Committee Member Biographical Sketches
Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.H., R.D. (Chair), is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Pediatrics (Gastroenterology, Nutrition Section) and Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Kumanyika has a unique interdisciplinary background that integrates epidemiology, nutrition, prevention, minority health, and women’s health issues across the life course. She received a B.A. from Syracuse University, an M.S.W. from Columbia University, a Ph.D. in human nutrition from Cornell University, and an M.P.H. from The Johns Hopkins University. The main themes in Dr. Kumanyika’s research concern the role of nutritional factors in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases, with a particular focus on obesity, sodium reduction, and related health problems such as hypertension and diabetes. She has a particular interest in the epidemiology and management of obesity among African Americans. Dr. Kumanyika has served on numerous national and international advisory committees and expert panels related to nutrition and obesity, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Healthy People 2020. She is co-chair of the International Obesity Task Force and serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. She has served on the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and a number of IOM committees, including the Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth and the Committee on Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity (as a volunteer consultant). Dr. Kumanyika is a member of the IOM.
David B. Abrams, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Steven A. Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation and
is Professor of Health, Behavior, and Society at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He earned a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in clinical psychology. Dr. Abrams is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in health psychology, addictions, and tobacco use behavior. His primary interest is in fostering the systems integration of biomedical, sociobehavioral, and ecologic-public health models to understand and eliminate tobacco use behavior at the population level. Dr. Abrams was Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), from 2005 to 2008. Prior to that, he was Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Professor of Community Health at Brown University Medical School and founding Director of Brown’s Transdisciplinary Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine for more than 16 years. He has published more than 250 scholarly articles and has been a principal or co-investigator on 65 grant awards, including a National Cancer Institute Program Project award for Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers of Excellence. Dr. Abrams is lead author of The Tobacco Dependence Treatment Handbook: A Guide to Best Practices and recipient of a book of the year award from the American Journal of Nursing. He is a Fellow and past President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and a recipient of the society’s Distinguished Scientist Award, Distinguished Service Award, and Distinguished Research Mentor Award. He served on the IOM Committee on Reducing Tobacco Use: Strategies, Barriers, and Consequences.
Ross C. Brownson, Ph.D., is Professor of Epidemiology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is involved in numerous community-level studies designed to reduce modifiable risk factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthful eating, and tobacco use. In particular, he is interested in the impacts of environmental and policy interventions on health behaviors. Dr. Brownson also conducts research on dissemination of evidence-based interventions in public health settings. His research is supported by NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Missouri Foundation for Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is Co-Director of the CDC-funded Prevention Research Center (PRC)—a 5-year, multimillion dollar project aimed at developing innovative approaches to chronic disease prevention. The PRC in St. Louis is a joint research endeavor between the Saint Louis University School of Public Health and Washington University. Dr. Brownson is the author of six books and more than 250 peer-reviewed articles. His books include Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control, Applied Epidemiology, Handbook of Obesity Prevention, Communicating Public Health Information Effectively: A Guide for Practitioners, and Evidence-Based Public Health. He is Associate Editor of the Annual Review of Public Health and on the editorial board of three other journals. He is a former and founding member of the 15-person CDC task force responsible for developing the Guide to Community Preventive Services.
Frank Chaloupka, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC); he also holds an appointment in the UIC School of Public Health’s Division of Health Policy and Administration and is director of the UIC Health Policy Center. He received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate School and University Center, specializing in health economics. Dr. Chaloupka’s research interests include the effects of prices, policies, and other environmental factors on health behavior, including cigarette smoking and other tobacco use, alcohol use and abuse, illicit drug use, diet, and physical activity, as well as outcomes related to these behaviors. Much of his research focuses on youth and young adults. He received a University Scholar Award from the University of Illinois for his research on the economic analysis of substance use and abuse and was an expert reviewer on the IOM’s National Cancer Policy Board in 1997.
Madhabi Chatterji, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Measurement and Evaluation and Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Research Initiative at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Chatterji received her Ph.D. in measurement, evaluation, and research methodology from the University of South Florida, and has taught methodology courses at the graduate and advanced graduate levels for more than 15 years. Her research interests are in assessment and evaluation methodology, evidence standards and new evidence synthesis approaches, educational equity, and standards-based educational reforms in the United States. Her research has received national and regional recognition through awards from the American Educational Research Association in 2004 (AERA-Division H, 2004—Advances in Research Methodology) and the Florida Educational Research Association (Distinguished Paper Award, 1993). As a recent Fulbright Research Scholar (2007-2008), Dr. Chatterji is examining issues related to universal education and gender equality at the primary level in two South Asian nations, India and Bangladesh. She has published widely on both measurement and evaluation topics, with several papers weighing the utility of systemic, mixed-method designs against randomized controlled trials for studying complex education and public health interventions. Dr. Chatterji is a frequent consultant in her areas of specialty and serves on several national and international advisory panels in education, public health, and medicine. She took part in the planning meeting for this committee’s work.
Barbara A. Dennison, M.D., is Director of Policy and Research Translation in the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the New York State Department of Health, where she has overall responsibility for identifying and working with programs to ensure the implementation of evidence-based, best-practice, and promising approaches to preventing and reducing risk factors and conditions related to chronic diseases and injury. Dr. Dennison serves as the point of contact for the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention in developing policy and legislative initiatives to improve public health, and as the division’s policy liaison with other Department of
Health units, state agencies, and external organizations in the development of chronic disease prevention policies. From 2003 to 2009, she served as Director, Bureau of Health Risk Reduction, where she provided leadership for the state’s community-based prevention efforts to reduce obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic diseases and to improve guideline-concordant care of chronic diseases.
Christina Economos, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Nutrition and New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Dr. Economos earned her M.S. at Columbia University and her Ph.D. at the Friedman School. Her research efforts focus on the interactions among exercise, diet, and body composition. Her translational research includes theory-based obesity prevention interventions with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse children, adolescents, and their families in urban and rural communities across the United States. She was principal investigator for the Shape Up Somerville (SUS) project, funded primarily by CDC, and currently leads several large obesity prevention intervention trials. The SUS project targeted behavior change in children through community-based, environmental change in a low-income, racially/ethnically diverse population. Results published in Obesity in 2007 demonstrate that this multipronged intervention reduced overweight in the treatment children compared with children in two similar comparison communities. Dr. Economos has held positions in public health nutrition, including a tenure at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She serves on numerous state and national advisory boards. She was a consultant on the Youth Subcommittee for the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and is a member of the Public Information Council of the American Society for Nutrition.
Steven Gortmaker, Ph.D., is Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health and Director of the Health Prevention Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Gortmaker’s research is focused on the health of children and adolescents, particularly households living in poverty and minority populations. The major goal of this research has been to identify modifiable risks for morbidity and mortality in the young, and to both initiate and evaluate interventions to improve these outcomes. Dr. Gortmaker’s work has focused on a broad variety of risks, ranging from sociological concepts such as poverty, social stress, and social networks to behaviors such as smoking, inactivity (exemplified by television viewing), and diet, and on interventions including policy at the national and state levels and programs at the regional, county, school, hospital, clinic, and individual levels. His research encompasses collaborative work with research groups at Harvard, in the Boston area, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Gortmaker also was involved in two school-based interventions: the Eat Well and Keep Moving Project
and Planet Health. Both programs have been shown to reduce obesity risk behaviors in experimental trials and are in wide use across the United States.
Lawrence W. Green, Dr.P.H., is Co-Director of the Society, Diversity, and Disparities Program for the Cancer Center and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to his current position, Dr. Green was Director of the Office of Science and Extramural Research, Public Health Practice Office, at CDC. He received a B.S., M.P.H., and Dr.P.H., each in the area of public health or public health education, from the University of California, Berkeley. The majority of his work focuses on developing and strengthening practice-based evidence as a complement to evidence-based practices derived from systematic reviews of highly controlled trials. In the Carter Administration, he served as the first Director of the Office of Health Information, Health Promotion, Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine. He has served on the public health faculties at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, the University of Texas, and the University of British Columbia and as Vice President and Director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s national Health Promotion Program. Dr. Green is a member of the IOM and was a member ex officio of the IOM’s Clinical Research Roundtable from 2001 to 2005.
Robert A. Hiatt, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF and Director of Population Science and Deputy Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also an Adjunct Professor, Division of Epidemiology, at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1998 to early 2003, he was the first Deputy Director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute, where he oversaw cancer research in epidemiology and genetics, surveillance, and health services. His research interests have included the epidemiology of cancer, especially breast cancer; cancer prevention and screening; health services and outcomes research; and the social determinants of cancer. He is a recipient of NIH Merit Awards for the Quality of Cancer Care Committee and the Cancer Progress Report, and also received an NIH Director’s Award for the latter. Dr. Hiatt has served on two IOM committees in the past, one on improving cancer care in Georgia and the other on NIH research strategies to eliminate health disparities.
William Purcell, III, J.D., former Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, is now Director of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Mr. Purcell graduated from Hamilton College and Vanderbilt University School of Law. In 1986 he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, where he served for five terms, assuming the positions of Majority Leader and Chair of the Select Committee on Children and Youth. After retiring from the General Assembly, he founded and became Director of the Child and Family Policy Center
at the Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies, which focuses on collaboration among academic research, politics, and best practices. During his tenure as Mayor of Nashville, the city saw a more than 50 percent increase in school funding and the creation of more than 20,000 affordable housing units. In 2006, Governing Magazine named him Public Official of the Year.
Robert Sege, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief of Ambulatory Pediatrics at the Boston Medical Center and Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Sege received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a primary care pediatrician whose research involves the development of a health care response to violence involving children and adolescents, ranging from child abuse to youth violence. For the past 2 years, Dr. Sege has led an effort to develop a new framework for making evidence-based policy recommendations for child health promotion activities in the clinical setting. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Evidence Working Group. Previously, Dr. Sege directed the federally funded development of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ violence prevention program, Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure, and was co-investigator in a large prospective national study of how primary care providers identify and manage child physical abuse. He is principal investigator of Project Dulce, a child maltreatment research and demonstration project.
Harold Sox, M.D., M.A.C.P., is Professor of Medicine and of The Dartmouth Institute (emeritus) at Dartmouth Medical School and immediate past Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr. Sox received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He began his studies in medical decision making when he was Chief Medical Resident at Dartmouth Medical School, where he later became department Chair. In his lifetime of research and writing, he has explored such issues as technology assessment, medical decision making, disease prevention and health promotion, cost-effectiveness analysis, physicians’ and patients’ risk preferences, and medical education. He has served on the editorial boards of other medical publications, such as Scientific American Medicine and The New England Journal of Medicine, and is the author of Medical Decision-Making and other books. Dr. Sox has led national committees that have shaped clinical, educational, and public policy in the United States. He has served as Chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the IOM Committee to Study HIV Transmission through Blood Products, and the IOM Committee on Health Effects of Exposures in the Persian Gulf War, and was founding Chair of the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee. Dr. Sox has served as President of the American College of Physicians and is a member of the IOM.
Adolfo M. Valadez, M.D., M.P.H., is Assistant Commissioner for Prevention and Preparedness Services at the Texas Department of Health Services. Dr. Valadez
received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and is board-certified in internal medicine. Later, he completed the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy and received an M.P.H. degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Valdez oversees approximately 1,000 employees and a budget of more than $450 million. His three primary responsibilities are overseeing disease control and prevention, disaster preparedness and response, and the agency’s laboratory services. Previously, Dr. Valadez served as Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. In the past, he also served as Medical Director of the Martha Eliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and as a primary care provider. Dr. Valadez has served on peer review committees for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence grants, as a member of a CDC Expert Panel on Physical Activity and Nutrition and a Special Emphasis Panel on community-based participatory research methodologies, and on numerous professional societies’ advisory committees.
Leticia Van de Putte, R.Ph., is a Senator in the Texas State Senate, currently in her fourth term, after having served as a State Representative for five terms. Senator Van de Putte holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Texas at Austin. As Senator, she has focused on issues regarding children, veterans, improved access to health care, quality education, and economic development. She has consistently authored and sponsored bills to assist families in securing opportunities, and has also been a key author of legislation reforming the welfare system, revamping the Juvenile Code, and insuring children. In 1993, she was a Kellogg Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Senator Van de Putte has received awards from numerous civic organizations and community groups. She has been actively involved in the National Conference of State Legislatures, serving as President from 2006 to 2007. In 2002, she became Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In 2008, she served as Co-Chair of the Democratic National Convention.
Stephen G. West, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University and Visiting Professor, Free University of Berlin, Germany (summer semesters). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is past Editor of Psychological Methods and current Associate Editor of Multivariate Behavioral Research. His quantitative research interests include experimental, quasi-experimental, and longitudinal designs for field research, structural equations modeling, multiple regression analysis, mediational analysis, multilevel analysis, longitudinal data analysis, and graphics and exploratory data analysis. His substantive research interests focus on personality research and prevention-related issues in health, mental health, and substance abuse. He recently completed work on grant-funded projects involving a randomized trial of an intervention for couples at high risk for HIV/AIDS and
a longitudinal study of the well-being of HIV/AIDS patients. He is currently working on grant-funded projects that examine short- and long-term effects of grade retention on achievement and on personality, cognitive, and social development in children; the development and validation of English and Spanish language asthma screening questionnaires for inner city communities; and statistical mediation models for prevention research.