Research Scientist, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition
Gillings School of Global Public Health
Cancer Prevention and Control
Area of Interest
Erik Willis, PhD, MPH is a research scientist in the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention as well as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. His research focuses on evaluating cancer and other health outcomes that are influenced by obesity, physical activity and nutrition.
His ongoing research assesses:
- Causal factors of obesity and the individual response to exercise and treatment.
- The inter-individual and population-level variability in health outcome responses to physical activity and nutrition interventions.
- Novel strategies (e.g. mHealth/eHealth) for the delivery of physical activity and nutrition interventions in order to increase adherence to health behavior change.
Erik has a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Kansas and a Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics from Yale University. Prior to joining UNC, he completed his postdoctoral training in the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). While at NCI, his research focused on the use of cohort data to develop a deeper understanding of weight and physical activity-related outcomes on cancer risk and other disease etiologies. He currently serves as a researcher in the Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group at UNC and contributes his expertise to all of their current projects and grants.