Dr. Barbara K. Rimer

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, MPH

Dean Emerita
Gillings School of Global Public Health
Professor Emerita
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