Ross Brownson, PhD

Professor, Division of Public Health Sciences
Department of Surgery
(314) 362-9641

Research Overview
Dr. Brownson is involved in numerous community-level studies designed to reduce modifiable risk factors for cancer such as physical inactivity, obesity and tobacco use. In particular, he is interested in the impacts of environmental and policy interventions on health behaviors, and he conducts research on dissemination of evidence-based interventions. His research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is the co-director (with Dr. Beth Baker) of the CDC-funded Prevention Research Center (PRC) — a five-year, multi-million dollar project aimed at developing innovative approaches to chronic disease prevention. The PRC in St. Louis is a joint research endeavor between the Saint Louis University School of Public Health and Washington University. Dr. Brownson is the author of six books and over 280 peer-reviewed articles. His books include "Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control," "Applied Epidemiology," "Handbook of Obesity Prevention," "Communicating Public Health Information Effectively: A Guide for Practitioners," and "Evidence-Based Public Health." He is associate editor of the Annual Review of Public Health, and on the editorial board of four other journals. He is a former and founding member of the 15-person CDC Task Force developing the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Dr. Brownson is the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Prevention Research and Research Translation in Chronic Disease (2000, from CDC) and the Abraham Lilienfeld Award for outstanding contributions in teaching and mentoring (2003, from APHA).  Dr. Brownson teaches Applied Epidemiology and a course for practitioners entitled "Evidence Based Public Health." Before joining academe, he was a division director with the Missouri Department of Health. In this capacity, he wrote or co-wrote bills on tobacco access to minors, state clean indoor air, and private insurance coverage of screening mammography/Pap testing. Dr. Brownson is active in numerous professional associations, including the American Public Health Association and the Missouri Public Health Association. He is a board member of the American College of Epidemiology and of the Missouri Institute for Community Health.