Gillings School Directory

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH

Dean Barbara K. Rimer

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, MPH

Dean Emerita
Gillings School of Global Public Health
Alumni Distinguished Professor
Department of Health Behavior
  • 318 Rosenau Hall
  • UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • CB #7440
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, MPH, serves as Dean Emerita and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

She also is the author of over 270 peer-reviewed articles. Her research has explored multiple areas, especially motivating people to be screened for cancer and enhancing their informed decision making.

Dean Rimer is the first woman and behavioral scientist to chair the National Cancer Institute's National Cancer Advisory Board. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2008 and was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Cancer Panel, which she chaired from 2011 to January 2019. In 2013, she was awarded the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor for her cancer control research.

Learn more about Dean Rimer’s leadership in an interview by Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser, in the "Good to Great at Carolina: Lessons in Leadership" series.

Honors and Awards

Order of the Golden Fleece

2013, UNC-Chapel Hill

Blue Ribbon Gala Honoree

2013, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC-Chapel Hill

Order of the Grail-Valkyries

2012, UNC-Chapel Hill

American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor

2013, American Cancer Society

CECCR Leadership Award

2011, National Cancer Institute, NIH

Elected to Institute of Medicine

2008, Institute of Medicine

Award for Health Promotion

2004, HealthTrac

Health Diversity Award

2002, NCI

Distinguished Service Award

2000, American Cancer Society

Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service

2000, DHHS

Director's Award

2000, NIH

John McGovern Award in Health Promotion

1999, University of Texas, School of Public Health

Distinguished Achievement Award

1998, American Society of Preventive Oncology

Research Activities


Evidence-based public health

Health behavior

Health communication

HPV vaccination

Service Activities

2018 - present: Member, Governor's Commission on Inclusion

2016 - 2017: Member, Blue Ribbon Panel, National Cancer Moonshot Initiative

2011 - present: Chair, President’s Cancer Panel (Presidential appointment)

2008 - 2015: At Large Member, Board of Directors, ASPPH (Elected)

2003 - 2015: Member, Task Force on Community Preventive Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Vice-Chair, 2004-2015)

Key Publications

Improving physician re commendations for HPV vaccination: the role of professional organizations. Hswen, Y., Gilkey, M.B., Rimer, B.K., & Brewer, N.T (2018). Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 44(1), 45-47.

School Entry Requirements and Coverag e of Nontargeted Adolescent Vaccines. Moss, J. L., Reiter, P. L., Rimer, B. K., Truong, Y.K., & Brewer, N. T. (2016). Pediatrics, 138(6), 45-47.

Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. Fifth Edition. (3 chapters co-authored with editors, 1 additional chapter co-authored). Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K., Viswanath, K (2015). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

The effect of a decision aid intervention on decision making about coronary heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial. Sheridan, S.L., Draeger, L., Pignone, M.P., Rimer, B.K., Bangdiwala, S.I., Cai, J., Gizlice, Z., Keyserling, T.C., Simpson Jr., R.J. (2014). BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 14(14), 1-11.

We screen newborns, don't we? Realizing the promise of public health genomics. Evans, J.P., Berg, J.S., Olshan, A.F., Magnuson, T., Rimer, B.K. (2013). Genetics in Medicine, 15(5), 332-334.

Women's intentions to receive cervical cancer screening with primary human papillomavirus testing. Ogilvie, G.S., Smith, L.W., van Niekerk, D.J., Khurshed, F., Krajden, M., Saraiya, M., Goel, V., Rimer, B.K., Greene, S.B., Hobbs, S., Coldman, A.J., Franco, E.L.  (2013). International Journal of Cancer, 133(12), 2934-2943.


DrPH, Health Education, Johns Hopkins University, 1981

MPH, Health Education, University of Michigan, 1973

BA, English, University of Michigan, 1970

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