Ross C. Brownson, PhD

Dr. Brownson, principal investigator for the MT-DIRC program, is the Bernard Becker Professor of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. He is involved in numerous community-level studies designed to reduce modifiable risk factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, and tobacco use. In particular, he is interested in the impacts of environmental and policy interventions on health behaviors. Dr. Brownson also 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, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is the co-director of the Prevention Research Center—a center aimed at developing innovative approaches to chronic disease prevention. Dr. Brownson is the author of 9 books and over 450 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. His book (co-edited by Drs. Colditz and Proctor), Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health: Translating Science to Practice, was published early 2012 with the second edition published in 2017.


He is associate editor of the Annual Review of Public Health, and on the editorial board of five 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), the Abraham Lilienfeld Award for outstanding contributions in teaching and mentoring (2003, from APHA), and the Award for Excellence (2016, from APHA). Dr. Brownson teaches courses in epidemiology, public health, and evidence-based decision making. Prior to joining academe, he was a division director with the Missouri Department of Health. In this capacity he wrote or co-wrote bills for tobacco control 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 the past president of the American College of Epidemiology and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. He also has a long track record of NCI funding, receiving his first NCI grant in 1986.