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Kurt Ribisl, PhD, has been appointed to lead the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The program’s forty-five faculty from across the UNC Chapel Hill campus design and implement research strategies to prevent cancer, improve early detection, and ease the burden of cancer on patients and their families. Faculty research emphasizes investigation and intervention at multiple levels, including the population, community, organizational, and individual levels. Areas of focus include behavior change intervention, tobacco control, obesity prevention and control, screening promotion, cancer survivorship, cancer outcomes, health care decision-making, cancer communication, and community-based participatory research.

As program leader, Dr. Ribisl will coordinate program member effort and related Cancer Center resources that facilitate faculty research. He will work with Dr. Andy Olshan, the UNC Lineberger Associate Director for Population Sciences, and other Cancer Center senior leaders to understand all aspects of the cancer program in North Carolina and to develop novel cancer prevention, early detection, and survivorship research efforts as part of the larger UNC Lineberger mission.

Shelley Earp, MD, director of UNC Lineberger and UNC Cancer Care, said, “Dr. Ribisl has built a nationally-recognized program focused on tobacco control policy and product regulation and innovative applications of information technology for discouraging tobacco use. His well-funded research program supports novel interventions in the State and has been a magnet for graduate students in the School of Public Health. The impact of his work, particularly projects aimed at preventing youth smoking, has been felt nationally. He is an outstanding researcher with a collaborative style and will be a great asset to both the Cancer Center and the outstanding faculty members who make up his Program.”

Dr. Ribisl was co-recruited by UNC Lineberger and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 1999. He now holds the rank of professor in the Department of Health Behavior. Since 2004, he has served as the Director of the UNC Coordinating Center for the CDC- and NCI-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, which includes over 180 investigators and staff at 10 leading universities. He is a federally appointed member of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Association and serves as principal investigator on numerous grants from the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

He earned an undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University and an MA and PhD at Michigan State University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention at the Stanford University School of Medicine.