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News & Press: APTR Activities

New APTR Board of Directors Members

Monday, March 18, 2013  
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APTR is pleased to welcome its newest members to the APTR Board of Directors.  These individuals will serve a 3 year term from 2013-2016.

Jas Ahluwalia, MD, MPH [2nd term]
University of Minnesota Medical School

Dr. Jas Ahluwalia has devoted the past 20 years to improving the health of high risk populations, such as the underserved and ethnic minorities. He began at Emory University where he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Scholar, and in 1997, joined the University of Kansas as the Sosland Family Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine. In 2005, Dr. Ahluwalia was recruited as the founding Director for the Office of Clinical Research at the University of Minnesota. In summer 2009, he received the NIH Comprehensive Centers of Excellence in Health Disparities and Minority Health award - this Center grant established the Center for Health Equity for which he serves as the founding Executive Director. He is also an Associate Director for the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and directs Research Education, Training and Career Development for the CTSI and the newly funded NIH CTSA award.

Dr. Ahluwalia has published over 220 papers and in 2009 he received the Herbert W Nickens award for national leadership and research in improving minority health and mentoring of ethnic minority investigators; in 2010, the Joe Cullen award for tobacco research from the American Society for Preventive Oncology; in 2011 Lifetime Leadership Award from the APHA for his work on tobacco; and, in 2012, the 2012 Prevent Cancer Foundation "Prevention Laurel for National Leadership” award for his work on cancer prevention through smoking cessation in high risk populations. He served as the inaugural chair of a charted NIH study section titled, Health Disparities and Equity Promotion, and in 2011 began service for a 3-year term on a DHHS/NIH National Advisory Council for Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Dr. Ahluwalia serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Clinical and Translational Sciences and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. Besides his roles with the Center for Health Equity and CTSI, he serves as senior mentor/scientist Co-PI and Co-I on four NIH R01s grants and is mentoring eight faculty and a postdoctoral fellow. He has received $20 million in funding as a Principal Investigator and over $80 million as a co-investigator, largely from the NIH. His research work has focused on nicotine addiction and smoking cessation in African American smokers by way of conducting clinical trials, secondary analysis, qualitative research, and clinical epidemiology research. Dr. Ahluwalia has carried out five large trials in African American smokers and extended the work to the role of menthol in quitting, pharmacokinetics of nicotine and the pharmacogenetics. He is nationally known for his work in mentoring, and his passion for career development, especially for underrepresented populations.


Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH
University of New Hampshire, MPH Program

Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH is an Associate Professor and the former Director of the Master's in Public Health Program in the Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire (UNH). Dr. Caron is also core faculty in the UNH Master's Program in Development, Policy and Practice and the New Hampshire Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program. In addition, she is an adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Dr. Caron earned her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Dartmouth Medical School and her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Caron teaches public health courses at both the undergraduate and graduate student levels. Her research interests and publications reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of public health and are based on her professional and academic experiences. Her research efforts are focused on two centrally associated themes: 1.) community health research, and 2.) research on public health education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Specifically, Dr. Caron utilizes community-based participatory research methods to examine how academic-community partnerships can reduce public health problems, such as childhood lead poisoning, through health literacy, outreach efforts and clinical practice quality improvement methods. In addition, Dr. Caron utilizes a theory to practice paradigm to examine how to improve the pedagogy of undergraduate and graduate public health education so public health professionals will be better prepared in the field.

Prior to entering academia, Dr. Caron practiced public health for several years in a variety of settings as a practitioner. Specifically, Dr. Caron worked as the Assistant State Epidemiologist in the Bureau of Health Risk Assessment and served as the Chief of the Bureau of Health Statistics and Data Management for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. At the state's largest local health department, Dr. Caron worked as a Chronic Disease Epidemiologist and Environmental Toxicologist. Dr. Caron also worked as a Senior Toxicologist conducting public health assessments for a private consulting firm.

Dr. Caron is a member of several professional organizations, such as the American Public Health Association and the National Environmental Health Association. She also holds several leadership positions in the American College of Epidemiology and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. She has a distinguished publication record with numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and she has served as an editor of several books.


Edward F. Ellerbeck, MD, MPH [2nd term]
Kansas University Medical Center

Dr. Ellerbeck is professor and chair of the Deparment of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, at the Kansas University Medical Center. An established clinician scientist with NIH-funded projects in Type 2 translational research, Dr. Ellerbeck is an expert in transferring clinical innovations to the medical community. Through his educational efforts and research programs,

Dr. Ellerbeck has established extensive liaisons with investigators at the University of Kansas and other regional training institutions. He serves as the PI of the KUMC K30 Clinical Research Curriculum Program and co-director of the Training Program of the AHA-PRT Outcomes Research Center at the Mid-America Heart Institute. A highly popular mentor, his current and recent trainees have received five NIH K awards, two American Heart Association training grants, two American Cancer Society career development grants, three R01s, two local foundation grants, and three institutional research awards. Dr. Ellerbeck also directs the Cancer Control and Population Health Program in the Kansas University Cancer Center.

In addition to his research, Dr. Ellerbeck is highly engaged in medical education. He is the director of a novel 4th year required clerkship entitled Health of the Public – a clerkship that provides medical students with both theoretical and applied experiences in preventive medicine, evidence-based medicine, systems of health care, and practice-based learning and improvement.


Rob Simmons, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH
Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Simmons has been a public health educator for 40 years working with local and state government, community based health organizations, private health foundations, healthcare organizations and more recently in academic public health programs.  He currently serves as the Program Director for the Master of Public Health (MPH) program and a Clinical Associate Professor for Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Population Health in Philadelphia.

Dr. Simmons’ professional background and research interests are in community health education, and health promotion and disease prevention in tobacco control, physical activity, nutrition, health literacy, reducing health inequities, and global health.  He has worked with a range of organizations and communities in California, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, and internationally in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic.  Dr. Simmons is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar in Public and Global Health and worked with two universities in Colombia in the summer of 2012 to develop and enhance their global public health initiatives and masters and doctoral programs in Public Health.


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