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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Bernardine M. Pinto, PhD

Title: Associate Dean for Research and Professor
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



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.

Research Studies (Selected) 

Health Behavior Change in Cancer Patients and Families. NCI. 2002-2004. Mentor (C. Rabin, Principal Investigator).      

Physical Activity Promotion in Cancer Follow-up Care. American Cancer Society - 2003-2009. $1.8 million. Principal Investigator.

Maintaining Exercise after Cardiac Rehabilitation. NHLBI - 2004-2011. $2.31 million. Principal Investigator. 

Promoting Physical Activity after Colorectal Cancer. NCI - 2004-2011. $1.87 million. Principal Investigator.

Computerized Physical Activity Promotion in Primary Care. NHLBI - 2005-2006. $52,468. Co-Investigator (with B. Marcus, Principal Investigator)

Feasibility of Physical Activity and Relaxation Training for Cancer Survivors. Susan G, Komen Foundation - 2005-2007. $242,334. Co-Investigator (with C. Rabin, Principal Investigator).

Community Volunteers Promoting Physical Activity among Cancer Survivors. NCI - 2009-2014. $1.5 million. Principal Investigator.

Exercise and Relaxation Intervention for Young Adult Cancer Survivors. American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar Award - 2009-2013. $723,000. Mentor (C. Rabin, Principal Investigator). 

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

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

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).

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). . 2019-2024. 

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). 

Publications (Selected)

Pinto, B. M., Frierson, G., Rabin, C., Trunzo, J. & Marcus, B. (2005). A home-based physical activity intervention for breast cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 23, 3577-3587.

Pinto, B.M., Rabin, C., Abdow, S. & Papandonatos, G. D. (2008). A pilot study on disseminating physical activity promotion among cancer survivors: A brief report. Psycho-Oncology, 17, 517-21

Pinto, B.M., Rabin, C., Frierson, G.M., Papandonatos, G.D., Trunzo, J. J. & Marcus, B.H. (2008). Maintenance of effects of a home-based physical activity program among breast cancer survivors. Supportive Care in Cancer, 16, 1279-89.

Schmitz, K.H., Courneya, K.S., Matthews, C.M., Demark-Wahnefried, W., Galvao, D. A., Pinto, B. M., Irwin, M. L., Wolin, K.Y., Segal, R.J., Lucia, A., Schneider, C.M., Von Gruenigen, V. & Schwartz, A.L. (2010). American College of Sports Medicine roundtable on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 42, 1409-1426. 

Pinto B.M., Goldstein, M.G., Papandonatos, G.D., Farrell, N., Tilkemeier, P., Marcus, B.H. & Todaro, J.F. (2011). Maintenance of exercise after Phase II cardiac rehabilitation.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 41, 274-283. 

Pinto, B.M., Goldstein, M.G., Papandonatos, G.D., Marcus, B.H., & Farrell, N. (2013). Home-based physical activity intervention for colorectal cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 22, 54-64. 

Pinto, B.M., Papandonatos, G.D., & Goldstein, M.G. (2013).  A randomized trial to promote physical activity among breast cancer patients. Health Psychology, 32, 616-626. 

Pinto, B.M., Waldemore, M. & Rosen, R. (2015). A community-based partnership to promote exercise among cancer survivors: Lessons learned. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22, 328-335.

Pinto, B. M., Stein, K. S. & Dunsiger, S. I.  (2015). Peers promoting physical activity among breast cancer survivors: A randomized controlled trial.  Health Psychology, 34, 463-472.

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. 

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.

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. (in press). 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. (in press). Mediators of physical activity adoption and maintenance among breast cancer survivors. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 

Other Peer-Reviewed Publications (Selected)

Pinto, B. M., Kindred, M.M. & Grimmett, C. (in press). Cancer survivors becoming and staying physically active: Challenges of behavior Change. In K. Schmitz (Ed.), Exercise Oncology: Prescribing Physical Activity Before and After a Cancer Diagnosis. Springer Publishing

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. 

Pinto, B. M. & Floyd, A.  (2008). Theories underlying health promotion interventions among cancer patients. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 24, 153-163.

Book Chapters 

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.   

Pinto, B. M., Rabin, C., & Frierson, G. M. (2008).  Interventions to modify physical activity. In S.M. Miller, D.J., Bowen, R. T. Croyle and J. Rowland (Eds.), Handbook of cancer control and behavioral science: A resource for researchers, practitioners and policymakers (pp. 237-250),American Psychological Association, Washington D.C. 

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