impact, peer-reviewed publications, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Health Psychology, AIDS and Behavior, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Contact Information: Phone: 916-734-3464 | E-mail: