Ribisl to lead UNC Lineberger’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program

December 13, 2012
Dr. Kurt Ribisl

Dr. Kurt Ribisl

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

Ribisl, professor in the Department of Health Behavior at Gillings School of Global Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also serves as director of the UNC Coordinating Center for the CDC- and NCI-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, which includes more than 180 investigators and staff members at 10 leading universities. He joined UNC’s faculty in 1999.The UNC Lineberger program’s 45 faculty members 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, Ribisl will coordinate program member effort and related cancer center resources that facilitate faculty research. He will work with Andrew Olshan, PhD, professor and chair of the public healthl school’s epidemiology department and associate director for population sciences at UNC Lineberger, and with 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.

“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,” said Shelton Earp, MD, director of UNC Lineberger and UNC Cancer Care. “His well-funded research program supports novel interventions in North Carolina and has been a magnet for graduate students in the UNC 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.”

Ribisl’s primary research interests include tobacco control policy and information technology. He has studied the tobacco industry’s marketing strategies in retail outlets, interventions to reduce youth access to tobacco and portrayals of smoking on the World Wide Web.

He holds a federally appointed membership on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee 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.

Ribisl earned an undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University and master’s and doctoral degrees 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.



UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu.