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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Bernardine M. Pinto, PhD, FAPA, FSBM, FABMR

Title: Associate Dean for Research, Inaugural Health Sciences Endowed Professor
Co-Director Cancer Survivorship Research Center
Department: Biobehavioral Health & Nursing Science
College of Nursing
Phone: 803-777-9272
Fax: 803-777-5935

College of Nursing 
University of South Carolina
1601 Greene Street, Room 302B
Columbia, SC 29208-4001 
United States

2021 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award Recipient



Dr. Pinto received a PhD and a Masters (with honors) in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University in 1992 and 1987 respectively, and a Masters in Psychology in 1982 from Bangalore University.  


Dr. Pinto has extensive teaching experience.  In addition to classroom teaching and seminars, Dr. Pinto has served as supervisor for psychology interns, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty at W. Alpert Medical School of Brown University.


Dr. Pinto's research interests focus on the development of theoretically-based exercise interventions for adults, and in promoting healthy behaviors among cancer survivors with a special emphasis on exercise promotion among cancer survivors. As Principal Investigator, she has received funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. She has received continuous federal funding for her research since 1996.


Dr. Pinto has published over 100 original articles and book chapters and lectures extensively both nationally and internationally.

Professional Service  

Dr. Pinto is a member of the following professional organizations:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine (Fellow status a/o March 2006)
  • Member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine Cancer SIG Subcommittee on Mentoring
  • Member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine Cancer SIG Subcommittee on Awards 

Professional Practice

Dr. Pinto is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has provided clinical services such as depression management, weight management and smoking cessation, to patients presenting with behavioral health issues.


  • Alumni Achievement Award, Western Michigan University
  • Pillar Award, Western Michigan University

Research Studies (Selected) 

Peer Coaching for Physical Activity Promotion among Breast Cancer Survivors: Adapting an Efficacious Intervention to Prepare for Implementation. NCI - 2021-2025. $1.5 million.

Developing a Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Body Weight for Obese African American Men Living in the Rural South. National Institute for Minority and Health Disparities, K23 - 2019-2024. Mentor (Demetrius Abshire, Principal Investigator). 

Connect through PLAY: A Staff-based Physical Activity Intervention for Middle School Youth. NINR - 2018-2023. $635,342. Co-Investigator.

Dyad-based Multiple Behavior Intervention to Reduce Lung Cancer Symptoms.American Cancer Society's Mentored Research Scholar Grant - 2018-2022. Mentor (K. McDonnell, Principal Investigator).

A “Novel” Multi-component Approach to Promote Physical Activity in Older Cancer Survivors. Greenville Health System Health Sciences Center - 2018-2019. $18,818. Principal Investigator.

Promoting Physical Activity in Young Adult Cancer Survivors using mHealth and Adaptive Tailored Feedback Strategies. NCI - 2017-2021. $71,878. Co-Investigator & PI of subaward.

Identifying ways to reduce sedentary behavior through wearable technology among breast cancer patients. ASPIRE -1 Track 2 Funded Project - 2017-2018. $5,000. Mentor (Madison DeMello - Post-doctoral Fellow). 

Speeding Research-Tested Interventions. Administrative supplement to NCI - 2016-2017. $21,975. Principal Investigator.

Peers Promoting Exercise Adoption and Maintenance among Cancer Survivors. NCI - 2015-2020. $3.3 million. Principal Investigator. 

Publications (Selected)

Pinto, B.M., Dail, R.B., & Andrews, J. O. (in press). Strengthening collaborative research and scholarship in a College of Nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing. 

Wright, P., Corbett, C. & Pinto, B.M. (2021). Balancing internal and external validity using Precis-2 and RE-AIM: Case exemplars.  Western Journal of Nursing Research.

Pinto, B.M., Kindred, M., Dunsiger, S. I., & Williams, D.M. (2020-online ahead of print).  Sedentary behavior among breast cancer survivors: A longitudinal study using ecological momentary assessments. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 

Grimmett, C., Foster, C., Bradbury, K., Lally, P., May, C.R., Myall, M., Pinto, B. M., & Corbett. T. (2020). Exploring maintenance of physical activity behaviour change among people living with and beyond gastrointestinal cancer: A cross-sectional qualitative study and typology. BMJ Open.

Abshire, D.A., McDonnell, K., Donevant, S., Corbett, C., Tavakoli, A., Felder, T. & Pinto, B.M. (2020). Pivoting nursing research and scholarship during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Nursing Research.

Kindred, M. M., Pinto, B.M. & Dunsiger, S.I. (2020). Mediators of physical activity adoption and maintenance among breast cancer survivors. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 

Andrews, J.O., Corbett, C., Dail, R. B. & Pinto, B.M. (2019). Rebuilding the research enterprise of a historical research-intensive College of Nursing. Nursing Outlook, 67(3):232-243. 

Grimmett C, Corbett, T., Brunet, J., Shepherd, J., Pinto, B.M., May, CR., Foster, C. (2019). Systematic review and meta-analysis of maintenance of physical activity behavior change in cancer survivors. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 16(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s12966-019-0787-4. 

Schmitz, K. H., Campbell, A., Stuiver, M.M., Pinto, B.M., Schwartz, A. L., Morris, G. S. et al. (2019). Exercise is Medicine in oncology: Engaging clinicians to help patients move through cancer. CA-A Cancer Journal for Clinicians

Kindred, M. M., Pinto, B.M., & Dunsiger, S.I. (2019). Association of body esteem with fitness and body fat among colorectal cancer survivors: Secondary analyses from a randomized trial. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 26 6), 619-628.

DeMello, M.M., Pinto, B.M., Mitchell, S., Dunsiger, S.I., & Stein K. (2018). Peer support for physical activity adoption among breast cancer survivors: Do the helped resemble the helpers? European Journal of Cancer Care, 27, e12849. 

Basen-Engquist, K., Alfano, C. M., Maitlin-Shepard, M., Thomson, C.A., Stein, K., Syrjala, K.L., Fallon, E., Pinto, B.M., Schmitz, K. H., Zucker, D.S., Doyle, C., & Demark-Wahnefried, W. (2018). Moving Research into Practice. Physical Activity, Nutrition and Weight Management for Cancer Patients and Survivors. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC.

Pinto, B.M., Dunsiger, S. & Stein, K. (2017).  Does a peer-led exercise intervention affect sedentary behavior among breast cancer survivors? Psycho-Oncology, 26(11),1907-1913.

Pinto, B. M., Dunsiger, S. I., Stein, K., & Kalmon, C. (2017). Mentors delivering a physical activity intervention for cancer survivors: Effects among mentors. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 7(4), 680-689.

Pinto, B. M. & Thomson, C. A. (2017). Guideposts for physical activity, diet, and weight management interventions among cancer survivors. Obesity,25 Suppl 2, S23-S24. 

Basen-Engquist, K., Alfano, C.M., Maitin-Shepard, M., Thomson, C.A., Schmitz, K.H., Pinto, B.M., Stein, K., Zucker, D.S., Syrjala, K.L., Fallon, E., Doyle, C., & Demark-Wahnefried, W. (2017). Agenda for translating physical activity, nutrition, and weight management interventions for cancer survivors into clinical and community practice. Obesity, 25 Suppl 2, S9-S22. 

Demark-Wahnefried, W., Schmitz, K. H., Alfano, C.M., Bail, J. R., Goodwin, P. J, Thompson, C. Bradley, D.W., Courneya, K.S., Befort, C.A., Denlinger, C.S., Ligibel, J.A., Dietz, W.H., Stolley, M.R., Irwin, M.L., Bamman, M.M., Apovian, C.M., Pinto, B.M., Wolin, K.Y., Ballard, R.M., Dannenberg, A.J., Eakin, E.G., Longjohn, M.M., Raffa, S.D., Adams-Campbell, L.L., Buzaglo, J.S., Nass, S.J., Massetti, G.M., Balogh, E.P., Kraft, E.S., Parekh, A.K., Sanghavi, D.M., Morris, G.S., & Basen-Engquist K. (2017). Weight management and physical activity throughout the cancer care continuum. Ca-Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 68, 64-89. 

Other Peer-Reviewed Publications (Selected)
Pinto, B. M., Wahnefried, D.M, Rowland, J. & Aziz, N. (2014).  Accelerometer determined lifestyles behaviors over time-Letter. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

Pinto, B. M. & Ciccolo, J.  (2010). Physical activity motivation and cancer survivorship. Recent Results in Cancer Research, 186, 367-387. 

Book Chapters 
Pinto B.M., Kindred M.M., Grimmett C. (2020) Cancer Survivors Becoming and Staying Physically Active: Challenges of Behavior Change. In: Schmitz K. (eds) Exercise Oncology. Springer, Cham.

Pinto, B. M.  & Frierson, G.M. (2013). Physical activity and health. In M. Gellman & J.R. Turner (Eds.),   Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer Publishing. 

Pinto, B. M. & Ciccolo, J. (2011). Motivation for lifestyle changes after cancer. In J. Lester & P. Schmitt (Eds.), Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Personalized Care (pp.285-293).  ONS Publishing Division. 

Pinto, B. M.  & Hartman, S. J. (2010). Exercise and cancer. In J. C. Holland, W. Breitbart, P. B. Jacobsen, M. S. Lederberg, M. Loscalzo, & R. McCorkle, Psycho-Oncology (2nd Edition, pp.28-42). Oxford Press.   

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