Melissa Santos, Ph.D.

Associate Professor (PI)

Department of Pediatrics

Division Head, Pediatric Psychology, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Clinical Director, Obesity Center, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Research Overview

My research falls into several areas all within the broad scope of enhancing pediatric weight management treatment. My current focus is in pain and obesity and virtual reality. Through my clinical work in pediatric obesity it became apparent that youth presenting for treatment were also presenting with comorbid chronic pain. In addition, it did not appear that those presenting with pain and obesity were successful in treatment. However, pain has been a vastly understudied area in the obesity literature. We are currently working to further describe children and adolescents presenting with comorbid pain and obesity and how they differ from those with just obesity. I have recently developed an intervention that I am piloting to determine the efficacy of treating chronic pain in weight management programming. Funding has been sought for the initial pilot of this intervention with a goal to ultimately conduct a randomized control trial. I have also recently become interested in using virtual reality in the assessment and treatment of weight management difficulties. My collaborators and I are seeking funding to further utilize this innovative method with adolescents.


PhD, Texas Tech University, Counseling Psychology

Recent/Selected Publications

Research Gate

Contact Information
Phone(860) 837-6717
Mailing AddressConnecticut Children's Medical Center
Department of Endocrinology/Pediatric Obesity
282 Washington Street
Hartford, CT 06106