Dr. Daniel Giovenco, assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, was one of 16 researchers to receive the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. This 5-year, $1.25 million grant is awarded to junior scientists who have the intellect, creativity, drive and maturity to succeed without the need for traditional post-doctoral training. Dr. Giovenco’s project, titled “Geographic variation in the diverse tobacco retail environment and its impact on tobacco use disparities,” will examine how the promotion of tobacco products with varying levels of risk differs across neighborhoods and how this may influence harm reduction behaviors and subsequent health disparities. A behavioral scientist by training, Dr. Giovenco uses geographical information systems, field data collection, and survey data to uncover how community characteristics influence racial and ethnic disparities in substance use. His specific areas of interest include the marketing of non-cigarette tobacco products at the point-of-sale, the public health implications of tobacco harm reduction, and the co-use of marijuana and tobacco.
Dr. Giovenco, who joined Columbia University in November 2016, teaches in the Mailman School’s Health Communication certificate program and is a faculty affiliate of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion. He is also a member of the Prevention, Control, and Disparities Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center and holds a faculty position at the Columbia Population Research Center. Dr. Giovenco received both his PhD and MPH in Health Education and Behavioral Science from the Rutgers School of Public Health.